A Difference That Probably Does Not Reveal As Much About Our Upbringings As I Would Say

So I was telling my beautiful wife about this overpriced Facebook-advertised tchotchke that I ordered for my youngest son for Christmas (and will no doubt see advertisements for it now that I have actually ordered it because clearly I am a good lead for this particular vendor, and that’s how Internet advertising works).

I explained it was a little like pachinko:

“It’s a pegboard where you drop a little metal ball down it, but it has specific gates and things that will guide the way the ball rolls down the board…” I said. Or words to that effect, gentle reader; I did not take down the conversation verbatim, but it’s as real as any conversation you’ll read in a Norman Vincent Peale book.

“Don’t you mean Plinko?” she asked.

Which led me to question, Did I mean Plinko? So I researched it quickly to verify that the game pachinko actually exists and to show her details about it. The boy’s gift is more like pachinko, by the way; Plinko uses a disk and just pegs, whereas pachinko uses balls and bumpers of various kinds. It’s a bit like pinball, but it’s often a gambling device. The boy’s school has a board they use for carnivals and whatnot, and an Internet image search indicates a lot of schools do.

So you know I would like to turn this into some indicator of the differences in our upbringing–that I grew up working class in seedy taverns and she grew up in a comfortable suburban family that watched The Price Is Right. But the seedy taverns, which really weren’t that bad, didn’t have pachinko machines (I grew up in Milwaukee, not Tokyo). That I knew my pachinko from my Plinko probably stems from the fact that I read more widely (id est, randomly) than she does.

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