Monday, August 24, 2015

Harry Potter and the Mysterious Brown Envelope

There have been many stories told over the years about extra items that have been found inside the conveniently cavernous and relatively discreet innards of amusement machines. As with all tall tales, you have to discount most of them as damned lies, but the things I have heard about include piles of cash, 'medicinal herbs', 'marital aids', firearms, bottles of unlabelled moonshine, false limbs, musical instruments and of course bongo magazines. Essentially everything short of Lord Lucan and Shergar. My friend once bought an old Tempest arcade cabinet at an auction and found inside a box of 3.5" floppy disks (ask your granddad what these were, kids) with girls' names written in a serial killer scrawl in vivid pink ink on the labels. He threw them away straight away without looking any further and throughly washed his hands four times. I think I would have done the same.

Inside the Judge was none of the above, but a large fairly heavy brown envelope. Opening it, at first I was a little disappointed that there were no deeds to a castle inside but was soon happy with what was present. It was pretty much the machine's entire documentation.

A bit of light reading.

"Congratulations on choosing the Mega City One fascistic law enforcement officer.
Please read the instructions carefully and it should give years of trouble free judging, jurying and executing."

This paperwork is usually missing from well travelled machines. It is often separated and lost over time on the machine's long journey from owner to owner. It is essentially a collection of instructions and pages full of frightening Star Trek style schematics and illustrations listing switches, solenoids, circuit diagrams and bulbs – pretty much everything in and on the machine that you can refer to when it needs fixing, replacing or testing. Which it will at some point.

Yup, all looks straightforward...

Yes, I still laugh at the word 'flasher'. I am a child.
Whilst all of this bumf is widely available and can easily be downloaded gratis from the internet, I thought it was nice that I had the actual tangible document that I could refer to instead of peering at an iPad screen. I imagine these books will be heavily thumbed through soon with pages folded over, pencil notes written in the margins and dirty fingerprints adorning the edges like a Haynes manual for a classic car. It was now time to jump in as the replacement parts had started to arrive!

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