Wednesday, December 15, 1999

RaNTing of a C0untryman - Part 2

Chilling 1983, the year of the coldest winter in the Pairies, with the "Chinook" wind blowing at 40 mp/h; temperatures was below the -30°C range. The place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Edmonton Oilers (ice-hockey team) were having a good season. I was the new kid in town.
Staying on campus at U of Alberta was cool and cold. Cool because there were three foosball tables on campus. Cold because, I was from Malaysia... =)

Edmonton was strange and new to me (before I found out about the foosball tables). Staying in Lister Hall dormitory was not exactly exciting. We used "Monopoly-type" money to buy our food and being an Asian, I love meatloaf and liver.... hmmm... yummy!! Apparently, my room mates have a problem with that. Hey, to me that was my high point in staying at the dorm... =)

During that semester, I made a lot of new foosball friends. And I have to tell you about this guy called Ken. There is a mall-type apartment on campus called Hub Mall. It is "H" shape (cross-section) with the ground floor being a drive through. The shops are just above the drive-through and on top of the shops are three floors of apartments overlooking the shops. Pretty cool. Anyways, Ken's mom owned a video arcade centre there and he was there to take care of the shop.

The first time I was there, I walked to the coin counter and got some quarters from Ken. There were no foos players there at that time. So, as I normally would do, I pumped my quarters in and started to practice my back-pin shots alone. Ken came over to watch as I was practicing. He was wearing a jacket and his left hand was inside the pockets. He asked me for a game and I happily welcomed him.
Ken looks about 22 years old, and was a skinny and short, about 5' 3". His hair was parted down the center and the face is shaped with a pretty squared jawline with thin lips for his mouth, that somehow put an almost permanent smirk on his face.

Without looking up as I placed the ball into the serving cup, I prepared to serve. As I served the ball, I looked up and was stunned!!! Ken is WITHOUT a left hand!!! He was using the stump of his wrist where his left hand used to be, to control the five men. "Wait a minute," I thought. "What the..." I was either too polite (yeah right) or for fear of offending him, kept my thoughts to myself. I lost 5-0 to him that first game. For a guy without a hand, his five-men control was amazing (put some of us to shame).

Since that first game, I became a regular at Ken's place. In between classes, I would dropped by and we would have a couple of games.

And it was at Ken's place that I met Edward and Frank. Two brothers who are really into foosing. These guys would drop by during the evening and we would foos into the night, playing at every foos joints in Edmonton. This went on for the four years that I was there.

End of Part 2

No comments:

Post a Comment