Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Claw

My brother and his son came through town unexpectedly last week. I got a call last minute asking when we could get together, so I suggested Rosie's for breakfast. Rosie's is the local hangout, famous for it's breakfasts and, of course, Rosie.

Rosie keeps her girlish figure through sheer perseverence, never tiring, always on the run. She keeps her customers through her constant, unflagging good spirits and fast service. When in doubt, breakfast at Rosie's is always a smart choice.

My nephew is now 7 years old and much better behaved than I remembered him, I'm happy to say. However, while we visited and ate breakfast, he kept his eye on The Claw.

The Claw is located within view of the entire dining room. It's a massive, glassed-in box filled with stuffed toys. At fifty cents a try, it's a child's dream and a parent's nightmare for, as most of you know, it's a rigged game. Although The Claw looks formidable, it's grasp is as weak as a dying woman with carpal tunnel syndrome. You can position it exactly over the item you want, and all it will usually do is slide limply over it, then return to it's original position, and you are out fifty cents.

My nephew wanted a particular hat desperately. He kept getting up to look at the machine, but had already been warned by his father not to ask for money. However, there is an old man there who is an expert at The Claw. When he came in for breakfast, I leaned over and asked The Regular if he'd be willing to try to get that hat. He happily agreed, I coughed up some quarters, and he and my nephew went to try their luck.

My brother sighed and said lightly "I am trying to teach him that gambling isn't good. I don't want a kid who dreams of Vegas and the slot machines. I really hope he doesn't get that hat!"

Shortly afterwards, my nephew was back. Still without the hat.

"See?" my brother asked him. "You just lost fifty cents of your allowance as well as Aunt Saur's money, and what did you get for it?"

"Nothing," his son replied reluctantly.

"Ahhh," said my brother, winking at him.

Meanwhile, Rosie was running to and fro in her usual state of harried cheerfulness, bringing us omelettes, grits, and chocolate chip pancakes. An omelette I created is now a featured item at Rosie's and my brother had to try it, and my nephew received the pancakes (loaded with chocolate chips) with great excitement. So, we tackled our breakfast and forgot about The Claw for a while.

However, after breakfast ended, The Regular called across a couple tables and asked my nephew if he was ready to try again. This was not in my brother's plans, but there was little we could do without seeming to be rude. My nephew scrambled out of the booth, I handed him a couple of dollar bills, and they went at it again, this time loudly encouraged by Rosie who kept assuring them that it was just a matter of skill.

Soon the money was exhausted and my nephew still had no hat. "Thank goodness," my brother mouthed to me. I grinned back at him. We thanked The Regular politely, waved goodbye to Rosie, and headed out the door into the Florida heat and sunshine.

Just as we reached our cars, I heard my name hollered and looked up to see Rosie racing toward us. She was waving the hat. "I told you that it was just a matter of skill," she said, laughing breathlessly, as she handed it to my nephew.


The Lazy Iguana said...

The Claw is awesome. If I had a place, I would have a few claw machines. They would pay for themselves in short order.

Skill my posterior. Rosie simply opened the machine and picked out the hat.

One time I saw a very small child climb into The Claw machine. He then started to unload the entire bounty of loot through the drop slot thing. The machine was totally emptied.

The fire department had to destroy the machine to get him out.

The Lazy Iguana said...

By the way, I have a new hurricane post. You should probably read it. Cause you know there is a hurricane somewhere out there. Beneath the clear blue sky. I did not know about it till someone alerted me. I really should pay more attention to the local news.

Anonymous said...

My son is actually pretty good at the claw. He gets something in under $2 (dollar machines) about once every 3 visits to the restaurants that have them. He's 8.

And I don't like them either, but his grandfather funds his gambling habit. :-)

The Lazy Iguana said...

If you have the mad claw skills, it is not gambling :)

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, funny you should mention the kid-in-The-Claw-machine story. It seems that at least one does it every year! My nephew was telling us repeatedly about it. It's his ultimate fantasy. :D

I'll check out the hurricane post.

Anon, yes, well-meaning relatives are patsies for cute kids. I'm one of them. ;o)

julia said...

"Although The Claw looks formidable, it's grasp is as weak as a dying woman with carpal tunnel syndrome"

big LOL, perfectly worded

I hate "the claw."