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To the Canadian AA members, Tell us your sob stories for $39


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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. This sega started in 1993 and ended in 1998. Two trips across the globe wasn't enough to secure my first printing of the Ravenloft Novel "Vampire of the Mist." which I bought in 1991 or 1992.


It started in early 1993 when I started doing letter correspondance with an older friend's adult daughter who was living in Poland. At that time, I was interested in Eastern European culture and decided I would take my friend up on his offer to write with his Daughter. Well as letters were exchanged, some feelings grew. I was invited by the family to visit them during the summer for two months. I took them up on their offer.


I flew there in July of 1993 and returned at the end of August 1993. We had a summertime romance wheich was great. She was 20; I was 23. She seemed to be everything I was looking for in a woman and decided to propose near the ned of my stay. She accepted. Things were going well.


Now how does this tie into the Ravenloft novel? you ask. While I was there, I told her about a great novel I read about the struggle between two Vampires. If any of you are familiar with Count Strahd(From D&D days), then this story may have extar significance for you. Upon my retunr to Canada, I sent he the "Vampire of the Mists" novel to read. It was my only copy and a 1st edition printing as well. Sure it was paperback, but I was collecting the series. I figured I would get it back when I saw her next summer, but that wasn't to be.


About 7 months later, her letter seemed to be more and more infrequent. I phoned her and she said she was going to being working fulltime in the Summer of 1994, so there would be no time for us, so not to come. Then a few months later, she broke up with me. Now how was I to get my book back! Damn her to the depths of Ravenloft!!!


I tried to get over her for awhile but couldn't get her out of my mind. I decided to visit her and her family in July and August of 1995 to try and work things out and to get my book back. Everything seemed to be fine and she was lightening up and seemed to want to try again.


I visited her and I stayed at her and her parents apartment for almost two weeks. That was enough. She has transformed from the sweet young woman I knew to a Nightclub Tramp. Two years changes a lot. I moved out of that hellish paratment and stayed with a female friend of mine who I met during my first week there. She was a distant cousin of my ex-finance and was quite attractive. Needless to say, my stay at her farmhouse was an excellent time. Both in the fact that I got to see alot more of Poland, I got away from my ex, and I got some good power-ups



Still no book. I visited my ex's parents right before I left to say good-bye. I thought it might be too tacky to get my book back, so I didn't ask for it back. I knew I must have my precious!


I kept in contact with a lot of my friends there for years after that. It was 1998 and I still had that book on my mind. First edition, great book, shaped cover unlike the later printings, etc. I have a male friend who lives about 3 blocks from my ex's apartment, to go over there and ask for it back. He did and mailed the book to me. The book was in the same condition I sent it in, so that was good.


I look back and think to myself that luckily I wasn't stupid enough to give her an engagement ring as that would have dissappeared forever. At least, the book had no real value to her and thus it could be parted with.


Both trips total ended up costing me $3000 Canadian in flight costs and another about $1000 Canadian in spending money. I still had a few great adventures and I did finally get my Ravenloft Novel back.


So that's my true story.



Picture of Novel to follow later today.


Atari Charles

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I tried to edit the post after I submitted it, but for some reason I couldn't do it and I kept on timing out(could be the my my web browser is set up or all the traffic on the net in my area or on Atari Age).


So here is the continuation of the story and the part I left out. When I went back to Poland in 1995 to try and work things out with my ex-fiance, I brought a my old 4 switch Atari 2600 with an assortment of about ten games for her younger sisters to play. Trust me, in Poland in 1995, the Atari 2600 would be advanced. They had nothing for TV game systems in the Northern Part of the country that I was in(Lomza Area). At this time, no one colelcted Atari and although I valued my collection, I didn't think it was worth too much money to bring overseas.


So on my second day at my Ex's apartment, I tried hooking up the Atari to their color TV. It doesn't work. I mess with the cables for about an hour and still nothing(at this time I didn't know about the differences in North Amercian compaired to European TVs. Disheartened, thinking the Atari is somehow broken, I put it back in my suitcase and forget about it. Two weeks later, after I moved to my female friends farmhouse, I brought all of my stuff(stupidly forgetting about the Ravenloft Novel) but including my Atari gear to her place. It doesn't work their either. Strange I think. A week later, I talk to a male friend and he tells me European TVs are different than North Amercian TVs. I thought he was totally worng, so we tried out a movie I brought, and it didn't work on his VCR and TV, so I assume he knows what he is talking about.


I leave Poland at the end of August 1995 not able to get the book and forgetting the Atari and games(which I had unpacked at the farmhouse) at the farmhouse. It wasn't a big deal at the time, as I figured I'd visit Poland again in 1996(which I didn't).


I corresponded with the Farmgirl for awhile, but I didn't feel any chemistry there besides "Custer's Revenge" chemistry, so out writting subsided. I find out in 1997, that she has moved to the States(New York State) to get married and live there. Wierd. I found this out from her parents who still live in the farmhouse. So how am I going to get back my Atari and games.


My male friend who lives in the same city(town) as my ex-fiance but who live in a different town than the farmhouse is in, does me a big favour and picks up my Atari stuff and mails it to me. Oddly, I got back the Atari and games before I got back my Ravenloft novel. I was lucky that the farmgirls parent didn't chuck out the Atari since it stayed in their house for about 3 years.


So what did I learn form this whole expreience:


My Atari and Games won't work in Europe, so don't bring them.


Never lend out a book froma collection you are collecting for.


Long distance releationships don't work.(I have had future adventures in Korea that confirm this, but in no way relate to Atari).


That's about it.


I can submit pictures of my Atari and games in question. They are not rare games but games I had since I was a kid.


Atari Charles

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stayed with a female friend of mine who I met during my first week there. She was a distant cousin of my ex-finance and was quite attractive. Needless to say, my stay at her farmhouse was an excellent time. Both in the fact that I got to see alot more of Poland, I got away from my ex, and I got some good power-ups ;)


:? This is a sob story? :D

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Here in Canada we have damn cold winters, everyone knows that. I posted an ad on a web site and a guy called saying he had ultra rare Atari stuff for a deal. I had to be quick, there seems to be a lot of colletors around here, stuff is selling fast in local ads and all... but there were a snowstorm outside.


That the hell, that may be the greatest deal!


So, I put my coat, my boots and my tuque on and get outside in the cold -34ºC (you do the conversion), with the wind that drops the temperature to -65ºC! What the hell, I got clothes to confront that. Walking through 18 inches of snow, after walking for 15 minutes, I lost a boot in the snow.. and in a storm, finding a boot in 18 inches of snow is like a needle in the hay.. so I continued.. the wind was slashing my face and to make things worse, all the route to his house was uphill! After 15 more minutes I was knocking on his door. Finally.


He presented his collection: A vader Atari 2600 with Missile Command and Combat. WOW! How much did he ask again? That was 50$! I know canadian dollar isn't worth much, but it's not that bad! I finally got the lot for a more reasonable 20$.


I had now to go back to my house. Since I had to pass like 30 minutes with this guy, snow had melted so my socks were all wet. Outside, it took a thousandth of a second to freeze. And remember, I have only one boot now. Damn it was cold, the temperature rose a bit but the wind was stronger and in my face now, freezing it hard as ice. I didn't feel my frozen foot anymore, my fingers were unresponsive to my brain commands and my eyes were merly opened. One bad thing was the return path was uphill too, damn it.


I arrived at home finally. Took a day or to to unfreeze and plugged the Atari in... not working! :o I took it outside and threw it as far as I could in the snow, cartridges included.


The next spring, you know what I found when the snow had melted? My f*ckin atari. I smashed it apart before throwing it in the garbage.. that was probably the first time I had some pleasure seeing the garbage truck compacting the trash.. hearing the sound of cracking plastic was suddenly a symphony to my ears. :)


And yes I am in Canada.

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I was reading the rules again and I'd like to make some quick comments:


1.) The story has to be in all "actuality believeable"

>>>I agree but the story should also be true.


2.) "You must currently own the item" for which you sacrficed so much for, and you must show us a picture of said item.

>>>I still have my original 4 switch Atari with the games I took to Poland. I also still have the Ravenloft novel.

>>>Whoever wins should still own the item in question.


3.) "The money has to be spent towards enlarging your Atari related collection", Screw beef, we want more Atari!

>>>I'll probably go with a Homebrew from this site, if I win


4.) Fianlly when you purchase whatever Atari related colectible with the said money, "you must show us a picture of it".

>>>Not a problem. My digital camera is low resolution, but will still work.



I'll be submitting pictures soon.

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I wouldn't worry about anything yet there contestants, The final decision will be made on May 31st 2004 and I don't plan on making favorites, or anything, I'll let anyone submit what they want. But if it does not meet the stringient rules that I've set forth, then it doesn't apply. Although sad a story may be if it does not adhear to the ruls, it will be disqualified. Thats the way the contest is played.



P.S. photos should be submitted as soon as possible after submission of story.

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No, I don't take it overly seriously. Sure, I'd like to win but to win on my story alone.


All I am saying about owning the Atari item is that it would be ideal. Of course, not all Atari segas will end positively. He had his own adventure and I think as long as he gets a picture of the garbage truck(or one very much like it that took that broken Atari away, he should stay in the contest.


The most important thing, in my opinion, is that the story is true.


I know how cold it can get in winter, so he's not exagerating regarding the coldness of winter. I say keep him in the contest. May the best man, woman, or droid win!!!


And to respond to a former comment regarding my adventures in Poland. No it wasn't all bad. The first two weeks on July 1995 was hell. Staying in my ex-fiance's apartment, still wanting her, her not wanting to work things out with me, etc was absolute hell. Luckily her cousin was more interested in me and also better looking and built very much like the woman in Custer's Revenge. I still get a smile on my face when I think back to the final 6 weeks of 1995 staying at her parents farmhouse. I was much more polite than Custer from Custer's revenge.


As they say when you get lemons, make lemonade.

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