In this, the season of gratitude (which, yes, should be every season), I am moved to remember and give thanks for an awesome gift from a bygone era: the Firepower pinball machine.
Imagine the grandeur of unlocking the MULTIBALL function—five balls released at once! The adrenaline! No amount of Swedish fish swimming across the screen could ever compare.
I was a freshman in college, and this was the last hurrah of the pinball years. It was already competing with arcade video games. Pacman was arrogant as hell. Firepower was pure. It even talked to me! Its deep, computerized voice said things like, “Firepower,” and “Firepower.” I believe that it even said, “Fire.” Heady stuff.
The beloved machine lived in the lobby of my dorm, and I think that I may have been in the minority of girls who liked that machine. My guy friends and I frequently combined Firepower play with mind-altering substance play.
This is the point at which I should wax nostalgic about a “simpler time.” This was the time of Reagan and the Talking Heads. Nothing about that seemed simple to me, even though I know that many think of that time as historically halcyon. A little hazy Firepower play took the edge off the fact that there were things called “Young Republicans” running around, poised to start their careers and define the ME Generation by their ME salaries.
I may have to write a grant to have one of these installed in my classroom. I will update you on the Kickstarter campaign.
Oh, and don’t forget–
I remain, proudly,