Domino Man

Released in 1982 by the much ballyhooed Bally Midway, Domino Man is unlike most any other arcade game I have played. Each level is littered with black dots, which serve as anchor points for the hero of this sordid tale to set up his person-sized dominos.

In order to do this successfully, you much rid the playing field of golfers, children on bikes, and elderly women who are going about their business while trying to not succumb to the loneliness of their existences ever since their husband of 45 years. Karl, died of a heart attack, keeling over in his ambrosia salad.

You even have to crush a giant killer bee before it can punch your ticket to Karl-ville.

There is one enemy in this game that cannot be crushed, maimed, or masticated though: the ineffable Bully.

Domino Man

Much like in real life, Bully cannot be stopped. The game makes a point of establishing this rule upfront, so as to diffuse any unseemly thoughts of stopping said Bully.

Once you have successfully finished your domino wall, you can either topple it or leave it for future higher points and move on to the next level. The really cool part in all of this business is that once you decide to topple your creation, depending on how many levels you had stacked, you get to see the serpentine row of black monoliths crumble all the way back to the starting level.

I personally have a fond connection to Domino Man. If you’ve read Chapter 11 of my book, you know that I myself come from a long line of Domino Men — pun intended, as is the way of the Domino Man. Yes, my father and his father and his father’s father’s father were all Domino Men. It skipped my grandfather, but we don’t like to talk about it much (though I do make brief mention of it in Chapter 79 of my book).

The Domino Man is a profession that put down its roots at the dawn of this great nation, back when the country was much smaller and, by default, much easier to Domino.

In fact, even though most people are aware of him because of his novelty songs, Fats Domino was perhaps the most well-known Domino Man to ever Domino. Of course, Domino-ing was going out of style at that time, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Domino-ing was seen as mostly a sordid pastime, not for the faint of heart or noble of character.

Domino Man

The profession continued its drastic decline down the slope of the moral spectrum of American tradesmen, up until the election of perhaps the least-capable, most-reviled Domino Man of them all, Donald J. Trump. The J, of course, stands for Jeers, as everywhere he went he was preceded by — and, of course, ushered on by — jeers of all sorts and varieties. It’s a very sad chapter in the book of Domino Men, especially considering his inability to build a simple wall, as is the code of the Domino Men. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that he allegedly had another country on the hook to foot the bill. We Domino Men pay our dues, Mr. Trump. We Domino Men pay our dues.

So it is with a heavy heart that we Domino Men hunker down in the hopes of braving the storm, awaiting the aftermath of the tyrannical tenure of our most tumultuous trainee. I greatly look forward to the day when we can Domino again out in the open, like we once did — like my father and Fats used to.

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