Curse of the Wizard: The Backglass Guide to Pinball Misfortune

Posted: March 16th, 2008 by ORBIT


A curse is the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, or doom befalls a person. I’ve been playing pinball a long time. I know there are a lot of people out there who would like to cut my fingers off. Instead, they torture me by leaving an evil spirit that shows up at just the wrong times.

I am the superstitious type. When it comes to a game like pinball, you have to stay in a certain zone. I’m not sure where they come from, but I do believe in curses that can break this Zen state that every pinball player knows.

“The Curse of the Dumb Kid”
happyjoeslogo.JPGWhen I was 15, I was stricken with a lifelong curse. It was in a small Pizza Parlor in St. Louis on Route 66 called “Happy Joes”. We used to get baked and play pinball there till our quarters ran out. They always had at least 2 or 3 machines. I believe my first curse was placed upon me by the old Black Knight himself. He sent an evil force my way, and it still haunts me some 16 years later.

I was ripping Black Knight 2000. It had only been out for a year. We battled the Knight for hours. We would revel in the music. My last 2 balls were in the lock and my last Ransom letter was blinking. I was about to beat the entire game. I would destroy the Grand Champ. My friend Boomer Shumar stood behind me silently.

All of the sudden, out of nowhere, this little white trash kid comes up and starts beating on my flipper button. He was laughing at me. I tried not to look. I asked him nicely, “Step away kid. This is some grown man shit.” He looked up at me with his blue cross eyes and booger crusted nose. Boomer stepped out to smoke a cig. I was fucked.

He banged on my flippers again. His hands were dirty and poisoned with pizza sauce, snot, butthole grease and earwax that he continued to rub all over the side of my hand as he laughed sardonically. “Not funny kid.” He laughed until my ball drained. I had one last ball to play.

“Go back to your parents, kid.”

I saw no one else in the restaurant. This kid was sent from hell by the Black Knight himself. Or possibly the current Grand Champ. I was fucked. I shot my ball and he put his hands on my flipper again. I missed the Ransom again. He laughed. My ball came down to the bottom playfield. I tried with every ounce of young pinball will I had, but it wasn’t enough. TILT. I turned around to the kid. He couldn’t have been but 6 years old. I raised my right hand, and I smacked the living shit out of him.

At this time my friend Peat and Boomer were walking in the door. The kid ran to the back of the restaurant, and disappeared. My boys were in shock.

“Dude. You just smacked a retarded kid.”

I didn’t even realize he was retarded. It’s hard to tell when you’re right above the bible belt. I can’t play pinball near kids to this day. Whenever a kid gets within ten feet of me, I’m already fucked. I now have a kid radius rule when I’m out with my girl’s son. But every time he runs out of quarters, consider my game done.

“The Curse of the Compliment”

Never compliment anyone’s game while they are playing. This not only fucks their head space, but it makes them over-confident as well. In fact, don’t even think about a compliment. Even when it gets in my head, “Shit, Orbit is ripping,” it equals Instant drain.

“The Curse of the Extra Ball”

Everyone knows this one. I believe it’s the overconfidence factor. You put so much energy into getting the damn extra ball, only to lose your current ball straight down the middle or off to the side. Beware! Be on edge and be ready: Because nothing hurts worse than blowing it with an Extra Ball in the hole.

“The Curse of the Douche”

When the gang began getting press, the “Curse of the Douche” became rampant in Portland. My girl has this curse bad. I saw it the other night. It speaks for itself. I know DDT gets this one a lot as well, because, well, he is so inviting and approachable. Ignore the douche that wants to chit chat. But if the douche is there, you’re already fucked. He is going to brush up behind you, or shake the shit out of the game next to you. Beware of this curse at Ground Kontrol on a Saturday night!

“The Curse of the Shreeker”

Mostly in punk rock bars. You’re playing a game, and next to you there is a girl who was cute when she was 15 and had long bangs and a safety pin in her ear. Now, she is fat from a decade of PBR and fast food. She is attencourtney.jpgtion deprived. She has a high pitched scream every time she opens her mouth. She has to yell everything. She gets excited A LOT! She isn’t going to move. She has been sitting there for years right next to the pinball machine with rival initials at the top of the board. She is with 2 bald fuckers with “Skinhead 87” tattooed on their neck right above the Skrewdriver shirt. You can’t tell her to shut the fuck up. You will get beaten. Go play another game.

“The Curse of the Jason America” or “The Jerk Curse”

This curse lies in the confines of our own crew: Jason “Kickback” America. Amazing when he is on your side, terrible when you are on the opposing end. He is possibly the wittiest of all shit talkers ever to leave the city of Gary, Indiana alive. One night, during a neck and neck tournament final on Indy 500, he picked up a pretend phone next to me and proceeded to have a conversation. I kept ripping. I was killing it. He couldn’t get me this time. He hung up the phone and announced to the rest of the crowd with a smart ass, tooth missing smile, “Danny, The Misfits just called. They want their style back.” Drain. He beat me by 3000 points.

“The Curse of the Closet Tweaker”

It got me last night. Luckily, DDT already beat the curse and Grand Champed the machine. I was one Illusion away from Grand Finale on Theater of Majic. LAST CALL. The door behind me opens and bumps me in the ass. The Closet Tweaker punch.jpgemerges from his closet confines like some scene out of the Addams Family. He lives at the Vern. He sleeps on a mop. He gets paid in beer and bar nuts. He could kick all of our asses. He is the closet tweaker and you can’t say shit to him because he has been in that bar when you were just a gleam in your pappy’s nut sack.

I don’t even know his name. But I do know how many Grand Champs have gone unachieved when he creeps out of his hole to put the stools away, clean the glasses, slurp another hard earned pint, and bump your ball right down the kisser.

“The Curse of the Walk Away”

This is really bad at meetings. Don’t walk away in the middle of a game, no matter if you are fourth player or just a spectator. Wait till after the game to pee, because, after all, sometimes a nice little pee puts me in the zone. Watch and learn. Nothing is worse than having your ball cursed by the walk away.

“The Curse of the Walk Up”

This is the opposite of the walk away. If you see someone you know playing some ball: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE WALK UP AND SAY HI. You will fuck them. Wait till their game is over. Even worse, lingering behind them is equally bad. We know you are back there. We can feel you. My energy is already drained, along with my ball. Now you are the douche. Thanks for stopping by.

“The Last Call Curse”

Why are all my best games at closing time?

Backglass Til’ Death!

Categories: CFF

Comments: 6 comments


6 Responses to 'Curse of the Wizard: The Backglass Guide to Pinball Misfortune'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Curse of the Wizard: The Backglass Guide to Pinball Misfortune'.

  1. BounceBack   16 Mar 08 at 2:28 pm

    holy shit, that’s great. couldn’t have said it better. basically any time some outside force severs your psychic bond with the game, it’s going to beat you. just remember: they’re a bunch of fucking amateurs.

  2. ROM   17 Mar 08 at 10:00 am

    The other week I saw BackGlass playing TNG at Ground Kontrol, and I walked up and said, “hi!” and, woosh, the ball drained. Sorry!

    I fell victim to The Scream at Shanghai last Friday. I was juggling the ball, getting ready to lock my third ball, and then some dame on the pool table right behind me let out a piercing scream. My reflexes froze, and the ball just rolled right off the end of the flipper.

    Maybe we we should build a CFF Meditation chamber. Like, a controlled room with a machine in it, where we practice keeping our center while certain curses are slung at us.

  3. Kickback   18 Mar 08 at 12:31 am

    Maybe it was years of competetive sports, years of being razzed for being poor and wearing hand-me-downs that were too big, years of straight F report cards.
    Who cares? There is a murderers row of machines in my basement and buckets of insults waiting to pour out like the floods of Noah with no room on the boat for sissy’s.
    You will be bombarded with insults, beer, big doobies, heavy metal, headslaps and Bruce Lee movies. I’m short, chubby, ugly, the baseball career didn’t work out, the music career didn’t work out, my stories are played out. I got broken dreams for christmas and I’m looking to share.
    But, when the shit hits the fan and the robot wars go down, it’s us vs the pinball machines. These skills may very well save our pimpled, hairy asses some day, so start brushing up Jerk-O’s.
    It’s us vs the pinball machines.
    It’s us vs the pinball machines.

  4. danny backglass   19 Apr 08 at 1:23 am

    dude…i like the meditation chamber idea. And kickback is right. Just have that dude stand next to u and diss. Last night tho, I almost beat the “Curse of the Nate.” Its so strong I cant even talk about it for fear it will strengthen it. Im overcoming my fears. And, I know the secret to winning tourny’s.

  5. Plunger   8 May 08 at 7:24 am

    Rather than a meditation chamber, CFF needs to buy a portable “Cone of Silence” like from “Get Smart”. Those things always work great.

  6. grier   7 Dec 08 at 12:13 pm

    i’m coming in really late on this post, but brian told me to read this because last night i was ready to rip some girl’s vocal chords out through her stomach.

    she was a shrieker and it’s not like i was even doing that well, but i would’ve done a lot better had her piercing yelps (she probably barks like a dog at home) drained me not once, but twice.

    when she left, she was replaced by a bigger, deeper voiced bellower. i was fucked all around. run out of the bar by my own gendered-kind (whom i wanted to kill).

    this breakdown of the curse has helped in my recovery.


Leave a Reply