Quarters were like gold to me as a kid. I would save them until I had several, and I had a specific use for quarters that had nothing to do with a piggy bank. The source of deposit for my quarters? The arcade game Galaga.
The small convenience store on the corner of the street on which I grew up had Galaga in a back corner of the store for years. I would go to the store, sometimes buy a soda (I called it pop because people from Colorado call it pop), or a candy bar, and then plant myself at Galaga. The duration of play depended on whether or not I had brought my “A” game, and, of course, how many quarters I had in my pocket.
Today I discovered that the place where Adam gets his haircut has an old school Galaga console in the back. I’m not sure why it’s there because visitors are typically not there long and spend most of their time supervising the cutting of their kid’s hair, so it seems like a waste to have it sitting there.
Over the last few years I’ve seen an emergence of Galaga in the form of new, upright consoles that combine two classic Namco/Midway arcade games from the 1980s: Galaga and Ms. Pacman. I was never into the Pacman games, so if given a choice between a classic upright Galaga console and one with both Galaga and Ms. Pacman, I’d go with the Galaga-only version.
Galaga is really the only arcade game I thoroughly enjoyed. There are web and hacked versions available online, but I’m a purist. The only time I play Galaga is when I find the upright console. Incidentally, the correct pronunciation of the word Galaga seems to be open to interpretation. If anyone knows the correct pronunciation or comes across a reliable source that can confirm and explain the pronunciation, please share.
Maybe I should scrounge up some quarters and go hang out at the kid’s hair salon for a couple hours. “Sir, do you have a child with you who needs a haircut?” “Nope. I’m here for Galaga! Do you have any pop?”