It sure was a WASTELAND! Time: 9:30pm. Date: EVERYDAY! Yeah, that was the time most of the players would come to play their favorite game, foosball. Back then Kenny, Junior, BOY and some of the other super players were around. Things were pretty normal back then. Foosball, beer & pool. Once in a while we would see some gorgeous chick, WALK PASS... hmmm... I guess we were in the wrong pub.
The pub’s owners back then were Kenny, Junior, Uncle Sam and... shucks! I can’t remember the others. Anyway, Doreen was one of the super regulars. What to do? Kenny worked there! She would come over and give us a warm welcome. What a nice lady, and pretty too! I would yak with her for hours if god permitted me to sleep in Wasteland! She’s a great lady. However, nowadays she is the proud owner of Union Restaurant in Sri Damansara.
Everyone knew practically everyone. Freddie and Ms. Chin were the staff that managed to handle the foosball players. “Coins please Freddie/Ms Chin”. They would smile and pass us the coins. It was great. Beer there was cheap and the atmosphere was good too. No foul smell, that is good. You get to hear the best songs, not those funny R&B, and Techno types, but retro and also rave songs... those were the IN thing, man. They would play songs from ‘Light House Family’; those were great songs for foosers.
Players would come and go, college students would come for a quick game before they headed on to their favorite clubbing area. Senior management would come over for a drink and some finger food before they adjourned home.
Serious players or should I say wasted players played foos till the wee hours of the morning! Yeah, like 7am in the morning! Playing till 7 was a normal thing for us during long weekends, holidays and special occasions. After the long foosing sessions, we would go for some tim sum or better still, go home to sleep! We did and still do love the sport and companionship from all of the foosers. It was THE sport to play during the night.
Richard, Bernard, Albert and the rest would just hang out there. They would drink, drink and drink some more! Richard’s game sucked back then. I had a chance to partner him in a DYP session. He never did walk straight, especially when he was in Wasteland. He was a real sucker for the game. “Defense? Offense? What is that!” He has improved since then. He uses his head and wit for the game right now. By the way, we got knocked out on our first game and also our first losers bracket match! Richard, whenever you need a partner, call me man, I would love to partner you in any tournament, anytime.
It was a close knit joint. We knew each other and we welcomed new patrons. There was one time, I left my handphone behind, I left it there for about half an hour, and to my surprise, the phone was given to the staff and I got it back. Though it was not the greatest pub in the world, we all felt the warmth and friendliness there. Newcomers to the pub didn’t feel it on their first trip, but in the long run, we were all one big happy bunch of drinkers and foosers.
Back then, SWOT was happening, as they have got hooked to the sport. Riding their cool machines, with cool attire, arriving with a “bang”. Whoa.. BEN, RAY, SEAN, ANNA! A typical night would be beer & soft drinks for the gentlemen, coffee or tea for the lady.
Sara would always be there whenever BOY was there. Sometimes I pitied that girl, she always got NAGGED by BOY... Deep down I know that Boy is always there for Sara, pitching for her to win and also urging her to fight for the game! Bravo to Sara! Do not look down on this lady player! She is one of the best defensive players I have ever seen!
Henry and Alison would come in late, about 4am when they finished their duty in Time-Out Sports Bar. Henry wouldn’t play foosball though, he would just get his beer or liquor and yak yak yak he was good in yakking though. Alison would get her cue and play her infamous pool...
Sigh… OH YEAH! I remember, when foosball really turned from hot to LAVA. Listen, it all started when GIRLS.. yeah GIRLS came to play. It turned from a pleasurable sport to a “bird-watching” sport. Some birds were BIG birds, and some were just normal birds, trying their luck in the game. I think most of you guy know who this lady is!
Lady players, they played their part in foosball history. They attracted male players. In a healthy way of course! “What a lady can do.. a man can do.. BETTER!” Male chauvinist pigs! Well, generally Asian men thought that (some still do). As time went by, the ladies played from “gosh she can play” standard to “good enough to beat some veteran players too”. Players like Anna, Aunnie, Alison and Sara, not to mention Yin Yin & Amy. They were good. I remembered when I played Amy, she was a good pull shooter, I lost to her. I guess my over-confidence killed my game. A message for all of you ladies, Thank You for joining us, it used to be a male dominated sport, but I always believed in WOMAN-POWER! Girls, you ladies are the best thing that ever happened to this sport! You have lifted us from hell! Here’s to Lady FOOSERS!
Things changed pretty drastically when WasteLand was renamed Tatt Shack. It was really a smart move. Everything was different. Things were new, foosball tables were reallocated to a different position. Things weren’t good for a lot of pub outlets, due to the economic slump (1997). Things were good for a while, but eventually the economic slump hit our beloved pub too. Sadly, the birthplace of foosball was closed, forever. It will be difficult to find such a place for good foosin’ and friends ever again?
This article is dedicated to Wasteland.. Wasteland, we love you..