Alameda Eeks: Pinball-Cool Halloween High Jinks

Alameda's Pacific Pinball Museum welcomes the haunting season.

BUMPERS GO BOO: It isn't too much of a stretch to connect the love of pinball with an affection for Halloween. Pinball arcades are typically low-lit, the better to show off all of those glowing colors and lights and blinking bulb and Halloween? It's our annual low-lit holiday. Also, both the destination and the occasion encourage friend gatherings and both are built on strong elements of fantasy. Nope, you're probably never going to play a pinball machine that's themed to a legal firm or a dentist's office -- though someone should make that, because that would kind of rule -- but you will play a machine that depicts scary creatures of the deep or Dracula or outlandish supernatural scenarios. Thus, we like to see the two natural partners dovetail, and if there is a heaping helping of laffs thrown in? Bonus points, ding ding ding ding. (Aside: Is "ding ding ding ding" more slot machine or pinball arcade? We'll lean toward the latter.) If you like Halloween, comedy, and pinball, and you're an adult, not a tot, then make for Alameda and the Pacific Pinball Museum on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 26.

WHY? Because the museum is hosting "Scared Stiff," a costume-up bash that'll feature a gaggle of funny people telling joke and a whole bunch of pinballists playing a lot of their favorite game. Tickets are twenty bucks, you should be 18 or older, and you can arrive early, before the party, and "play pinball all day -- no extra charge." Seriously, is that music to the fan's ears? We've all dug around various pockets for just one more quarter, only to find a handful of lint. Just remember that if you do arrive early for mega-pinball-marathoning, take care not to sweat *too* hard inside your costume. Really, does any game make a person glisten more? There's a cliffhanger every time a ball lands in a kickout hole. Which way will it roll?

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