When I was a young kid in the early 1980s, going to an arcade in Camarillo, CA, quarters meant games.
Now, quarters mean laundry.
I had to actually look at the quarters and tell myself No, you're NOT keeping any of these for a load! You're playing games! And play games I did.
My friend Andrew Hill, local massage therapist and acupuncturist, had a belated-by-months birthday party at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade because, why not celebrate just on general principles? And he cashed in a gift certificate to the arcade and had lots of game money for the 10 or so people who showed up in his name.
I played Galaga! I played it well! I also played (not so well) a first-person shooter called Area 51, Qbert, Tron, a racing game (the closest I'll get to drunk driving, I thought; I'd had a Newcastle), Burgertime, Afterburner (which I sucked at...and since it's flying an F-14 Tomcat, my dad's going to be very disappointed) and an Indiana Jones pinball game. I never really follow the mechanics of a pinball game beyond "Hit the balls!," so I was surprised and happily excited when I somehow hit some mode on the game where it suddenly shot out THREE MORE BALLS. Ricochets!
Also got to talk about blogging, sketching, and crazy people (pro tip learned from story: if someone gives you a ride to help you, don't try to escape, especially not by PULLING THE EMERGENCY BRAKE WHILE THE CAR'S BEING DRIVEN), then hang out at Big-Ass Sandwiches. Maria, part of the group, was even nice enough to share half of a Big-Ass turkey sandwich with me. And then David Walker was good enough to drive me home.
Where laundry awaits. And enough quarters for a load. (Gee, it would've been funnier if I didn't have enough, but I do my best not to lie.)
* That sounds kind of dirty.