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Honey, we're gonna need a load of quarters
April 16, 2014 10:42 AM   Subscribe

These machines were always too darn hard .... a 3-year-old boy feared missing by his mother was found safe and sound inside an arcade claw machine in Nebraska on Tuesday.
posted by GhostRider (58 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think I remember a story just like this from around 20 years ago. Time to die.
posted by thelonius at 10:44 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Happens every few years; I found three different videos on YouTube of similar situations.
posted by mrbill at 10:46 AM on April 16


Wasn't this a throwaway Simpson's gag?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:49 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


What's great is that the kid left the apartment, went to the bowling alley and climbed in.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:50 AM on April 16 [6 favorites]


The article doesn't mention the worst part: it took about $50 in quarters to finally pull him out.
posted by bibliowench at 10:51 AM on April 16 [18 favorites]


...and now they have 30 disturbingly stiff knock-off Minions to go with him.
posted by stevis23 at 10:52 AM on April 16 [6 favorites]


Regarding his rescue, the child was quoted as saying, "My cat's breath smells like cat food."
posted by nicwolff at 10:53 AM on April 16 [33 favorites]


I wonder if having a toddler inside the machine increases your chance of getting a toy. I mean, controlling the grabber is tricky but from what I've know about toddlers, controlling them is even harder!

God speed, you dexterous toy-hunter.
posted by Static Vagabond at 10:53 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


The terrible machines that would cement Skynet's iron grip on the fleshworld were always there, hiding in plain sight, biding their time and dreaming of the day their pincers would close upon mankind.
posted by selfnoise at 10:55 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


For those of you without children yet....you are almost guaranteed at least one if not more heartstopping moments with your sprogs within the first few years. This is just a particularly memorable one.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:00 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I think I remember a story just like this from around 20 years ago.

That child is now an adult. They might have a career. They might be married. They might have children of their own. They might be teaching now. They might be on your City Council
posted by NoraReed at 11:01 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Every toy in that machine is now inexplicably sticky.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:05 AM on April 16 [14 favorites]


I had the bad luck of winning on one of those machines the very first time I played with (i.e. for) our toddler. Now she's disappointed every time.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:09 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


At least Sid didn't get him.
posted by fogovonslack at 11:14 AM on April 16 [8 favorites]




Maybe the kid was trying to get a flippin' iPhone
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:19 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]




So I was installing some art in Vegas, and the hotel had one of those crane machines where you could get a lobster.

I was tired and more than a little drunk, and I thought this was a GREAT idea.

It was not a great idea.

About $16 in I finally got ahold of the lobster with the claw. Suddenly the idea didn't seem so great. It seemed terrible. The lobster was totally freaking out and very upset that life had once again taken this turn. I started yelling "no! NO! please escape little dude! Please please escape! I didn't mean it! I totally didn't mean it!". There was no way to stop the claw, though.

After 2 very stressful seconds the lobster struggled free. I was so relieved I nearly collapsed on the floor. He (or she*) was pretty good at getting out of the claw, but very visibly upset and not at all into this part of his existence.

So. Next time you are drunk near a lobster crane, just hit the slots.

*I'm no expert at sexing homarus americanus
posted by poe at 11:25 AM on April 16 [27 favorites]


I think I was at the same place downtown, poe. Between the lobster crane game and the That Girl slot machine with Marlo Thomas' beaming visage, I thought it was some kind of fever dream.
posted by dr_dank at 11:34 AM on April 16


Wait wait wait. What do you do with the lobster when you catch it? Do you cook it there? Do you take it home? If you can't catch a lobster do you sit a table eating shrimp in shame? What the fuck planet is this thing on, anyway?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:45 AM on April 16 [19 favorites]


There is a crane machine at the movie theater that is filled with rubber ducks and it allows you to "win" every time. You're supposed to just win one duck, but the machine is kind of broken, so sometimes you can go on a run and win 2, 4, or more ducks (I once won 6). My boyfriend and I play it obsessively whenever we're near the movie theater. The bathroom now has over 60 rubber ducks in it.

That's totally unrelated to this story, except that our bathroom could conceivably be considered a replica of the inside of that crane machine.
posted by xingcat at 11:47 AM on April 16 [15 favorites]


Unauthorized 3-Year-Old Plays With Toys, Is Found, Imprisoned
posted by aubilenon at 11:47 AM on April 16 [9 favorites]


What do you do with the lobster when you catch it

They should have another claw machine next to it that's filled with lobster-sized cowboy hats, space suits, etc.
posted by aubilenon at 11:50 AM on April 16 [24 favorites]


It was not a great idea.

Yes, getting seafood in the desert is usually a bad idea.
posted by bondcliff at 11:53 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Every toy in that machine is now inexplicably sticky.

We call kids that age "Jam-hands". There may not be a single jar of jam within a hundred miles, but somehow they always, always have jam on their hands.
posted by mrgoat at 11:53 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


That absolute, blissful lack of fucks this kid gives as the adults around him lose their minds is what does me in. I really feel for those parents if/when the little fugitive decides this is the best trick ever.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:03 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos, winners could take their prize to the restaurant across the corridor to have it cooked. I'm not sure how they weeded out slicksters who would drop in with a store-bought lobster.
posted by dr_dank at 12:07 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


There's an adjacent machine with a claw that picks up ramekins of drawn butter.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:10 PM on April 16 [10 favorites]


and another machine further on with pots of boiling water - you've got to be a ninja claw master to get one of those
posted by pyramid termite at 12:19 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


> I really feel for those parents if/when the little fugitive decides this is the best trick ever.

At least he'll outgrow it.
posted by davelog at 12:26 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Here's a piece of trivia that I finally have a place to put: Danny Trejo is apparently ridiculously good at these sorts of claw machines. He plays them whenever he sees them and gives the gifts away to children.

The only way this "kid trapped in a claw machine" story could have been better is if they didn't know how to get him out, and a crowd gathered, and the parents were panicking, and suddenly the crowd parted, and there was Danny Trejo with a quarter in one hand.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:33 PM on April 16 [42 favorites]


And then he killed the kid with a machete.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:34 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


Ah, news from my home town.
posted by asfuller at 12:39 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I envy Lincoln. The exact same story from Omaha would have had the kid found in the parking lot of a Council Bluffs casino, slowly baking to death, while his parents gambled inside.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:42 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


Danny Trejo is apparently ridiculously good at these sorts of claw machines.

I mean, of course he is. This is one of those facts that I didn't know before but immediately matches perfectly with my perception.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:45 PM on April 16 [16 favorites]


So, we see these stories hit the wires on a fairly regular basis. I pay close attention to them because, hey, this is kinda mysterious, you know? The stories always include some analogue of the line "How the child got into the machine is unclear."
I've actually gone to the theater, and the grocery store, and really closely examined these space-crane type machines. I have found NO WAY a living humanoid child could get inside those machines without somebody with tools helping them.
Is no one else curious about this phenomenon? This is a serious glitch in reality, here, guys! Why can't we figure out how they get in the machines? Why is nobody working on this question?
posted by BigLankyBastard at 12:51 PM on April 16 [16 favorites]


Really, when you think about it, those claw machines are the child equivalent of lobster pots.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 12:57 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


I'm also thinking there's got to be a conspiracy, as this apparently happens quite regularly.
posted by item at 12:58 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


My toddler always followed me to the bathroom, for one thing and either accompanied me inside or wailed at the door and complained about being locked out. In one of my early attempts to teach my daughter that THE CLAW is not generous, we practiced on one of the oversized machines at a bowling/video game center. (thank you parents for thoughtfully planning birthday parties in these hell holes without benefit of bloody marys for the adults) We put in our dollar and...won a giant fucking stuffed dolphin. I do not love these machines. The kid in the news story looked pretty jolly, tho.
posted by PuppyCat at 1:30 PM on April 16


I recently went to a lovely diner, Randy's, near the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

A very nice gentleman was playing the claw machine. With 4 quarters, he picked up 4 stuffed animals and gave one to each of the toddlers in my party. Then he nonchalantly sat down at the bar and drank his coffee like it was no big thing.
posted by bq at 2:12 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]


Was it Danny Trejo?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:24 PM on April 16 [23 favorites]


I'm also thinking there's got to be a conspiracy, as this apparently happens quite regularly.

One of those has a video, where we can clearly see how the kid got in there: he just climbed right in. I didn't think he'd be able to fit beforehand but I guess maybe little kids are like octopuses in that they can fit through holes barely larger than their beak.
posted by aubilenon at 2:35 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]


I think I remember a story just like this from around 20 years ago.

That child is now an adult. They might have a career. They might be married. They might have children of their own. They might be teaching now. They might be on your City Council


They might be running for president in 2016, even. Stranger things have happened.
posted by Wordshore at 2:58 PM on April 16


bq: "I recently went to a lovely diner, Randy's, near the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

A very nice gentleman was playing the claw machine. With 4 quarters, he picked up 4 stuffed animals and gave one to each of the toddlers in my party. Then he nonchalantly sat down at the bar and drank his coffee like it was no big thing.
"

Since you mentioned Seattle, I'm gonna bet that he was an actual, real po-lice, working at the port crane guy. Some of those guys have been doing the old go right, stop, down, stop for decades. No forbidden corrections needed for an old school-er.
posted by Sphinx at 3:53 PM on April 16


I'm not sure how they weeded out slicksters who would drop in with a store-bought lobster.

And now I have my next secret rendezvous counterphrase.
posted by Etrigan at 4:09 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Going to the bathroom = taking a nap.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:41 PM on April 16


Metafilter: Was it Danny Trejo?
posted by tristeza at 7:44 PM on April 16




I think I remember a story just like this from around 20 years ago.

That child is now an adult. They might have a career. They might be married. They might have children of their own. They might be teaching now. They might be on your City Council

They might be running for president in 2016, even. Stranger things have happened


I don't understand, is this supposed to mean the kid is stupid? Seemed like he did it just because he could and because three year olds.

Also, goddamn hero like the tweet said.
posted by sweetkid at 7:57 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Was it Danny Trejo?

I could have sworn it was Ghostbusters 2.
posted by maqsarian at 9:58 PM on April 16


Regarding his rescue, the child was quoted as saying, "My cat's breath smells like cat food."

He's obviously the reincarnation of a Zen master.
posted by Twang at 7:20 AM on April 17


I enjoy how virtually everyone seems to take the "facts" of the story at face value.
posted by spock at 8:19 AM on April 17


That kid is definitely holding a Cheasel T. Weasel stuffed toy from the infamous animated film Foodfight!
posted by Small Dollar at 8:28 AM on April 17


I don't understand, is this supposed to mean the kid is stupid? Seemed like he did it just because he could and because three year olds.

I wanted to emphasize old-feeling. Also, remind us all that anyone on the street might've jam-handle done awesome shit as three year olds.
posted by NoraReed at 8:40 AM on April 17


Err, "jam-handedly".
posted by NoraReed at 9:02 AM on April 17


Jam Handy?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:49 AM on April 17


I just was thinking "handedly" as in "red handedly" or something, but thinking "jam handedly" probably did not get used often despite its being sort of poetical
posted by NoraReed at 10:59 AM on April 17


Go Jam Handy! Go!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:29 AM on April 17


I like this a lot!

Ham-fisted: You're using force instead of finesse. You care about one result and any other effects your actions may have aren't worth your consideration.

Jam-handed: You're not really capable of force or finesse. You probably don't really understand all the consequences of what you're doing. But hey, your intentions are good.

As a verb: "He totally jam-handled that situation"
posted by aubilenon at 12:15 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


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