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The Arcade Bunkin' Coalition
Most of us have been a member of the ABC at one time or another and the ones that haven't probably won't be the kind to be reading this type of journal anyway........so fuck'em on the horse that Mummy & Daddy bought them to ride in on. I'm on about spending afternoons aimlessly trying to direct a hatchet throwing caveman on a skateboard through some weird world, always trying hard to obtain the next level. When you should've been in a double lesson of Tech Drawing, trying hard to unhook Sue Smiths bra-strap off her shoulder with a T-Square......Sorry! I meant to type, trying hard to obtain a decent CSE level. Me I was pretty shit at them arcade games -and unhooking bra straps as it goes- but it still didn't stop me from spending every afternoon in an arcade bunkin' off school.
The place I frequented wasn't so much an arcade, more of a back room to a video shop crammed full of about six machines. Before the shop opened the back room up, we used to congregate around an Asteroids machine stationed in the doorway of the Kwik Save across the road. The video shop was squeezed between a Sports Shop and a pub - it's now a Bargain Booze squashed between a Pet Shop and a two for the price of one eating establishment.
Of an afternoon you would get about 15-20 of us all from the same year squashed into the minute foggy dark room at the back of the shop, all sucking on Embassy Filters trying to blow smoke rings, in between pressing the jump button for your mate who was after a record in the 110metre hurdles on Track'n'Field. If some of the girls turned up there would be a good 30+ and the throng would spill out the back fire exit, were there would be a swallee of spit swapping going on along the back wall.
We were the hoodies of our time and of course mischief did occur on occasions. Me & another kid noticed that when the woman from behind the counter went for a piss, she left amble time for us to sneak up and rifle the till (we done it for about a week only taking about a tenner each time - why go for the big one and bring it on top? When you can juice it everyday with out detection - plus there was only every 60 odd quid in it to begin with). It did come on top in there one afternoon when some big dickhead jemmied all the machines open then got off with an amble amount of coins and everyone played on free credits for the rest of the day. It closed the next day and never re-opened it's arcade bit at the back again.
With the closure of our safe bunkin' haven, it meant our afternoon jaunts were a bus ride away in the centre of town and what we found there was your standard game machines like Donkey Kong, Millipede , Battlefield,Galaxian , Ghosts & Gobblins, Scramble, Starforce,Pac-Man, Alpine Ski And that Star Wars one were you had to destroy the Death Star in Associated Leisure. But if you ventured to the rougher Pighill, they had machines of the fruit variety that paid out money (sometimes) as well as taking it. I was hooked immediately and have only recently just over come my addiction with those Devil machines with flashing lights and whoop whoopin' voices (I can now enter a bar without playing a' fruity'...praise the Lord!). With a load more shops in proximity it also meant a lot more shoplifting sprees were just a grab and stuff in the coat/pants away. Boot's was our favourite as we hovered around the smelly section trying to heist box-sets of mandate aftershave & deodorant.
The addiction to arcades cooled down after leaving school and I kissed them good bye for good, when I started drinking in pubs. The one thing I couldn't kiss goodbye too was my addiction with shoplifting. Although, I think I have suppressed it to a more minimal effort, now that I've reached middle age. My shoplifting jaunts these days only consist of: the odd Mars Bar from the garage when paying for petrol and a few crates of lager left under the shopping trolley when passing through the check-out and the Spiderman toys from the Department Store for the bin-lid and the papers & a Red Bull every Sunday from the Spar and the Midi Keyboard from PC World and endless amounts of aftershave/perfume/nice bottles of red/ciggies when ever I pass through a duty free....yep I think I've got this addiction well and truly sussed.
Check Wonder Boys blog out at: http://arcadebunkincoalition.blogspot.com/
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