I just had the best and worst arcade experience of my life
After that lousy incident at the pizza parlor I decided to grab a roll of quarters and take off to find a new arcade. I found a little joint near Burbank – from the outside it didn’t look like much, just some big tinted glass windows and a faded red “open” sign. But inside, I could hear the sounds of about a dozen different racing games. So I slipped in to check it out.
Arcades nowadays are really going downhill but there’s something nice about actually getting out of the house and playing games with strangers. For instance, in one corner some crazy chick with funny hair was going whacko on the Dance Dance Revolution machine – you just can’t get that kind of entertainment at home.
I decided to warm up with a little Tekken, so I put in my quarters and started playing the guy next to me. He’s good; played a mean Lei. It took everything I had to beat him – I had to bend at the knees, really pound on the buttons. Finally, I won the last match with only a couple of seconds on the timer and I pumped my fist with joy. “YES!” I shouted. I looked over at my opponent to see who I’d beaten.
It was Robert DeNiro.
I was about to say something when he tipped his head sideways with that squinty eye of his, then turned around. He shouted out something to a guy with bushy hair playing an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles machine. “Hey Al, kid thinks he’s good.” DeNiro said.
He was talking to Al Pacino. “Kid thinks he’s good?” Pacino asked, not looking away from his turtles. “You tell him to step up for a piece of me!”
Eyes wide, I looked around. I recognized everyone in the arcade! Val Kilmer was slamming his hand on the side of a Twilight Zone pinball machine while Madonna looked on and taunted. Julia Roberts was playing Time Crisis with Gary Oldman and giggling. Robin Williams was laughing at Whoopi Goldberg as she busted her groove on the Dance Dance Revolution machine.
And they were all so cool about it. Over the next hour I musta blew through twenty bucks like it was nothing. I spent nearly half of it driving on the San Francisco Rush machine against Laurence Fishburne. With my help, Drew Barrymore learned the secret to getting tons of stuffed animals with the claw machine. Sinbad and I tag-teamed the Silent Scope machine until we beat it. You know that Robert DeNiro’s friends call him “Bobby?” So do I!
I was flying high, having the time of my life, chilling at the front of the arcade with the gang, when Matt Damon casually asked me what movies I’d been in. “Me? Oh nothing!” I said. “I’m just some guy.”
Suddenly, it was like the place went dead. Even the arcades got quiet, and all was silent but for the clatter of Natalie Portman’s ski-ball falling onto the ramp and rolling slowly back toward the chute. Everyone in the arcade stared at me.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis got on either side of me and threw me out onto the street.
I can understand kicking me out, but how come Sinbad gets to play?
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