Sunday, November 22, 2009

8:55 p.m.

Dead again.

It's not the back-aches and physical demands of parenthood which exhaust me. It's the hour-after-hour of answering EVERY question, starting to fulfill one request only to be interrupted by a second, occasionally conflicting one, and then of course, while doing this stuff, also making sure to pull the kids out of the path of oncoming streetcars. That's what slays me.

I never learn. At 2 p.m., I'm always excited, thinking, 'Tonight's gonna be great--I'll knock out a blog post, surf the weirdest MP3 sites, finish that cool photo project, then build my punk rok website!' And at 8 p.m., as the kids finally lay smoldering under their comforters, I sit back on the brown couch and do not want to do Anything--including mindless surfing or calling one of the dear friends I miss the most back in the US of A. Even watching an episode of Deadwood seems too tall an order.

But last night, I staggered onto a number 5 train, then somehow perambulated my lifeless corpse into the Prater fairground. Otherwise known as the Wurstel Prater (Sausage Park), it was shrouded in fog, and about sixty percent shut down for the winter season. My favorite arcade is open for a few more weeks, though, and once I got there, I gawped to see there were already people playing Theatre of Magic, Invaders from Mars, and Monster Bash. So I made an unorthodox choice. The late classic Williams machine left unoccupied was Medieval Madness--that would have been the professional player's choice. Instead, I bellied up to Scared Stiff (also known as the second Elvira machine.) And I Liked it.

Pinball, of all things, remains one of the simple electro-magnetic pleasures that will almost always make me feel better. Even put a grin on my face. Tonight, as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, made "jokes" about Deadheads and oral sex, I--well--I laffed.

What is it about the recorded voice of a buxotic goth girl former horror movie host, making vaguely lewd wisecracks from within the guts of an obsolete console of blinking lights and metal switches that just tickles the adolescent in me? Even our most highly paid scientists may never know.


chriswing said...

Ahh! I see you have learned the value of do-nothing time. Good for you!

Kat said...

1. Now that Carter's eight, he's old enough that I can tell him when I am totally overstimulated and need a 15-minute break from my interrogation...

2. the thought of you playing pinball at night halfway around the world warms my heart, sir...

xxx from Austin

Noel said...

What is it? It's the time warp. It's 1976 again, and you're not you, you're that skinny kid who liked to run across Peyton Gin Road with me to that little sandwich shop, and spend your enitre lunch hour playing that pinball machine they had, of which the greatest thing was the ease with which were were able to produce free games on it.

No parental responsibilities, no headaches or uncertainties with life, No Al Qaeda, no internet. Just a simple, good time from a simpler time.

pat said...

Chris: I've quoted them once and I'll quote (the greatest intellectuals in the world of rock ever) again:
"You say I'm not doing much/
But doin' nothing means a lot to me."

Kat: Yeah, it's nice to discover that after so much time where your kids are telling you everything they need, you really can tell them what You need. "Papa's just gonna go in here and listen to Motorhead for ten minutes--rite back, sweetie!"
And yes, I still play the silver ball. Actually I was so inspired by Elvira pinball that I went out and got her movie. I even started to watch the damn thing. It does not date well.
Noel: Yes, it's still me in here. Hair's grayer but....And yes, you may be onto something. I find that whenever I'm overthinking Obama's health care reform plans, going for Multi-Ball helps to sort me out.