It’s not the pinball you’re thinking of. When I was in Grand River Elementary School, pinball was a modification of the game more commonly known as dodge-ball or bombardment. The only difference was each team has a single bowling pin at the back of their side of the gym which was set directly under the basketball hoop. This pin was guarded by a goalie who ideally had lightning quick reflexes and the ability to absorb the punishment it took to absorb the full thunder the the heavy nerf-type ball as that the teams would wail at the pin. Don’t laugh when I say nerf, the thing was heavier than the red kickball of death and arguably packed just as much as a wallup.

The toughest class in our school was Mr. Vance’s sixth grade class. Mr. Vance was a Vietnam vet, he was tough as nails, and his kids seemed to be cut from the same cloth. It was too good to be coincidental, the kids in our school suspected that he hand picked his students from each incoming class. The next toughest squad was Mrs. Murphy’s sixth graders. Mrs. Murphy was nothing to jump up and down about but her kids were athletes, and much to be feared from in the sport of present discussion. Next down the chain was my class, Mr. Huston’s class of 5th and 6th graders.

Don’t ask me why our class was 50/50, I don’t remember and wouldn’t even be able to hazard a guess. All I remember is that I was one of the fifth graders and we youngsters were good enough so that our class was fit to be named among the elite, despite the fact that half of us were a year younger than the other squads. We also had Mike Wilson who was quite possibly the toughest kid to ever come out of the sixth grade (if memory serves me I think he did eventually graduate to 7th but don’t hold me to that). The other point of order is that although I was one of the smallest ones on the court, my dexterity and hand/eye coordination had earned me the spot as our team’s goalie.

So one day before our big match with Mrs. Murphy’s class Mr. Huston, due to popular demand, broke out the record player and blared our class’s current favorite, “We Will Rock You”. It wasn’t really asking all that much of him because since he was gay I’m 90% certain he already owned the album as it was by Queen, but at any rate the music had us all pumped up and ready to face the vaunted Mrs. Murphy’s class.

We met them in the hallway and they came out shouting “We’re gonna destroy you, we just got done playing ‘We Will Rock You!'”

“Oh yeah?” we replied. “So did we!”

The entrance into the gym that day was reminiscent of a Superbowl Sunday.

Our teams tied 1-1.

6 Responses to “Pinball”

  1. Phelps says:

    When I hear pinball I think of Jodie Foster.

  2. Pentagod says:

    1… 2… 3… 4…

    Pound that….

  3. L says:

    Oh Your God! I Loved Pinball. We called it pin dodge though and had two pins and gaurds at each side. My whole class was tarded though, (think Idiocracy)and sometimes the stupid pin guards would accidentally knock over their own pin. We also played with almost but not quite fully inflated volley balls so they hurt really bad.

  4. mexi says:

    If it was called pin dodge, technically you all should have been chucking pins at each other.

  5. Anglo says:

    You got lucky. We didn’t even get the heavy rubber balls in my school. We got light foam balls that were a joke and only went like ten feet and you had to throw your shoulder out just to get it to go over the line

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