At some point in the 80s, I was somewhere in Florida, and a dude gave me a quarter to play a Lunar Lander arcade game …
I was in Florida to watch a space shuttle launch. We’d stopped at some gas station and in the mini shop there was an actual Lunar Lander arcade cabinet.
I totally pretended everything was fine (I was trying to impress a girl there) as I completely botched my landing, and crashed.
This guy tried to warn me I was coming in too fast. Well, he would know because he turned out to be an actual astronaut.
He asked me if I recognized him, and I had to admit that I did not. I apologized. He said that he probably wouldn’t remember him either, though he was one of the few who went to the moon. Even now, I cannot for the life of me remember which astronaut this was that I met that day.
Not my finest day in the space program, I can tell you with certainty.
When I admitted to the guy he was right, but I was trying to cover because of the girl there, he seemed very understanding even though I just killed myself and some of his friends by slamming into the surface of the moon.
But, not understanding enough to give me another quarter, darn it.
Originally posted on my personal blog at The Astronaut and the Quarter