When life imitates Infocom While

When life imitates Infocom

While on the first leg of our motorcycle trip from Philly to Maine last week, Bob’s bike developed a leaky gasket that required some teflon tape to fix. We stopped in rural Pennsylvania, and suddenly everything around me took on a familiar text-adventure tone:

Country Junction, near the fireworks stand

You are in Country Junction, a hardware store amalgamated with a grocery store, a hardware store, a halloween costume shop, and a scented candle emporium. There are animatronic mannequins placed in hayseed vignettes all over the store. Each character is picking the banjo, blowing a jug, or playing another folksy instrument and talking about the wonders of Country Junction. “Howdy, partner!” says one shabby steer head on the wall next to you. “There’s fireworks in them thar hills!”

There is a Tower of Power here.

>>Look at Tower of Power

It seems to be a perfectly ordinary Tower of Power.

>>Examine Tower of Power

The Tower of Power is a big, black, waxy, cylinder, hexagonal in cross-section, about five inches across and a foot long. It is painted with pictures of scaly, fire-breathing dragons and medieval castles with lightning bolts attacking the battlements. A fuse protrudes from one end. The Tower of Power is sitting on the top shelf of the fireworks stand, dwarfing the sparklers, snakes and cherry bombs. The Tower of Power weighs about three pounds. You can’t figure out what the Tower of Power does, exactly, but you’re fairly sure that it’s very illegal in Maine, where you are headed and where you have ten-year-old cousins.

>>Purchase Tower of Power


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