Road Trips


  Total distance traveled: 392 miles
  Between Warrenton, MO and Kansas City, MO

7/02/10. This is the day that I picked up my Emergency Call Ambulance sit-down driver. However, my story does not begin on that day, but actually started one week prior.

Flashback to the week before: I had been saving some money for my next arcade purchase. Summer was in full swing and my boss just left for a 2 week vacation that Friday. The next day, Saturday, was my 20 year class reunion. Unfortunately I never made it to my class reunion. At 4AM that morning I was rushed to the emergency room with severe stomach pains. After doing some blood tests, a CAT scan and an ultrasound the doctors determined that my problems were related to my gall bladder. It was going to have to be removed. For those medically uninformed, the human body can survive just fine without the gall bladder. It is simply a storage mechanism for the liver, and after it's removed the liver still does its function and releases bile into the digestive system normally. The main surgery was scheduled for that Monday.

So the day came and I had my surgery. I wake up in the recovery area and after coming to from the anesthesia I was under the impression that I was working on a broken computer. I kept telling the nurse that I had to fix a hard drive and she kept telling me that I was in the recovery room. After some of the anesthesia wore off I was taken to my hospital room and was put on a heavy pain medication called Dilaudid. This was some serious stuff, let me tell you. You have to guess they just removed an organ so it was some of the strongest stuff they have. A few hours after surgery, my lovely wife had to leave for home to check up on some things. Before she left she handed me my laptop with wireless internet connectivity to keep me company while she was gone. Apparently fresh out of surgery, full of medication, arcades were on my mind. I began to browse ebay for arcade related items much like anybody would read the daily newspaper. I happen to stumble upon a driving game where you are an ambulance and have to rush emergency victims to the hospital before they die. This game was called Emergency Call Ambulance. Now this is where things get weird and kind of hazy.

{My mental thought process}
***Check this game out, you drive people to the hospital, Hey I'm in a hospital, that's kind of cool...Look at that low bid, look at that, wow the auction is getting ready to end, what to do? what to do?***

So what do you think I did in my current state of mind? I threw out another low bid of course! Next thing I know I won the game, an ambulance driving game, while in the hospital, hours out of surgery, on heavy medication. SERIOUSLY, WHAT JUST HAPPENED? I was still in serious pain, had incisions and stitches in my stomach, and this game was on the other side of the state 3 hours away. What did I just do?

Worst part was I had to explain this to my wife what I did when she got back, that was NOT fun. Of course I blamed her for leaving me alone in the hospital on medication with a wireless laptop, but I don't think she bought it. So as soon as I healed up enough from surgery I had to embark on the weirdest purchase and reason for a road trip EVER.

So begins my road trip to pick up this game on the following Friday on 7/02/10. Luckily we were picking this game up from an arcade company in Kansas City, as I was in no condition to be loading up a game for hauling. I would have the workers get me loaded up. We were coming from the St. Louis area and heading to Kansas City, the other side of the state. We load up the van with my 2 year old, my 4 month old, my wife and a pull trailer to go pick up this game. Thanks to my trusty GPS and some clear skies the drive there was effortless. I show up at the company I bought the game from and walk inside the main office. I met the owner of the company and he said he had been having one of those days. He explained that they had a shipping company bringing in 2 truckloads of games. The first truckload was 20 crane games. When it arrived, 15 out of 20 crane games had all the glass broken out of them. Furthermore, the shipping company was refusing to take responsibility and said if they attempted to file an insurance claim then they would not deliver the second truckload. They kept good on their promise too, and already recalled the second truck. Wow, just wow. THAT is the reason I pick up all my own games, I do not trust a shipping company nor anybody else to deliver my games safely to me.

So they finally take me to the warehouse and let me see and test drive the game I was so eager to get while heavily medicated in the hospital. The game looked good and worked just fine so I was ready to load up. The workers rolled the game onto my trailer and I got busy strapping it down. Apparently the game was top heavy and was shifting back and forth on the trailer which was giving my wife a near heart attack. She asked me how much it would cost to deliver to our house and I told her they were quoting $250. She begged me to take it back inside and have them deliver it. No thank you. Plus, I was already there and after that shipping company debacle breaking all those crane games, it just wasn't going to happen. I get the game strapped down with 100 feet of rope and 8 tie down straps. I told her the trailer would flip over with the game still strapped to it before the game fell off. Apparently that didn't give her much comfort. Thankfully it was a pleasant drive on the way home. After getting the game home my older son helped unload the game along with my wife. Thank God she was a good sport about the whole thing and helped me out.

I always shop out my games even when they are working 100%. After thoroughly going over the game I found $6.75 in quarters and $1.25 in tokens buried deep inside the coin box (not the bucket). Very nice, shave that off the final price of the game. The tokens were from Namco Arcade, Aladdin's Castle and Grand Casino from Biloxi, Mississippi. This game sure got around in 11 years. Plus there were department of revenue stickers from the state of Texas on the game as well as Namco Arcade property stickers on there. Mind you the final destination is now with me, a collector in Missouri, time to give the game a rest. I have to give a big thanks to my wife for dealing with the bizarre nature of this whole purchase and the ensuing road trip. I must confess, this was my weirdest purchase yet, mainly due to the circumstances of which I bought the game.

Repairs and Restoration
  • Adjusted the flyback and monitor controls for a nice, bright picture.
  • Had to degauss the monitor with a manual degaussing wand.
  • Fixed some T-molding that was coming off.
  • Fixed 2 cut speaker wires.
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