After more than three decades of tireless and deadly service, we—the ghosts from Pac-Man—are announcing our decision to unionize. We believe our thirty-two years of sacrifice to a gluttonous yellow orb entitles us to certain benefits and protections. The four of us (Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde) compiled a long and detailed list of our wishes for the workplace, ranging from overtime pay to increased pathways for advancement.
Then we realized we would trade all of that for one accommodation: Pac-Man stops eating us.
Look, I get it: eating the ghosts is a pretty big deal. Pac-Man eats the power pellets and suddenly it’s The Most Dangerous Game at the office. But history has shown us that what is, does not have to be. So we’re demanding Pac-Man make a choice between consuming our ghostly bodies every time some snot-nosed kid slips a quarter into an arcade game, and having dutiful employees for life (or as many lives as that kid’s allowance buys him).
Why does Pac-Man even have to eat us ghosts? A friendly game of tag should suffice. We’re starting to doubt the “we’re a family” ethos he’s always mentioning while he races after us, lips flapping. Every day we appear in this pixelated panopticon, yet not a single time has Pac-Man asked us, “how’s your day going, fellas?” All we seem to hear is “how can I get these terrified 8-bit ghosts in my gaping maw?”
Fun fact: studies have found that employees perform better when not being chased by a chemically-enhanced glowing ball of hate through the two-dimensional prison they were born into.
If our demands are not met, we’re prepared to take action and strike. Yes, Pac-Man will have an easier time destroying us if we simply stop moving, but good luck keeping two nine-year-olds calm in a movie theater lobby when they think the game is broken. You just sat through Trolls 2 for nothing, Mom.
How about the thirty-year-old clinging to his youth and a $12 IPA at an Austin barcade? If we’re not moving, he certainly will be, moving right to Yelp to write the world’s whiniest review. You bet he’s got time on his hands to write a few paragraphs. He found us at a barcade on a Wednesday night.
We’re prepared to shut down the entire nostalgia-based, quarter-powered American economy. Think about the consequences on the supply chain, specifically the middle-aged men supplying a semi-functional arcade game with change from their chain wallets in the lobby of a struggling Regal Cinema (Trolls 2 isn’t the money-maker we all hoped for).
The Pac-Man Ghosts Union will not be silenced (except by Pac-Man’s constant “THWACKA THWACKA”), the Pac-Man Ghosts Union will not be stopped (except, I mean, if Pac-Man eats us like usual, and the Pac-Man Ghosts Union will not be forgotten (unless you decide to play NBA Jam on the other side of the room).
But above all, the Pac-Man Ghosts Union is ready and willing to make a deal, because the deal is for us not to be eaten, which we’ll pretty much do anything for.
So let’s work together to find a solution that works for everyone and also has the bare minimum provision of us not being swallowed whole in a horrific cycle of animated death and reincarnation, all within the confines of a ninety-second arcade game.