The penny shuffler machines don’t normally interest me, although I do find them strangely hypnotic to watch! The kids love them though as a pound lasts so much longer and looks so much more when it’s divided into 2ps! However sometimes winning more dirty old copper coins isn’t enough so clever amusement owners rest tempting extras like lollipops and small toys on top of the cash to sucker you in.
So we are at a local holiday camp visiting staying family, losing money in the arcade when all of a sudden these little toys on a bed of 2 pennies catch my eye. They were Power Rangers! Little plastic PR Wild Force figurines and there was three of them and one was balancing near the edge. So I fish out a pound coin and head to the change machine to transform it into 50 2ps. I return and… someone else is playing the machine! A whole family in fact and they want the Rangers. Flip. And they seem to have an endless supply of coins. Flip. I’m watching from a distance, acting cool, sniggering to myself as they fail to win. Then I get paranoid, security over on the door seem to be glancing over a little too often at me, I get a little panicked, but hold on I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m just hanging out in an arcade waiting for a machine. But just in case I circle the machines, play it cool. Then it happens, they bloody win it! I watch as the little Ranger falls in almost the slowest of slow motions into the rusty tray below… Gits!
So now it’s my turn… one pound doesn’t do it though, the next toy is further back and is going to need some encouraging to edge forward. Two pound doesn’t do it either but it’s getting there. Three pound becomes four and then five and finally six, but if my wife asks it was only one! I’ve just spent six pound on a piece of plastic worth a few pence but I really don’t care, I am elated, I set out to win it and I won it, it didn’t beat me, I didn’t walk away. I won.
To further my joy I imagine someone else watching from afar as desperate me tries to win a little piece of plastic that they want, they are willing me to lose, wishing it to be their turn, but I win and then they have to circle around as security are watching.
It turns out that person watching was my middle Daughter, she walked up to the machine after me. and won me the final toy inside 50p! Smart ass. My lovely, kind, caring smart ass.