The Who?

In an alternate universe, The Who are just hitting their musical stride in 2021. Pete Townsend is working on a new song with Roger Daltry peering over his shoulder.

“Listen to this,” Pete says, picking up his guitar. “Oh, and you may want to step back just a notch.” He picks out a rhythm on the strings and then violently whirls his arm in a windmill motion, hitting the strings and producing a deep, throbbing, pulsating dissonant chord that resonates around the room for a few moments.

“Wow!” Roger says. “Can you do that in concert?”

“Sure can,” Townsend answers. “I’m workin’ on the lyrics for a new song where I expect that to fit in perfectly.”

“Great! What’ve you got?”

“Well, it’s not done yet, but this is what I’ve got so far..

He's a pinball...

“Nope, Pete. Can’t say ‘he’. Has to be person.”

Townsend wrinkled his nose as if catching a whiff of a foul order. “OK,” he said and started again.

That person there 
is a pinball wizard

“Wizard is too gender specific. Pretty exclusionary.”

Townsend muttered something incomprehensible and scratched out some of the words on the paper in front of him.

That person there 
is a pinball master

“Master? Are you serious?”

That person there 
is a pinball phenom 
[Background Singers:] 
Not to disparage 
other pinball players

“Damn. Not as far along as I thought I was. I’ll have to come back to that verse later. I want to work on the chorus. Or at least part of it.

That deaf


Townsend snapped his pencil in half, tossed the two remnants at the wall, threw his arms in the air and screamed in frustration. Calming, he retrieved the bottom half of the pencil, scratched out some words, scribbled down some more and returned once again to the song.

That hearing impaired, 
speech challenged, and 
sight seeking 
younger entity sure plays an 
easily watchable pinball

“Ahh, fuck it, Roger. This whole thing sucks. Let’s go get a beer.” He tossed the pencil at the wall again.

“Maybe we should just learn to code,” Daltry offered as they walked out the door, headed for the pub.