2 Third Balls in the Park / New High Score / 15 Minutes /
Final High Score / Farewell to the Park

Nothing has remained consistent in this "flash and fade" writing season of 2003; for this I am blessed and cursed. Jurassic Park (JP) pinball was broken, and then it was fixed (6 Days in the Park), broken again, kinda fixed, broken again, then lost in its own reality (1 Hour in the Park), the "tilt" reinstated so that there can be no cabinet movement, then it broke again, and now it's working fairly well--despite a ball or 2 missing regularly. There cannot possibly be a need for another JP Commentary, and yet here I am. I have issues.

With the game in its present state of finesse, where a tap of the glass can result in a "tilt"; skill, talent, and "whisper-nudging" have replaced old-fashioned (and easy) friction and force. Cliche Man says "It really IS a whole new ballgame." And for what happened, and how it happened, with the final jab, it does almost qualify as Commentary-worthy.

I don't know what day it was, I don't even know what day it is now, but it was a day in the first week of September, 2003. We were playing the Big Lizard pinball machine; the one that tilts when you look at it wrong. It was a horrible 2-player game, with me as both competitors. Starting (the first of the final) ball 3's; player 1 had 48 million, and player 2 had 47 million. It was a close game; equally pathetic, place your bets, even. I decided to mark the occaision by calling attention to myself as the pinball master. "I will win replays on both of these games," said I, "there is nobody I would rather have playing the game in THIS particular situation." (that is actually true, by the way).

So what happened? Player 1 got the multi-ball, one extra ball, got the System Failure, and ended his game with a very respectable 379 million. Nice. Player 2, with a bit of pressure on him to perform, got the multi-ball, one extra ball, got the System Failure, and then also got another multi-ball, and ended his quick-to-tilt game with a towering 509 million. The story could have ended there, but did not, because with the new and profound sensitivity of JP pinball, the scores are all approximately 1/3 of what they used to be. Meaning: 509 million was barely enough to enter initials; to own the 6th and final score--I once again have all 6 scores on the game. And I will put my 1.069 billion high score up against any other feather-tilt JP machine on the planet, thank you.

Um, yes Mr. Crash, 1.069 billion is a fine score. But then came Tuesday night, 9-9-03, when we went to play pinball for therapy; alone. With a game that tilts so easily; a machine with a left flipper so weak that you can only 'sometimes' make the "O" ramp shot--and barely at that; a game for true professionals and masochists only. It took a brilliant, lucky, and spiritually-influenced tri-ball of epic proportions for me to score 1.529 billion; but I did. And I backed that game with a few others over 600 million before the left flipper died unceremoniuosly (I'm getting better at the sensitive play). Let the record show that IF this was the last night of neighborhood Jurassic Park pinball, then I celebrated as a true master; humble and thankful. I have enjoyed this run.

And now for a 9-11-03 update; JP pinball is fixed again! A new left-flipper coil was apparently installed on the 10th. My 6th favorite pinball machine of ALL TIME is going to stay in my neighborhood for a little while longer. Life is good. As of 9-12-03, on this particularly sensitive machine, you will need 630 million to knock off my lowest high score; and good luck to you!

15 Minutes in the Park--9-13-03

7:30 pm, we started a 2-player game. At 7:35 player 1 started ball 3 with 46 million, ended with 262 million. Player 2 starts ball 3 with 32 million; ends with 808 million (#3 score) at 7:45. 2 more games were won; this was only 15 minutes in the park.

You now need 701 million to knock off my #6 score.

Best Phoenix High Score

On 9-27-03, a Saturday evening, I got 1.9 billion on JP. While checking online, I found that the record high score for a 3-ball game of JP is 2.1 billion. I am in the neighborhood! Even with the super-sensitive tilt, I have all 6 high scores well over a billion. In fact, there were 3 nights in a row (and 4 out of 5) where I scored over a billion points. You will need 1.057 billion to knock off my #6 score; forget it, kiddo.

Farewell to the Park: 10-9-03

On Wednesday, 10-8-03, I went to play some pinball at my neighborhood pub. Unfortunately, JP pinball has been replaced by "Apollo 13" pinball. I will miss the smart missiles, super jackpots, and system failures. I will also miss the screaming, and the shaking; the meaning of the word "CHAOS" has completely changed for me; it will (now and) forever bring a familiar smile to my face. The dark whisper of "Feed T-Rex" while the goat cries in panic will haunt me until the end of days (Did I mention that I will OWN a JP pinball machine someday?). The writing season of 2003 has benefitted greatly from having such a legendary pinball machine in my neighborhood. Perhaps now that it has left me, quietly and without incident, I will be able to concentrate on more important activities. During these last 4 months, I have benefitted, clearly and dearly, from the influence of JP; with fodder for at least 7 different commentaries, and a comparison (now referred to as) my awesome, dark-haired, ninja-stealth-alien-goddess Jurassic Park Girlfriend. I would like to see somebody appreciate a pinball machine as I have appreciated this one for the past quarter; and this is ONLY my 6th favorite pinball machine of all time (imagine if "Getaway" or "Dr. Dude" were to come to my neighborhood). Sincere thanks to everyone; Kroy Amusement, little Sam, Famous Sam's, and all of the people who got to watch me play this machine while I brushed with the magic. Okay; I'm going to go and have (finish) a really good cry now.

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