The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Claw!!!

Horror of horrors. Parents of 2 or more should avoid this at all costs!

One of my fondest memories of childhood was a trip to the mall with Mom or Dad. Not because I loved shopping at the mall, but because it afforded us the chance to go hang out in Aladdin's Castle! Yes, the good old-fashioned arcade was one of my favorite ways to spend an hour or two while Mom shopped from store to store. Punch-Out, Gauntlet, Pole Position, Afterburner, Spy Hunter, Galaga, Miss Pac-Man, I could go on and on! Those days are long gone, as computers, X-Box and Playstations have far surpassed anything that a stand-up arcade machine could accomplish. These days, you might see Golden Tee sitting in a bar, but that's about it. With one big exception...

THE CLAW! I hate this thing with all my heart. When I was younger, it had the coolest toys in it: switchblades, watches, cameras. I wasted many a last token trying to get a souvenir for the road. Today, it has become an even bigger nemesis. Filled with cuddly, plush dolls, The Claw is IRRESISTIBLE to little kids - especially girls. Pretty much every restaurant we walk into has one prominently displayed in the front lobby. Every time, Ava and Molly beg me to try, and I resist. It's a waste of money. Nobody wins that thing.

Well, today I cracked. We went to Red Robin for lunch and tired of their asking, I decided to teach them a lesson. I promised them each a turn at The Claw, but prepared them for the disappointment. My plan was to teach them a lesson and stop future begging. Let me just say - BAD BAD BAD IDEA!!!

Of course, they didn't really know how to work the controls, so I steered toward their chosen target while they pushed the red button to drop The Claw.

Molly went first. She singled out a cuddly, pink monkey. We popped in our 50 cents and The Claw was off. 20 seconds to position The Claw before it dropped regardless. I worked the controls like a crafty veteran. Molly cheered as I got The Claw directly over the monkey, which was laying flat on the top layer of toys. I told Molly to push the button. Down went The Claw toward it's target, and it clamped shut. To my shock and amazement, it grabbed the monkey! As it retracted, the monkey rose with it!! It returned to the shoot, and MADE IT!!! It released the monkey and there it was in the bin, waiting for Molly!!!!

I couldn't believe it. Molly was ecstatic. Ava was ecstatic. I was utterly terrified. Ava now basically expects a doll! Having never won The Claw before, I am literally sweating thinking of what will happen if I fail Ava.

So Ava puts in her 2 quarters. She had selected a cuddly pink dolphin. Again, I took the controls and maneuvered The Claw into position. I took an extra few seconds this time to position that bastard PERFECTLY over the dolphin. With my heart pounding, I told Ava to hit the button. Down went The Claw toward it's target, and it clamped shut. To my shock and amazement, it grabbed the dolphin! As it retracted, the dolphin rose - for a moment. Then to my horror, it fell. Ava cried. Molly smiled. I punched my fist through the glass wall and grabbed that damn dolphin - in my head!

We went back to the table for lunch as Ava continued to cry. I was somewhere between heartbroken and pissed off. I asked Ali for a dollar, and promised Ava I would get her the dolphin. Not wanting to get her upset, I told her to wait while I tried again. With my next attempt, I got the dolphin partially up. It fell again, but was now nicely positioned on the top layer of toys. With my last 2 quarters, I made one final effort - already planning on a stop at Toys R Us to get Ava something to balance this ridiculous situation out. I watched in amazement as that cute, cuddly piece of crap dolphin rose up and made it to the bin. I walked back to the table with it behind my back. I could already see the tears forming in Ava - and then I gave it to her!!!

She was ecstatic. Then Molly started to cry uncontrollably!!! She wanted the dolphin instead of the monkey!!!!!!! Moral of the story: NEVER CAVE IN TO THE CLAW IF YOU HAVE 2 OR MORE KIDS.


steph said...

Hilarious! I can see a claw machine from my desk at taunts me.

Kevin said...

Good god! 2 prizes in 3 attempts! Ted, you are a Claw-god! I don't think I've ever gotten something out of one of those things.

Colin and Liz said...

I think the moral should be never give in to the claw unless you have ted around along with a spare $1.

also, gotta love molly's devilish nature. that girl has some spunk.

Teddy said...

Correction Kev, I had a dollar and Ali had a dollar. I got the monkey on my 1st attempt, and missed on #2 and #3. #4 scored the dolphin.

The average is .500, not the incredible .667 that you credited me!