I Can't Really Complain . . . But I Still Do
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Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Quest For The Holy Paddle

Who says we don't listen to the comments of our adoring public . . .

In response to the spirited and overwhelming feedback about the previous post (Please see "Bombs Away!"), we here at Procrastination Station have decided to relay to the readers the entire story alluded to in Brother O's comment.

Here goes -

It all started one hotter-than-normal morning in the heart of the DFW Metroplex in the beautiful state of Texas. I was off from college and thoroughly enjoying spending vast quantities of time watching TV and talking about all of the things I had recently seen on TV. When all of a sudden my brother showed up and started knocking on the door to the apartment I was sharing with a high school friend. After sitting around not doing anything fun for awhile, the three of us decided to see how much late 80's Atari equipment (read "junk") we could scrounge together in an afternoon of pawn-shop cruising. (Brother O. help me out here . . . were there any other dorks with us, or were we three dorks it?)

Fortunately we lived pretty close to what has to be the tightest cluster of crap-dealers du jour this side of New Jersey. Within an hour we had a console, a set of joysticks and at least 375 cartridges. I jest, but seriously you wouldn't believe how many Atari games are just sittin' out there collecting dust, waiting for some poor sap(or 3 poor saps) to pony up $1.50 and proudly take them home. The funny thing is that the older and dustier they are, the better they seem to play. Isn't life strange that way?

So, after repeating this somewhat pathetic and already all too familiar scene way too many times (and pulling Brother O. away from every Fender guitar within sight), we finally decided that we had enough of an Atari stash and it was time to head back to the apartment and fire it all up. Our eyes were sparkling and wide and our hearts were afire with the undeniable giddiness that only a kid can generate in anticipation of a sparkling new, much sought-after toy.

Well, as Brother O. has already let slip - we got home, plugged it in, started it up and . . . almost immediately got so bored that I think after about 15 minutes we all just erupted in laughter at how retarded we all were. Imagine that . . . actually laughing at what we had just done.

It sounds sort of silly now, but I'm personally convinced that "The Quest for The Holy Paddle" will ultimately go down in the annals of pointless and senseless adventures someday. Actually, I'm not sure if they even keep track of that sort of thing, but if they did . . . we would almost certainly be in there. Right after that guy who walked the entire length of California barefoot.

The saddest part (as if you are still looking for something sad in this story), is that we never even found a freakin' paddle. I know they exist, but on that particular day, it just was not to be.

We never got to play Kaboom.

I think I might actually cry a little.

Ben O.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's pretty much how it happened, although I think there was one other person brave (or bored) enough to come along.

I think the paddle is so rare because it's an oddity in the video gaming world. It has two controllers, but there's only one plug. It's like a two-headed turtle, you have to do a double-take to make sure you saw it right. I didn't even know it was technically possible to do such a thing, but it definately adds to the mystique of the paddle.

-Brother O.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Yep - now that you mention it, I wonder if it is even possible to get one of those darn 2 headed paddle thingies.

Maybe we should embark on another adventure and not come home until we are successful.

Anyone? Brother O? Beuller?

Ben O.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Henry said...

My son bought all the old Atari games for his ps2--check that all the old Activision games---Have you ever tried playing Kaboom on on of those newfangled Playstation controllers?
Its im-freaking-possible--paddles are required!!!

Seaquest was always a fave of mine. Did anyone here send away and get the "Bucket Brigade" patch?

Got mine at home.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Henry - you are truly a man among boys.

We are basking in your patch-having glory.

(bask, bask, bask)

Dang - I wish I had a set of those darn paddles. I don't even own an Atari anymore, but I am obsessed now with getting a set of paddles. Ebay here I come.

Ben O.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Hey everyone check it out - Brother O. came through again.


We don't have to embark on another long and pointless expedition.

Ben O. (Questless and loving it)

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Ben O. and Brother O. - you will not believe this, but Sister O. and I have been gathering together just the sort of thing you are writing about, for a garage sale, and we actually came across a box full of Atari treasures, very likely the exact collection that you three adventurers wasted a good afternoon and a few good dollars on! What will you give me for them? MOM

8:26 PM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Everyone? What should I give Mom for MY OWN Atari stuff that I worked so hard to accumulate?

Would you settle for my undying love and affection?

The saddest thing is that they cost less than the amount you would have to pay to ship them to me now.

Ben O.

8:41 PM  
Blogger MAX said...

Thanks for visiting my site! Your's is cool as well. I like your layout... very cool and clean... easy to read. You're funny! I'll heep reading. :)

Hey! I play guitar too!


10:32 PM  
Blogger Colin said...


Thanks for popping into my blog and leaving a note of good wishes. Much appreciated.

Your blog is witty and interesting - think I'll pop back soon.


1:34 AM  
Blogger LB said...

I didn't have an Atari or Colecovision. To poor :-(
Got my first job and spent my entire first paycheck on a Super Nintendo system. Spent the next 42 days playing Super Mario Bros. Three words, Best..Game...Ever!

6:08 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

What a grand adventure!! I'm just sorry you were so disappointed by the outcome...

one of my brothers-in-law made a killing on ebay a couple of years ago, from buying Nintendos from Goodwill,etc and cleaning/repairing them. Nostalgia sells almost as well as sex, apparently.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Terri said...

MOM you're my idol! Make 'im pay... how about, "You can have the stuff if you finish that TV Economics course..."???

11:16 AM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Terri - keep quiet. :)

Max - what kind of guitar do you have? Just curious.

Box - Super Mario Brothers ruled. I loved jumping on the turtle to get all the free lives. Remember that?

Mom does rock, doesn't she?

Ben O.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Little Miss said...


ah, crap...you already thought of that. sorry.

8:30 PM  

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