Here at Williams Amusements, it’s not always fun and games. Ok, well maybe it is! Here is a story about our early days, when we set off to collect our first container of pinball machines.

After negotiating a deal for a 40 foot container full of pinballs, Chris and I were on our way to Verona. The fact we were on our way there was in itself was a minor miracle. Firstly, it turned out to be a nightmare getting us both on a plane at the same time. Then secondly, actually organising the financing to fund a container of pinballs was a challenge!

This was some 20 years ago, but believe it or not, normal aeroplanes were in use. Well, turns out British Airways didnt believe it, because they stuck us at the back of a twin prop plane. Now Chris is 6ft 3, so he had to sit sideways on with his legs over me. This was complicated further by the fact that he had gone over on his ankle the previous day and was severely swollen! Fortunately the air hostess took pity on us and although it was an early morning flight provided us with gin and tonics every 20 minutes! The plane having propellers meant it took forever to get there. Hence, we arrived in Italy totally intoxicated at 10:30 in the morning.

Verona was stunning in the spring, but for Chris it was the cobbled streets that buggered him. We walked all over the city killing time until we could check into our hotel at 4pm. Poor Chris, his ankle didnt look real, it was huge! The plan was to rest his foot and eat locally and have an early night as we were meeting the pinball supplier in the morning. This did not happen! (Are you really surprised?!) We couldn’t find anywhere to eat that wasn’t 100 euros and ended up in a small bar until the early hours with the locals incredulous at how much we could drink.

We found our way back to the hotel in much the same state as we got off the plane that morning. As soon as we found our twin room we were sharing, I promptly fell asleep. In the morning I was woken by the strong smell of urine and as my eyes became accustomed to the light, I noticed that the large wooden wardrobe that had been against the far wall was wedged between the two beds. Chris was nowhere to be seen. It was still only 6am so I rolled over and went back to sleep.

At 7:30 I was awoken this time by a loud moaning from underneath the wardrobe. The smell was still bad, but more light was coming in through the wooden shutters and I could see a hand and a leg spread out under the wardrobe. I tried to lift the wardrobe but in my hung over state, it was near impossible. So I left it, and went to the loo and to drink pints of water. On my return from the bathroom Chris was lying and moaning on his bed still intoxicated. I asked him if he had any idea how the wardrobe had moved and fallen and why the room smelt like the gents at Kings Cross Station. Fortunately Chris did remember…

After navigating our way back to our room both Chris and I had fallen asleep still fully clothed onto our beds. However Chris had woken up and needed a pee. The room being dark and Chris being drunk, he had opened the wardrobe door thinking it was the bathroom and stepped inside. He then emptied his bladder all over the inside of the wardrobe. Feeling refreshed, he went to leave the wardrobe, but as he wobbled out, it fell down on top of him! It knocked him to the ground and kept him trapped, as it was wedged between both of the beds. So after shouting for help, which of course I didn’t hear at all, he resigned himself to his fate, and went back to sleep!

So there we have it. The one day we need a clear head!