A Blast from the Past

I’ve always loved games.  Board games — especially Monopoly, where I learned to cheat.  Card games — especially Spades — I have so many memories of playing that — with two decks! — with my extended family.  My family also played a game called Demon.  It’s like group solitaire on crack — before crack existed.

Like many families, we had Pong when I was a girl, and when I left home one of my neighbors in the small Montrose apartment complex had a computer.  This was a big deal, as it was in the early 1980’s.  My neighbor had a game loaded on his computer.  It was JUMPMAN.  I LOVED JUMPMAN.  My neighbor thought I loved him, but I didn’t.  I LOVED JUMPMAN.  I worried more about JUMPMAN surviving hurricane Alicia than I did my neighbor.  I know that is vile.  But it’s true.

My neighbor and I stayed friends for a while after he got rich and bought a house in the heights.  We didn’t play JUMPMAN much anymore, but I did house sit for him a couple of times.  One time I will never forget:  while on the way to his house, with my clothes for the weekend and my goldfish, I had a flat tire at the intersection of Studewood and I10.  I was a little informal back then and was just wearing shorts and a tube top and no shoes.  I was also a little trusting:  my spare was flat and I knew it, but I kept driving my car.

With no spare and very little money (poor student!)  I started walking to a nearby gas station on the other side of the freeway.  I met a group of three people — two male and one female.  They wanted to “help” me.  I told them I was ok, but they followed me to the gas station, where I used my little bit of money to buy one of those cans of fix-a-flat.  While walking back under the freeway, one of them put what I thought (and felt like) a gun to my back and demanded my barefoot, tube top, short wearing no spare ass’s money.

Well, I told them I had just spent what I had at the gas station and offered them the fix-a-flat just when some random guy pulled up in a very nice car and acted like he knew me.  The guy explained to me that his wife was in a car ahead of him and she was on her way home and did I need help.  (Remember this was 1984 or 1985).

The three with whatever it was decided to leave, since my new old friend insisted that he had everything under control.  Once they had left, we introduced ourselves, the guy loaded my flat into his car, he drove to a full service gas station and he paid to get it fixed and then took me back to my car, where we got everything back in good working order, and then we drove over to an ice house (I think it’s still there) on White Oak and had a few beers.

There is that saying that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.  While I wasn’t actually literally mugged that night, perhaps there is no sense to the saying.  I have been mugged exactly three times since that (and I didn’t lie about any of it ever, unlike you know who).

Oh my, I have digressed.

This is my newest most favorite game:  Altshift.  It’s a lot like jumpman, my long lost hero, and so I like it very much.


2 responses to “A Blast from the Past

  1. I was over in that area just last weekend driving through the old neighborhood. My grandmother’s house has been remodled and turned into a two story house. Still it is a nice neighborhood.

  2. I remember you telling me about the infamous Jumpman! I was thinking that you had rediscovered it (maybe there’s a market for retro-games?)

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