Pick Date: 2/01/08    Nintendo games are the bomb. I mean come on, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. Popeye and Mario Bros. Mario games have now spanned 25 years of arcade goodness and Mario Bros was the first time he had his own show. My brother and I would feed quarters into this game anytime we would find one. We would orchestrate our moves in unison during a two player game with as much finesse as a group of Russian ballet dancers. Turtles, crabs and fireflies, it didn't matter which enemy it was we would send them all back to hell. It comes as no surprise that Mario Bros was on my top 5 list of most wanted games. I finally own one, and even better it is a dedicated wide body. A lot of Mario Bros games were kits to convert nintendo cabs with low money earnings. However, nintendo released a special wide body cab just for this game to give 2 players a little more elbow room when playing.

It was a long time coming, but 2/01/08 I got to pick up a dedicated wide body Mario Bros arcade. I sold my Contra for the cash and the extra space just for this game. I put so many quarters in this game as a kid that I could have bought a brand new one back in 1983. This was on my top 5 list of wanted games to round out my collection.

The night before the big road trip: Snow. Lots and lots of snow. Give me a break already. Everytime I go to pick up an arcade the weather is terrible. Its never sunny and the birds are never singing. I get up early, start up the car, clean off the van and have my daughter shovel the driveway. Hey, they called off school so I'm going to put her to work. So I load up the baby and the misses and we take off for Kansas City.

I pickup the game in Kansas City and then we stopped at a mexican restaurant called "On The Border" to freshen up a bit and have a little lunch. Afterwards we head home. About 1.5 hours away from home, our van suddenly lost power even though the engine was still running. We pull over to the side of the road and start to check out every gear including reverse. Damn. Nothing. I think the transmission is gone. So here I am, stuck on the side of the highway, 100 miles from home, with a wife, baby and a monster sized arcade in the back. What do we do...oh what do we do.

So we call May's Towing and Repair from our local town and ask for a tow and a ride, 100 miles from home. See pictures below. The plan was to get a ride back to the repair shop and then have a neighbor come pick us up. We still wasn't sure what to do about the arcade in the back of the van but at least we would be able to get home. Someone shows up 1 hour and 20 minutes later. The tow truck driver's name was Ron. Ron was a very nice fellow, and I enjoyed his company. Being stuck in a tow truck cab for 1hour and 20 minutes you can do one of 2 things. Either have uncomfortable silence or else chat up the driver. Apparently Ron had been having lots of marital problems with his wife cheating on him with someone on the internet. He really needed someone to listen to his problems, and I was the man for the job. I listened to his problems, and gave him my best advice. By the end of the trip Ron was affectionately referring to me as "J". After we pull into town Ron and I had quite the manly bond going on.

I lean over and ask, "Hey Ron, do you think you can drop me off at my house instead of the repair shop". "Sure J", he replies. I ask another question "Hey Ron, do you think I can unload my van when we get to my house". "Sure J", he replies. "Hey Ron I have a Mario Bros arcade in the back of the van I want to unload, do you think you can lower the flat bed so I can get it out?". Ron replies, "A Mario Bros, are you serious, you mean one of those big ones? I loved that game back in the day. Do you have a Donkey Kong?" "I sure do", I replied. "If you help me unload the Mario Bros I'll show you all my arcade games". So ends the saga to a long day. Ron gives me front door service to my house, lowers the van out of the flat bed and helps me unload my Mario Bros and take it into the basement arcade. He then disappears into the night as he takes my van to the repair shop.

What's the moral of the story? Tow truck drivers are people too. Treat them with respect and they just might tow home your next arcade game.

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