Every story has a beginning. The story of how I acquired my first arcade cabinet is no exception. It started when I was contacted by an old high school friend on Facebook. She told me that she was selling off her vintage 1980 Pac-Man arcade cocktail table. The price was right, so we took a three hour road trip to Atlanta to pick it up.
Before arriving, she sent me a text that she could smell a dead rat in the room, but she was pretty sure it wasn't inside the game. When we got there, there was definitely the smell of a dead animal. When we closed the coin door, it got better, so we were pretty sure the rat actually was in the cabinet.
We ignored our instincts and continued on visiting with my friend. After catching up on our lives, we loaded the arcade cabinet in the car and headed out on our way home. About thirty minutes in, the smell was too much and I had to do something about it. We stopped at a gas station in the Georgia countryside. There was a lot of light, so I decided to see if I could see anything in the arcade cabinet. I opened the coin door and, sure enough, in the back corner was a furry blob.
I wasn't sure how to proceed. I thought about using napkins to get rid of it, but there was too much of a chance that I'd actually touch the thing. So I went inside looking for rubber gloves. It turns out that there was a restaurant inside and there was a box of gloves on the counter next to the cash register. I asked the lady who was cleaning the restaurant if I could have a few because there was a dead rat in my car and I didn't want to touch it. She took pity on me and gave me a few.
So, I went back out to the car and proceeded to remove the rodent from the car. As soon as I grabbed onto its limp body, I was in a state of shock. I had to get rid of it quick, so tossed it on the ground behind the car. Laurie was filming the whole thing and let out a loud scream. The police officer on the other side of the parking lot looked up from his business, but once he realized that we were safe, he continued on doing his thing.
I picked the rat up off the ground and tossed it in the trash can.
We continued home with the smell getting better as the miles went on. When we got home, I heard Laurie let out a blood curdling scream. I went over to see what it was. There were maggots crawling on the floor of the car on her leftover food container.
The car was full of maggots. I spent the next hour inspecting every square inch of the car to make sure that I got rid of every one of them.
Laurie now has a new name for our car...
So, that's the beginning of the story. I look forward to the rest of the story as I work to restore this arcade cabinet to its full glory.