Please share your story.
Mine took place responding to an add on Craigslist. The title was something like, "Pinball Machine For Sale" $250.00. There were no pictures or any further description. I responded anyways since it was only a few towns over from me. They were nice enough to take some pictures and send it to me. It ended up being a Gottlieb Timeline that was in pretty nice shape. Didn't see any wear on the playfield or anything major. So... we set up a time to meet at his place a couple days later.
This guy opens his garage and I meet him. My first initial thought was he was a really nice guy. I started to look around and there is stuff piled everywhere in the garage. Clothes, Toys, boxes, coat hangers, and just the most random stuff. I asked if he was moving. He said that they HAD to move. We made some more small talk and proceeded into the house. As soon as I put one foot in the house, I said OHHH You have cats!?Not because I seen one but mainly because it smelled like cat pee. Then, I met his wife, his kids, and... the grandfather? Well, the kids were hyper and running around screaming and chasing after the cats, the grandfather was mumbling in the corner watching a game show on the television at full volume, and the wife was overweight, a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, and glued to a rocking chair with her hair in curlers and yelling on the phone. I felt like I was going to get entertained that night.
The further we walked into this house, the more I wanted to turn back and leave. There were holes in the walls, lamps without the shades over them, carpet halfway ripped up, cracked tiles... just destroyed. But I was curious. I was curious what was up with this family. He seemed like such a normal guy but his family was just nuts.
We walk into the kitchen and I notice more people in the dining room. I waved and said hello and we proceeded to go into the basement where the pinball machine was. The smell of cat urine was even stronger than before. I was getting dizzy from the smell. Then, I got the basement stairs and put one foot on the basement floor. I took another step and my shoes stuck to the floor. It was just a basement floor of old sticky dried up cat piss. Holy shit. This guys like, yep! This is where the kids come and play and hang out. I just smile nod. Yep. Let's see that pinball machine. I looked it over. I turned it on but the game was just locked up in a loop. I knew work would need to be done. But it was a complete game with the manual. He said the last owners of the house left it there and now they are moving and don't want to move it out of the house. Really okay?! This dude was just telling me he wanted to rip out the bar he had in the basement and move that into their new place! That house needed to be burned down.
I asked him how much. He said he didn't really know the value. I told him a lot of work will need to be done to get it up and running again. $50.00 he said? Sold. Got my tools out and took that thing apart as fast as I could. HOLLLLLYYY CRAP!!! The bottom of this cabinet has some of the biggest blackest fattest spiders I've ever seen! They looked like they could really mess some people up if they bit.
We got it to the point of taking it upstairs. Had a hard time positioning the utility dolly since it was such a tight squeeze. All i wanted to do was leave! NOW!!! We had enough. We were able to get it out. Shook hands with the guy and said GOOD LUCK!! Immediately felt really dirty after leaving. We ended up in a fast food joint on the way home to wash our hands.
I'll never forget that day as long as I own this pinball machine. Just another experience in the world of Pinball.