Friday, April 6, 2012

Better than Atari

Right, so this thing.

Lindsay "scored" this Roberts Rally IV proto-Atari game console at a crazy ’70s sale—my friend Burgin, who hit it on the first day, breathlessly, rightly described it as "It's like your ’70s childhood exploded in this one house—you've got to go!" How could we not go?

Lindsay gets a little glazed when surrounded by the totems of his childhood, so he was in heaven, despite the children whining and pulling on his clothes and asking for things. (Where was I? In the room with all the books of course.) Unfortunately, he made a classic estate-sale error: He saw something he liked: a working Atari, with games. He picked it up, examined it, then put it back down, undecided. Never put anything down! If you see something and kinda like it, hold it close till you've made up your mind. Officious estate sale workers might try to pry it from your hands—they'll offer to relieve you of your burden, to write up your ticket—but you just wave them away till you're sure. When Lindsay finally decided to get the Atari, he went back to the room and saw another guy with it tucked under his arm. ARGH.

It's a terrible, empty feeling. Naturally he had to fill that void by buying something else, and the something else—the Roberts Rally IV pong game thingie—is still covered with dust and sitting in the garage. Apparently there's a small problem with the battery pack (there isn't one) but he's confident that he can make it work by crossing some wires, you know, when he gets around to it. And when he gets around to it, the kids will lay down their wii microphones long enough to play the four games built in to the system: hockey, tennis, squash and squash practice. Woo-hoo, squash practice!

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