I felt his eyes on me from across the crowded bar. Next thing I knew he was standing right behind me. After a few moments I heard him whisper, “Wow, you’re amazing.”
A little shocked, but secretly pleased I could still elicit this reaction, I smiled as I turned to see who was dishing out this compliment. I was greeted by a smiling stranger, a bit younger than me, who continued on to compliment my awesome ghost evading technique as I slipped away from Blinky, dipped past Pinky and narrowly missed Inky. I had flipped the Junior level twice already on Ms. Pac-Man and was headed for the high score.
This guy wasn’t actually into me. He was there on a date, and I was hogging the Ms. Pac-Man game so he’d come over to see what was taking so long. Maybe his date also had secret mad Ms. Pac-Man skills and she was anxious to show off. Who knows… But as the ghosts stopped changing blue and I tried not to look so sweaty from the prolonged arcade cardio, my arm got achy and tired and Blinky finally got me. It’s always Blinky.
When I want to get my quarter’s worth, I head straight to Ms. Pac-Man. And it better be cranked up to high speed. It’s like almost snapping into a zen-like state when that music starts up and then the waka-waka-waka gets crankin and I slip into my old pattern I’ve been doing since elementary school. I don’t have to think, I just move. Each movement flows into the next and each board is cleared. Then Mr. & Ms. Pac-Man meet, they chase, they have Junior and the boards all start again from beginning, only with faster ghosts.
I can hold my own in many arcade games, but Ms. Pac-Man will always have a special place in my heart.
So what’s YOUR game? When you walk into an arcade (or a game place like Dave and Buster’s) what do you make a beeline for?