Why do we do the things we do. Why would we work all day and then haul games around all night? Why risk getting kicked out of a Mall? Why go back and forth for 3 days on the phone with people to talk them into selling something that they really don’t even want, and maybe you don’t really want it either?
It’s the addiction, the thrill of the hunt, the cornering of the beast and then the quick (or slow) kill………….
It all started 2 weeks ago………
I have a Craigslist ad saying that I would like to buy Arcade games. I got a call from a local guy. He wants to sell me a Ms. Pac-Man cocktail for $100. It’s falling apart, no PCB, burn-in to the nth degree on the monitor. I say no thanks, but in the course of the phone call he finds out I can repair monitors. He has a UR Ms. Pac-Man that has vertical collapse. Will I fix it for him and he will give me the cocktail. Sure what the heck.
Fast forward 2 weeks. I have the G07 fixed and ready to get back to him. It’s Sunday night and I get a phone call from fellow Klov member NewSherriffInTown. He has a guy who has 5 “roached” but complete games for sale. Would I like them? After hearing the titles I say “sure”. The addict in me, the insane little voice is telling me I have room and maybe my wife won’t divorce me. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. Wives are a dime a dozen, games are hard to find…….right? We set it up for a Wednesday night pick up 1 1/2 hours from where I work.
Monday night is here. I re-install the G07 into Ms. Pac-Man. Works great, the cocktail is loaded. Oh, by the way, do I want to talk to the next-door neighbor who has games in the Mall and in his storage shed. Devil on the left shoulder says yes, Angel on the right shoulder opens his mouth, Devil kills him with a big scythe.
We head over to the neighbor’s house. He’s a nice guy, a former operator. We talk and he gives me a peek into the golden temple (his shed) and I see the riches hidden within. (Some might say crap, I say riches). We get to talking and he paid a ton for his games and wants a lot for them. This isn’t going to go anywhere I think. He realizes I repair monitors. If I fix all of his games he will give me one of them. Well, 4 games are in the Mall.
I head to the Mall. I go in, a plump Indian man gives me the cold shoulder when I tell him I am there to look at the games to fix them. I plug in the 2 non-working games put in some quarters and check them out. Yea I can fix them. What the heck. Help a guy out get a game.
I woke up the next day. The operator is calling. The Indian guy has gone Christian Bale on him, cursing him out. Apparently, I came in and stole all the money out of his 4 machines. Despite the fact, he was watching me the whole time and saw me put money in them and I didn’t have any keys. The operator is pissed, he wants out of the game. “Come over,” he says “and pick everything up”. “How Much,” I ask. “Don’t worry it will be cheap”. Head to the ATM that night (Tuesday) and then to his house.
Off we go to the Mall. Indian guy is there. He’s not so tough in person. Now he’s changed his story, I didn’t steal money but I shouldn’t have come in and messed with the games. Guess putting money in them is just not what his Arcade is about, not today, not ever.
Load up those 4 games. Did I mention I did this by myself? The operator has Cerebral Palsy. Nice guy but no lifting help here. Head to his house and load up 5 more. Next door neighbors come out at 8:00 P.M. “Hope you’re done, we wake up at 4:30 ” ….. “Yes Ma’am we’re done”…..”Well we sleep in this room, we can hear everything, blah, blah”……” What part of we’re done didn’t you understand Lady” ……..”Yea but…….” Tuned her out and got everything loaded.
Next night, with another trailer, head up and pick up the 5 roached games. Forced into buying an extra one, but what the heck, why stop now? I’m exhausted, I’m probably single now. Maybe I can stack them up and live in them? NewSherrifInTown is forced into buying a Slick Shot, yes forced. God loves him and so do I. It helped seal the deal.
Get back to my workshop at 11:00 P.M. and load everything into one trailer. Done at Midnight. Wake up and strap everything down the next day and drive home. The ordeal is over………….wait a minute, no it’s not, I still have to unload these things and find a place for them….. Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!
So why, why do it? Why all the pain, the agony, the frustration? Who the Hell knows. But I’d do it again next week
Here’s the final tally:
NFL Blitz — Dedicated cab — Working but needs K7000 chassis — Cabinet in good condition
Gauntlet Dark Legacy — Showcase Cab — Working — Cabinet in good condition
Neo-Geo 1 slot — Dedicated — Working needs cap kit — Cabinet in good condition
Mortal Kombat — Conversion in Dynamo — Working needs cap kit — Cabinet in good condition
Street Fighter 2 — Conversion — Blowing fuse needs switcher — Cabinet in good condition
Sammy Sharp Shooter — Dedicated — Working gun1 needs work — cabinet in great condition
Aero Fighters — Conversion in Dynamo type cab — Working — Cabinet in fair condition
Shadow Dancer — Dedicated — Working — Cab in good condition
Die Hard Arcade — Dedicated — Cab in good condition
Asteroids — Dedicated — Working — Cab in good condition
Asteroids — Dedicated — Working — Cab in good condition
Yie-Ar Kung Fu — Conversion in DKJR cab — Working — Cab in fair condition
Tempest — Dedicated — Working — Cab pretty trashed. Might can’t be saved
Tron — Dedicated — Working — Cab trashed and not salvageable.
I paid $120 a game. I’m happy but extremely worn out.
I got all of them working eventually: