Readers, you know the saying “diamonds are a girl’s best friend?”
Me, too. Guess what? IT’S WRONG. Any girl who says diamonds are her best friend has clearly never played skee-ball. If my withered heart finds love someday, I don’t want a man to purpose with a diamond ring… I’d know he’s the real deal if he lugs a skee-ball machine to a romantic spot and then professes his love.
Everything is so much more romantic in my head.
Anyway, I love skee-ball almost as much as I love my cats and free samples. What’s even better is that the bar where I play skee-ball (it should be noted, all my money goes to the game and never to drinks) also has free popcorn AND free peanuts, so it’s like a 3-for-1 deal.
This love story began when I was a mere child, playing endless games of skee-ball at an arcade when I’d go visit my grandparents on Cape Cod. Then, for a time, we were separated (like any star-crossed lovers are, obviously)… until I turned 21 and entered my first bar. This might come as a shock to the three of you, but I’m not much of a PARTIER (except for those fancy free samples, holla!), so I met this “first-time-at-the-bars” moment with an air of indifference.
This all changed when I saw skee-ball across the bar, basking in a halo of poor lighting and underneath a speaker blaring twangy country music (Let’s be honest PROBABLY Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” because it just makes sense). While my friends made their way to the bar, asking what drinks they should shower me with for my B’DAY, I ignored them and basically ran to the skee-ball machine and put in my first dollar.
For the rest of the summer, when my friends were planning a night out, I’d casually and coolly suggest that we should go to the skee-ball bar. “You know, because the drinks are great,” I’d say (except we all knew I was lying because…skee-ball). “You’re NOT playing skee-ball tonight,” they’d say. “Playing so much skee-ball will hurt your game,” some would say to me. To which I’d reply that any man who can’t support my
borderline addiction hobby doesn’t deserve my time, so hand me some more quarters and let’s PLAY.
And then summer ended…and Brothers got rid of my skee-ball machine. I never even got a chance to say goodbye. I went up to the bar and asked “Where did Skee-ball go?” The bartender replied, “No one really played it anyway… so we got rid of it.”
I AM NOT NO ONE! Why didn’t my quarters matter…
So I spent the rest of my senior year feeling lost, going to Brothers and staring longingly at where skee-ball used to be.
Fast-forward a year and now my heart is complete once more because there is a bar right near my apartment that has not only one skee-ball machine… but THREE machines. And free popcorn and peanuts, don’t forget that! So while my friends are spending their hard earned money on dranks, I’m pushing dollar after dollar into skee-ball.
Now, I understand that the three of you might not have had the joy of playing skee-ball before (my heart is breaking for you), I have taken it upon myself to give step-by-step instructions on how to play this spiritually enriching game.
Like most things in life, it’s best to play this game with low expectations, so that when you end up scoring 520 one night (cough LIKE ME cough), you’re pleasantly surprised.
Step one: Find a skee-ball machine.
Step two: Put a dollar into the machine.
Step three: Pick up a skee-ball ball. Feel powerful.
Step four: Channel either a Pokémon Master or a Bad Ass in Leather Jacket who smiles at the camera but REALLY means business.
Step five: Roll the ball and then use a string of profanities when you roll a 10 instead of a 50, but then remember you have low expectations, so it’s cool. Also, have a friend take action shots and make sure your arm looks like it’s evaporating.
Step six: Score high enough so that you can enter your name into a drawing and hope the prize is either a cat or a free sample.
Step seven: Realize your potential as a Skee-ball Professional and solicit endorsements. Add credential to your resume.
Step eight: Let friends drag you away from game once you’ve already spent $6 and you’re reaching for yet another dollar.
And that’s how the game is played, readers. Now go out and find a skee-ball machine near you. Seriously, though, anyone know where I can find an agent? I’m goin’ pro.