Archive for August, 2008


Arcade Auction

So sometimes you have to wake up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning. Other times, you have to wake up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning, drive to Winston-Salem, and storm the fucker. We at The Pinhook are very conscientious about storming the fucker.

The fucker in question was a massive arcade game and entertainment auction that our friend Kyle (of Churchkey Records) hipped us to. We were standing around in the bar one day, and somebody said, “Doggs, we don’t have any arcade games in here, and furthermore we don’t have a pinball machine, and that is a sad tragedy.” Nobody actually said this, but that was the main sentence of the situation. So we rolled out there hard and just destroyed.

By the way, Kyle also woke up at 6:30 and drove out there with us, which was an extremely solid thing to do. Kyle you are a living god.

Some observations:

1. The auction was held in a massive building the size of an airplane hanger. It was packed to bursting with arcade games, pinball machines, those creepy plastic “rides” that very stupid children sit on outside of grocery stores, those horribly frustrating claw machines filled with cheap crap, and other various amusements. There was a photobooth that we really wanted until we realized it had been gutted. There was a cigarette machine that sold for $10 – with cigarettes. I was not going to pay $10 for a useless box filled with 25 year-old Virginia Slims. Somebody threw themselves a goddamn lung party with that purchase.

I would guess that there were over 1000 items on auction, and by the end of the day EVERY SINGLE THING HAD BEEN SOLD.

2. Auctions are exciting! The auctioneers actually practice that precise speed-talking like in the movies. This one guy, who confused and angered me, just muttered a string of nonsense syllables at all times, only breaking to call out a price. He was like “Zeebabadeedeedledoobledabdabdeeba FIFTY zibbazibbaheydeeberdoober SEVENTY FIVE dabaladab…”

I got heavily into the auction process, just following the auctioneer around (he sat on a kind of royal bier, pushed around by an army of subordinates) and watching people bid on shit. The price fluctuations are totally inscrutable. Those Photo Hunt machines that sit on bar tops were selling in the range of $150 to $2700. Why?

Once you arrive at an item that you want, your heart starts thumping and shit gets seriously intense. You don’t call out your bid, you just give a nigh-imperceptible signal like a wink or a subtle nod. My proudest moment came when I wanted to bid $500 dollars on this beautiful old Galaga machine from 1981. The bidding went to $450, and after an appropriate wait, I just flashed the dude the back of my hand, fingers extended in universal sign-language for the number five. I cold won that bid. That Galaga machine is here now, blinking away happily, and my high score is 175,000, which I’m pretty sure is a world record.

The people at this thing were fucking awesome. A heady melange of corpulent gaming impresarios in electric wheelchairs and greyhound-thin carnies on amphetamines. Everybody was smoking, inside, although there were clearly marked outdoor smoking areas. We were definitely fish-out-of-water. “City-folk”, if you will.

3. So what was our take? Besides the Galaga machine, we got Ms. Pac-Man (hell of classic and necessary), and Kym like a stone-cold champion won the bidding on a pinball machine that has to be seen to be believed. It has a Roller Derby theme, it is extremely fun, and it is a loud, gaudy monument to the late 80s. The graphics depict a woman with an unbelievable ass. This ass is so well-rendered and conveyed. Everybody who sees it agrees that it is some perfect azzz.

4. The whole process took TEN FUCKING HOURS.

Anyway, that’s how it went down in that scene, and those are the fruits of our labors. Much thanks to this random guy we met named Chaz who drove our pinball machine back to Durham for us, just out of the kindness of his heart and some gas money. Dude was a saint. He will probably never read this.

Nick W.

P.S. – On the way there, Kyle and I got turned around and had to backtrack, and we accidentally stumbled upon a strip club that also has an “exotic carwash.” We both agreed that this was hilarious. I wonder if it is like Shangri-La or Brigadoon, only appearing to travelers who have lost their way. I’ll find out soon and “blog” about it.


goodbye bob…

This entry, I have to say, is to mainly post the pictures that I meant to post in the last page.  Updates are as follows:

We finally built the stage.  It’s a 5 piece wooden stage that can be torn apart when more space is needed.  That way Tooth can jam heavy on a Friday night, but on Thursday when folks want a dance party we can stack it in the corner and let Mel York, Nick, Zach from Bulls or WXDU dj a set or ten.
Blah Blah, folks are coming tomorrow to take care of some boring stuff like electric and ac stuffs.  The going date is still a month and a half from now, but we’ll see.  We are starting to paint and prime, which I think signifies the construction rather than the destruction of the crap that was already here.

Nick hasn’t yet, but plans to write a bangin summary of the arcade auction that we went to.  We are often kept busy late nights with Galaga and Mrs. Pacman.  And that’s all I have to say.  We’re working on sign permits and all of the permits you have to have to simply breathe in downtown Durham and we’re getting a lot of amazing help from groups such as Greenfire and Downtown Durham Inc.

One new step that might be appreciated (or not) is that we’ve decided to go non smoking.  This was  a pretty hard decision, as many of our good friends love to inhale the beast, but after much debate we’ve decided to make the most comfortable smokers patio outside ever, and just leave it there.  The decision is tough, but we had to weigh the benefits… Here’s to a more comfortable place to hang out in in downtown D town.

Here are just a few pics of us “working.”  It’s hard because you can’t see the progress we’ve made, but it’s ginormous.  And don’t forget the beautiful picture of Bob.  I miss you… Bob.  Till we meet at the dump again

I forgot a ton of stuff in this post, like moving the range hood, “looting” from the bar next door, and some general drinking and playing video games, but I hope the pics will speak for themselves.  Thanks friends, a ton.  Thanks for helping in every way that you do.

ox, kym


So you think you can start a bar…

So we’ve started a really cheesy bar blog in order to keep everyone updated on our progress, which believe it or not, we are making.  We’ve been working on tearing out walls and calling “really important people” to do “really important things.”  It’s a fairly complicated process, but at least we get to break things with sledge hammers.  Nick is actually the best with the sledge…

Liz and I have been taking amazing field trips to the Durham County Dump to hang out with our friend Bob.  Bob that runs the actual dumping site at the dump.  We’re getting a photo of him soon.  He’s from Connecticut and owns an upscale Italian restaurant in Hartford.  We’ve gotten to know him pretty well through our long days of hauling construction detritus.  His amazing accent has become a general layout for our conversations.

Here are some pics of our bangin’ “we’re not open but we wish we were” party we had awhile back.

We love you guys.