The Astronaut and the Quarter

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.