Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Out of control at the Nickel Arcade

The thing about having a very handy, very competent hubby is that pretty soon, other people start to notice the handiness and the competency.

One little case in point: Ricardo has a CDL license.

Apparently, guys with CDL licenses are hard to come by, at least around these parts, because he is in high demand at our church for any random events that pop up. Senior trips to the mountains, field trips to the zoo. Once or twice even a trip to L.A. for some of the young people, a trip where they tried to convince me to come along when Savannah was 9 months old.

Think of all the fun! they said. Disneyland! Dodgers game! Shopping!

Well, yes. And 16 hours on a school bus with a baby? Um...no thanks.

But last Friday, he was asked to drive the middle schoolers to a local Family Fun Center, one of those places where they have laser tag and paintball and miniature golf and go karts. Since it was a Friday night and I think they felt bad for pulling him away from his family, they were kind enough to invite all of us.I figured we would hang out, maybe play a round or two of miniature golf, but I didn't have high expectations outside of that.

We started out in the Nickel City arcade, a den of swirling lights and headache-inducing noise, the kind of place I usually avoid like the plague. But since the youth leader handed each of us a card with arcade credits on it, we couldn't very well waste it, right?

I apprehensively approached the Skeeball games. I am one of those girls that always gazes afar at the Skeeball players at the fair because, while it seems like a fun enough game, I've always been too intimidated (and cheap) to try it out in front of people who could laugh and scoff at my sorry skills.

But this time, I got over myself and thought I'd give it a try. A few throws into it, and I realized that I was actually pretty good! I sunk a 50! And then two 100s in a row! And then...well, then the ball bounced violently against the plastic shield and rolled back to me while my ego deflated and I glanced around to see who noticed.

Turns out nobody really cares how good or bad anyone else is at Skeeball.

After a couple of games, I suddenly realized that reward tickets were spewing out of the machine after each game ended. And then I realized that you could redeem said tickets for a selection of prizes, mostly junky little things, the kind you get in a Happy Meal and that multiply around your house and drive you crazy.

Savannah wandered around the prize area, pointing to various things - "I want that! Oooh, I like that, Daddy!" - and of course they were all things that cost over 10,000 tickets, things like a Princess lamp or a humongous stuffed whale.

I kept playing, and suddenly the weirdest feeling kicked in. That I-have-to-win, I-have-to-get-more! more! more! feeling. There I was, throwing skeeballs for all I was worth, sweat pouring off of me because it was insanely hot in there, and getting all excited when the machine spit out 9 or 10 tickets at a time. And all for some silly little prizes that probably weren't even worth the money that it took to buy the arcade card.

I told Ricardo, "Now I know how gamblers feel, and why it's so hard to stop - you think, just one more time, the next time around I'll hit the jackpot."

So we played until our cards ran out, and we had a grand total of about 200 tickets. We told Savannah to pick something, and after we convinced her that the Princess lamp was definitely not coming home with us, she settled for two little bouncy rubber balls.

This, my friends, is what an hour of throwing skeeballs will get ya - two of these babies:




Word to my hubby: if you know what's good for you, don't ever, ever take me to Vegas.

On an unrelated note - the lovely and very hysterical Missy at It's Almost Naptime is hosting a giveaway for a complete blog design done by yours truly. I know that at least a few of you have told me that you wish you could get a blog makeover, so here's your chance! (blogspot blogs only - so sorry to anyone else hosted by a different platform).

So go on over and leave her a comment - you never know, you just might win! And if you don't need a makeover yourself - you can enter anyway, and give it away to someone else that you know needs some beautifying.

21 comments:

Rachelle said...

I just can't wait until I take my boys to Chuck-E-Cheese! Skeeball here I come!

Lisa said...

I've never played but I still think that story is pretty funny. Sounds like a very fun place!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Ha! It would be skeeball - I am not an arcade girl, but yes, I have tried my hand at the lovely little game of skeeball a time or two and found it quite addictive. Because it's something I can actually DO. ;)

Good times. Dave has his CDL too. That and is ability to make/fix/remodel just about anything does have his skills in high demand at times as well.

I'm so happy for who ever wins the give away! They may just eventually find themselves logging on to their blog to stare at it while grinning like a fool.

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

I love that game! Besides the balls at least you got this great story to post. I never went to those places either before I got married. Now I get to one about once a year. I try not to think about the germs and just have fun. And the girls love those goofy little prizes! So glad you had fun!

Now I am off to that giveaway!

Carpoolqueen said...

Skeeball is my favorite, followed by WhackAMole. Yeah, I don't need to go to Vegas, either.

{Jodie} said...

Who knew something in those places could be so crazy fun, huh? Skeeball, if I'm honest, is where I'd like to park it whenever we go - although I do avoid those places because overall, I'm not a fan. :)

Glad you had fun though and won some nice bouncy balls. :) And yes, stay away from Vegas... (I accidentally typed Vegans) :) hahaha!

Gretchen said...

You are one dangerous girl, Jackie. Good thing I like to live on the edge, too. :) I hope all this success doesn't go to your head and make you hard to live with and all.

Colored With Memories said...

if you ever head here, the skee ball war is on! kids...step back! kerry and jackie are in town!

Jamie said...

Im right there with ya friend...skeeball is my favorite!

"Rachel" said...

I LOVE Skeeball! It's my favorite arcade game, when I actually venture in. :)

Krystal said...

I am laughing cause I know that feeling when playing skeeball! And now we have it on the Wii and it is just as addicting!

My kids are beggin to go to Chuck E Cheese and I keep putting it off...but soon I'm going to have to give in...

sounds like you had fun and so those 2 little rubber balls where worth it! Savannah was happy I am sure!

Have a great weekend!!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Skeeball is fun, but I agree, it can be addicting! I feel the same about air hockey, too. :-)

Hey, do you still have my blog makeover that you did before my hiatus? You did such a good job and worked so hard...I am going to finish that list of sidebars and get that to you. :-) See ya again soon!

Amber said...

Crackball.

I know the feeling well.

Lois Lane II said...

LOL!!! I do the same thing, too. It's like, "Oooh -- look how many tickets I'm getting!!" when really, 60 tickets gets you a stick of gum.

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

Oh my word, loovve skeeball!! So funny...

SarahHub said...

I love skeeball! But those prizes drive me nuts... Last time we went to Chuck E Cheese, I had Evie give her tickets to another kid. Then we went to Target and bought a Cabbage Patch doll instead! Fun for us both!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

We used to go to Astroworld every summer (back in the day when you could just drop your kid off and leave them there all day...wow, our moms had it good) and I swear we would spend half the day playing Skeeball. So, yes, I know that feeling well.

Amanda said...

i've told mike many times that i can NEVER go to anywhere where real gambling is involved...i think i have an addictive personality...you name it, i could get hooked on it...fortunately diet coke is much less harmful than losing our life savings! but, oh man, i LOVE skeeball...love it! i think it might be the one redeeming factor in places like arcades...i'm just not an arcade game girl...but give me some skeeball and shoot yeah!

Jennifer @ Taking My Time said...

I love skeeball but it can be so frustrating!

Darla said...

i did my time at those places, spending tons of money for a few dinky little prizes haha. i am so glad my kids are over wanting to do that. it's great that you found out you were good at skeeball though!!! we all need to discover our talents in life, we just never know if we don't try!

Life In Progress said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some skeeball even though I'm terrible at it. It is addicting, and the one and only reason I can bring myself to step foot into the germ-infested disgustingness that is Chuck E. Cheese.