Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pinball Wizard

Anyone old enough to remember when we played pinball instead of video games?

The memory came to mind this morning via a strange route.  Let me start at the beginning. I wanted a big weekend style breakfast...waffles with bacon and butter and lots of syrup.  As a nod to healthy eating, I decided to wash some blueberries and top the waffles with them.

And that is where it all began.  I grabbed a full carton of blueberries to take it over to the sink. Hmmmm, wasn't closed. Blueberries spilled out all over the kitchen floor, rolling willy-nilly over and under everything.  So, I retrieved my new nylon broom and began sweeping them into a pile....well, I began trying to sweep them into a pile. 

This is the point in the story where the blueberries take on a life of their own. Each movement of the broom propelled berries in every direction. Some went forward, some backward.  Some shot under appliances and some rolled back out into view again. Some got stuck in the bristles of the broom only to break loose and shoot off independently at the very moment I thought I finally had them all ready to sweep into the dustpan.

It was then that I was reminded of  the late 70's. We were standing in the pizza parlor waiting for our order to be done. While we waited we fed the pinball machines, playing game after game.  I was no expert. I would pull the spring and silver balls would be propelled upwards. Then I would snap the flippers manically trying to prevent the balls from dropping into the slots at the bottom of the machine which would end the game.

This morning as my broom propelled blueberries randomly around the kitchen floor I was reminded of the sight of those long gone pinballs and the dinging that each would make as it hit a target.

Finally, I corralled the wayward blueberries, tossed them in the trash, washed the ones that were left in the carton and topped a plate of steamy waffles with them. They were good and so was the memory.


  1. No, I'm not old enough to remember pinball...

    And I'm a big, fat liar. ;)

    I loved pinball and am very amused by how your breakfast plans brought that memory back for you.. and for us. You are a wizard!

  2. I get the connection, Stephanie...those rolling balls just wouldn't do what you wanted. We have a small electronic pin-ball machine, my sons played with it years ago...the older grandkids did for awhile...the younger ones ignore it.

  3. You were corralling blueberries, while I attempted to stop an egg that cracked in my hand from dropping to the floor. The egg ended up on the floor. Really good picture of the waffles and blueberries!

  4. I had a cousin that had a REAL, FOR SURE pinball machine IN HIS BEDROOM! I thought they were RICH for SURELY every kid would WANT a pinball game in their room. WHAT FUN!

    Not so fond of chasing blueberries all over the kitchen floor. Although your waffle looks delectable!

  5. I love the way the cognitive process works, how seemingly unrelated event can bring back the most exquisite memories.;)
    Growing up in the east bloc, we did not have any pinball machines around, but I know of them from my teenage years in Sweden.
    Considering that we did not even have colour TV until I was 10, I can truly relate to the time before computers.;))

  6. those memories are the best. warm happy memories like gooey cheese on the pizza.

    and waffles sound perfect.

  7. Oooh, that plate looks yummy! I made waffles this morning! And we have your cornmeal waffles for dinner every once in a while, Stevie!

    My brother in law has a pinball machine in his family room. Lots of fun!

  8. Oh yes I remember those pin ball games. FUN. I had a little giggle about your berries zipping all over the kitchen. If that would happen here we would have to fight Luna for them. She is a great crumb dog and she thinks any food item that hits the kitchen floor is fare game.

  9. Don't you love when something odd calls a memory up like this? Great write. Wonderful post.

  10. We still play pinball at our favorite Mexican restaurant:)

    Those waffles sure look delicious! I don't know why I don't own a waffle iron! Oh I do...I prefer to go out for them:)

  11. Steph, isn't it interesting what things trigger long-lost memories? Glad you enjoyed the 'fun' of sweeping those blueberries up :-) - Dave

  12. We must have been thinking alike, because that's what I had for breakfast Sunday morning. I was too lazy to make "real" waffles, so I used frozen ones. Then I microwaved some frozen blueberries and poured juice and all over the waffles...I did use real maple syrup, though. It was delicious.

    I loved to play pinball! I lived in a country village when I was a teen, and the grocery store had a pool hall where we hung out. They had the best pinball machine in there. Much more exciting than video games, IMO.

    Nice post!


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