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EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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April 18th, 2005


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12:53 am - The Head
THE SCENE: The corner of Elm and Porter Streets, Somerville.

Look both ways before crossing the street, ok, no cars, let's cross, all right, very good, let's go up Porter now.
Couple kissing, twelve o'clock! Reroute path so as to not disturb them.
Sure, avoid them at all costs and try not to seethe. Bitter much?
Listen, we know how I feel about public displays of affection when we don't have the ability to do the sa-- HEY! KEYBOARDS!
Tonight must be trash night.
Holy cats, check out all these keyboards on the sidewalk! One, two, three boxes full!
Who would throw away so many keyboards?
And an old printer with tractor-feed, look at that!
Some office must have just upgraded all their stuff. Or gone out of business. Most of this stuff probably doesn't work.
And hey, there's a sign! FREE! Oh boy! My four favorite letters in the alphabet!
Well, there's actually only three letters there, one's just repeated and--
Get a load of the monitor.
We don't need another monitor, we've got plenty.
But what about keyboards? What if there's a Model M?
Oh, go ahead, look. But I don't want us taking away too much stuff out of here.
Model M, Model M, Model M, Model M...
I bet this is all just a trap to lure unsuspecting computer geeks into complacency. Any minute now someone's gonna jump over that hedge and club us and then won't we be sorry.
Rats! No Model M. Just a buncha Gateways and NECs, one Digital keyboard tho.
Don't touch it! It's even cruddier than the one we've got. And the keys don't feel the same.
Would've been nice to have found a Model M in this haul. We could've crowed about it on LiveJournal.
Didn't think there would be one. Most of the good stuff's probably already been taken.
Oh yeah? Whaddya call THAT? Look! "Sears TeleGames Home Arcade."
The plastic's totally yellowed. It probably doesn't work.
Ye gods, what a find! This was Sears' own Intellivision knockoff!
We sure about that? It's probably just one of those elderly systems that only plays fifty-nine variants on Pong.
No, it's the Intellivision one, look, here are the controllers with the movement discs, and the keypads, and here's the slot for the cartridges. Let's take it!
Are we crazy?! We hated Intellivision as a kid! It was Atari or nothing!
But some of the games were fun, remember the frog pond one? Or the Dungeons & Dragons one?
We had fierce loyalties back then. Carter over Reagan, Atari over Intellivision, Coke over Pepsi...
Well the Coke one was because we had a crush on the daughter of the guy who owned the Coke plant in town.
Listen, this ain't gonna happen. Refuse to take it.
You sure? Because if we don't, it's ONLY GOING TO BE THROWN AWAY.
Oh, don't you start with that.
Can you handle knowing that without our intervention, this wonderful piece of plastic and electronics, which probably made some kid happy over 20 years ago, is going to be relegated to the landfill?
I'm not listening...
We doom it to spending eternity unused, unloved, shattered, broken, bleeping and blooping no more...
You KNOW what object empathy does to us!
It's gonna cryyyyyyyy!
SHUT UP!
ACTUALLY, WE SHOULDN'T TAKE IT.
Aw, fuck, it's Voice of Reason.
Who the hell let him back in here?
THERE'S TOO MANY THINGS GOING AGAINST THIS ONE, GUYS. FOR ONE, THERE'S NO RF MODULATOR. WITHOUT IT, WE WON'T BE ABLE TO HOOK IT UP TO THE TV.
We can probably get one at Radio Shack.
WE HATE GOING TO RADIO SHACK. AND BESIDES, THERE'S NO GAMES TO GO WITH IT. OH SURE, A VIDEO GAME SYSTEM WITH NO GAMES IS GONNA BE LOOOOOADS OF FUN.
Someone's about to suggest eBay, although we hate it and haven't used it since like 2001.
Hey, when eBay works, it works...
I'M PUTTING THE KIBOSH ON THAT ONE RIGHT NOW. NO EBAY, NO FLEA MARKETS, NO WANT ADVERTISER, NO NOTHING. THE CONSOLE MAY BE FREE, BUT THE SEARCH FOR GAMES WOULD TURN INTO A COSTLY OBSESSION. JUST DOWNLOAD AN EMULATOR AND SOME ROMS IF YOU REALLY WANT TO PLAY THAT FROG POND ONE THAT BAD.
Whoa, wait, Voice of Reason is advocating illegal ROM downloads?
OH BITE ME, IT'S ABANDONWARE.
Bite me. Now there's a punchline we haven't used since, say, Junior High.
Oh, all right, we won't take the game.
MOST LIKELY SOME RETRO-GAMER HIPSTER TYPE WILL FIND IT. THERE'S PLENTY TO GO AROUND NEAR PORTER AND DAVIS.
We could point this out to the kissing couple.
THEY'RE LONG GONE.
Maybe we could point it out on LiveJournal! Corner of Elm and Porter, guys, just across from the back of the Starbucks & laundromat!
GOOD IDEA.
hey guys are we gonna be much longer? there's a sandwich in our backpack that ain't gonna eat itself!
OH STOMACH, YOU AND FOOD, IS THAT ALL YOU THINK ABOUT?

Everybody laughs. Exeunt, pursued by Freud.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:redtheblue
Date:April 18th, 2005 06:41 am (UTC)
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My brain crew learned the hard way: outmoded systems Are Not Worth It. Cartidges found on were hard enough to keep working the first time around. Plus they often smell like someone tried to see if they could play them on their litter box or something.
You should've taken the controllers, though. They can be modded so you can use them with your emulator.
[User Picture]
From:minkrose
Date:April 18th, 2005 06:52 am (UTC)
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*grin*
you do a better job with this than I ever do (mine don't get posted).
[User Picture]
From:foldedfish
Date:April 18th, 2005 01:09 pm (UTC)
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That was my downstairs neighbor -- who does computer hardware repair for a living -- cleaning out his closets. The tractor-feed printer worked. And there were originally eight boxes of keyboards.
[User Picture]
From:crankyliberal
Date:April 18th, 2005 01:39 pm (UTC)
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I'm just glad I'm not the only one who is overwhelmed with desire to take things just because they're free.
[User Picture]
From:malconstant
Date:April 18th, 2005 02:22 pm (UTC)

Oh, the internal debate...

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I don't know how many times I've had the same fight with common sense. Since I've had a basement of my own for the last eight years, however, I usually just sucker-punch sense and take the crap while it's distracted.

I don't even know what I've got in my basement any more. I occasionally go through the deadest of dead stuff and strip out useful parts, which I file away neatly into sealed plastic tubs. I still don't do anything with them after that -- I have my own weight in salvaged stepper motors -- but at least it's organized.

Every once in a while, my condo wheels in a big dumpster for bulk items and I pitch the debris and most useless stuff. However, when that dumpster comes a'callin', it means even more neat crap that would otherwise go to waste!

If only Linux had higher hardware requirements; I'd feel less obliged to rescue outmoded computers.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 18th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)

Re: Oh, the internal debate...

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Oh, the equipment salvage game is a dangerous one. It was especially bad when I worked for Compaq; there were several cubes near me in the Marlboro office filled with old DEC stuff you could take out on "indefinite loan." Every now and then I'd dip in to see what new stuff had been added, hoping for an elusive VT320 terminal for the bathroom. Eventually I ended up with several Digital PCs, at least one monitor with BNC cables, and an AlphaServer 400 which didn't want to play with either its CDROM (and caddy!) or the ancient ethernet card in it, which is probably why it was in the junk cubes in the first place. But it makes a dandy doorstop and conversation piece, even if the conversation usually is along the lines of "Why do you have that busted computer hanging around in the first place?"
[User Picture]
From:cheezdanish
Date:April 18th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC)
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I am sniggering and chuckling. You do a damn fine inner monologue. Hooray.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 18th, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC)
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Monologue? There's an entire freakin dinner party going on in here sometimes.
[User Picture]
From:elvisclooney
Date:April 18th, 2005 04:17 pm (UTC)
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Dude. What you should have thought of was the converse of buying the cartridges on eBay -- sell the console on eBay instead.

Some fanboy somewhere is dying to get his hands on one somewhere
[User Picture]
From:nolly
Date:April 18th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
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The name of the frog game is Frog Bog, should you decide to go ROM hunting.
Alas, I seem to have lost my copy years ago.
It was my first video game.
I still have the INTV, too.

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