I will attempt to answer the age-old riddle: what do you do if you really want to win a South Park Kenny doll from a claw machine but you lack the necessary skills to do so?
I was presented with just this dilemma a few weeks ago at a Norm’s Restaurant near me. I came to get some of their famous 7 dollar filet mignon steaks, but once I saw this thing, all bets were off.
The friendly hostess greeted me and asked me how many I had in my party. I replied, “Bitch, please. I don’t have time for delicious, reasonably priced beef, I gotta hit the payday on this claw machine!”
That got rid of her and I was free to get down to business, at least I thought so. The machine would not take my Benjamin, so I had to go back to her and explain that I was just kidding and could I please have some change? Once she forked over the large stack of bills that she had to get her manager for, some squirt took advantage of this distraction to park his ass in front of the machine where he proceeded to win himself a poorly-made Tweety within the first 15 seconds of trying. Luckily, hispanics tend to be partial to Warner Bros. characters, because if he had gone for the Kenny, I don’t know what I would have done. His father was a quite sizable bald head/Dodgers fan type; he looked like he was right out of Training Day. I didn’t want to get into an argument with him about why his son’s prize rightfully belonged to me.
Once they were gone, I slipped the first few bills into the machine and started maneuvering the giant claw over the target. It was harder than that kid had made it seem. Before I knew it, I had blown through ten bucks!
Don’t get me wrong: I’m rich; I was in a TV commercial once, for crying out loud! I would think nothing of burning that whole Benny if it would get me that sweet, sweet Kenny, but I was getting a little frustrated at this point. I guess my swearing and kicking the machine was starting to bother some of the patrons, because Mr. Tough Guy Manager came over to warn me that he was going to have to ask me to leave if I didn’t stop making a scene. Well, he wasn’t so tough when I started sobbing uncontrollably and apologizing and begging him to give me a second chance, I can tell you that!
Fifty dollars in and I was starting to give up hope. Obviously, it could be done, but I worried that I didn’t have what it takes. Maybe kids were just better at this? Maybe their small hands could maneuver the joystick with more precision? Or maybe I just didn’t have the dedication? I mean, I’ve seen news stories where some little prick will get himself stuck in one of these machines because he wanted something so badly! I didn’t have the answer to these riddles, but at least I had a plan: pay some other kid to win it for me.
Now, Tweety kid was not an option because his dad probably had a box cutter, but when the little blond kid walked in with the father who looked like Bill Gates, I knew I had found my mark. I stopped them at the door and asked the man if he would like to earn twenty dollars by lending me his son for a few minutes. From the look of alarm he had on his face, I gathered he thought I had something much more sordid in mind. Even after I explained that it was an innocent request, he seemed reluctant until I started badgering him about his shabby clothes and telling him to admit that he was just scared that his retard son couldn’t do it.
Proving me wrong seems to be a motivating factor in a lot of peoples’ lives and apparently this guy was no different.
This kid lacked the natural talent and aptitude of his Mexican counterpart but with enough “encouragement” which largely consisted of me and his dad screaming at him, he was able to finally snag my prize!
As I snatched my bounty out of his grubby little fingers, lifting it over my head and shouting triumphantly, “I did it! I did it! Take that, mom!” my revelry was interrupted by this chump demanding to be paid his twenty bucks.
“Say what? Your stupid kid sank your twenty bucks into the machine, esse!” I replied.
You see, this jerk thought he should be paid another twenty dollars on top of the other twenty I lost backing his loser kid’s barely successful endeavor.
Well, he may have looked like Bill Gates, but he grabbed onto my Kenny doll and pulled with all the might of Melinda Gates!
There we were: locked in a high stakes game of tug of war. Two men, fighting over a doll, while a child and a restaurant full of people looked on.
It was a stalemate for a good thirty seconds until finally, the cheap stitching gave out and we both fell backwards.
I landed on the floor and he went through a plate glass window, still clutching his half of my now-ruined doll. It took everything in me not to point and yell, “Oh my God, you killed Kenny!” because this was no time for jokes, he was hurt pretty badly.
I got up and brushed myself off. He was making quite a racket and people were calling for help, but as I stepped over his bleeding body to exit the restaurant, I tossed the kid my half of Kenny. “Here, you keep it. It’s ruined anyway!”
Seeing as it was the good half (the one with the head), I figured we were even.