Oftentimes, when I'm bent over a pinball cabinet, searching for a screw or whatever is missing at that moment, I wonder: Why the hell am I doing this again?
For the love of pinball? I don't think there is enough love in the world to make someone work on a pinball game. So, no, it is not for the love of pinball.
Is it for the satisfaction of a job well done? Hell no. Well, maybe. The feeling of a "job well done" is fleeting at best. So, no. Probably not .
Is it for world peace? I wish. But, no, it is not for world peace.
Not to get way to deep (it is only pinball, after all), but I think it is about the journey. Even with my head buried deep in a pinball cabinet like I am bobbing for apples, it is worth it.
Sometimes, I get so frustrated I will start barking in tongues. My neighbor once stuck his head in my garage to see if I was "ok." He had heard me all the way over at his house. I must have looked like an angry monkey to him. A monkey with plumbers crack and sawdust in his hair. What my neighbor was really saying was "my kids are playing outside and you are teaching them words that I do not want them to know."
It is a frustrating business, to be sure. But, in the end, after all of the anger and colorful words, I get to bring a game back from the dead, or at the very least, purgatory.
I truly believe that Pinball games are works of art. The lights, artwork, game design and sounds merged together as one... well, that is art to me.
In the end, it is all about the journey.
This morning, I woke up and mentally went through a check list of things I need to do regarding pinball. I have to start to break down a play field for a Bram Stoker's Dracula. I have to start a in depth cleaning on a Tales From the Crypt. I need to pick up a ball trough for a Medieval Madness.
As I start to feel a little overwhelmed, I will remind myself that it is the journey and not the outcome. Sure, I want the games that I work on to be perfect when I return them to my customers. But, I get to learn today. If there is one thing I know about pinball is that it teaches me lessons every day. I like that. I look back at my journey through pinball and am comforted that I have met every obstacle head on, learned how to fix that particular problem, and then moved on. That is a good feeling. I don't feel so overwhelmed now.
Yesterday a chap stopped by in the morning to pick up some parts that he had left at my shop. We talked about the Bram Stoker's Dracula and he told me some things regarding the build of the game that I did not know. If nothing else, it was cool trivia. I like that too. I like the fellowship in pinball. I like that there is a "lore" to pinball. Each game has it's own story, each pinhead has their own as well.
A little later in the day another chap stopped by. He owns one pinball game. He bought it a few years earlier. He does not know the lore. I happily answered his questions about new games. I showed him what I do (restorations, service, repair) and he was genuinely interested. I watched him play my Rick And Morty. He had a big grin on his face. I know exactly what he was feeling. A door was opening for him and behind that door lay the unknown. It was a whole new world that was opening itself to him.
After we had talked for awhile I took him over a friends house. My friend has quite a few VERY nice games. My friend patiently answered questions as this chap happily bopped from game to game. This chap was experiencing pinball fellowship. He was having fun. I was having fun.
I love this hobby. It is never ending. There is always something new to learn, or maybe something to teach someone else. All of us basking in these works of art together. Sharing our knowledge. Sharing our time.
I want Pinball Panic to reflect what I feel when I am participating in this hobby.
Getting there is half the fun. In my case it is 90% of the fun.
It's all about the journey.