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October 13, 2004

Pinball Catastrophe

Just when I was starting to get my hopes up about going to next year's Professional and Amateur Pinball Association tournament in Pennsylvania, a flood rips through the PAPA headquarters and wrecks all 233 pinball machines! Particularly striking are the pictures of the damage here. The worst is that many if not all of these games were in pristine condition (it takes a lot of effort to keep them that way), having just been used in the PAPA7 pinball world championships not 5 days earlier. So the triumphant return of pinball is abruptly squashed into non-existence... for the time being. Literally squashed, like this unfortunate Doctor Who pin, one of my personal favorites.


This is so sad. Its like the destruction of the libraries in "The Name of the Rose". Seriously. All human constructs that have been conserved; old buildings, books, pinball machines, have a soul of a kind. Hope the machines are fixable to some extent. I have an old Dark Tower game that suprised us a couple of holidays ago by working perfectly after a little sanding of contacts and some new batteries. It was so fun to find a replacement bulb in the box and see the window light up.

Unfortunately it appears the machines are not fixable, according the papa.org. They are going to take out any parts they can salvage (rubber bumpers, some playfields and plastics), but otherwise the electronics are totally junk. I was all ready to shout "what were you doing storing 233 pinball machines in a flood zone!", but apparently there hasn't been a flood there in over 50 years so go figure.

aww, poor baby!!!