The Edison of the Slot Machines
February 4, 2020 7:01 PM   Subscribe

‘But in the slot cheat business, triumph is always short-lived. Less than two years after The Monkey Paw’s invention, fresh innovations in security rendered it obsolete. Indeed, the legacy of The Monkey Paw wasn’t so much in its lasting efficacy, but in the confidence it instilled in Tommy. Archimedes once said, “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth.” At the end of the nineties, Tommy Carmichael declared, “Give me a slot machine and I’ll beat it.”’
posted by Fiasco da Gama (14 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
When inserted into the coin slot, it completed a circuit powerful enough to hot-wire the hopper, where the coins are kept.


going outside for a cigarette.
posted by clavdivs at 7:15 PM on February 4

Delightful. Some hilarious deadpans in there. “He paid his taxes on time.”

As I explained to my friend with an interest in gentlemen’s pursuits via text, Carmichael’s shtick was a stick.

I see this is a regular column? If the rest of the pieces are anywhere near as droll, I’m all in.
posted by mwhybark at 7:38 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]

It was the short stick schtick
posted by mwhybark at 7:39 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]

Gentleman bandit treatment. Charming tale. Nice find!
posted by j_curiouser at 7:54 PM on February 4

trying to smoke here
posted by clavdivs at 7:55 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]

I’m assuming the craftsman was unaware of the works of W.W Jacobs?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:15 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]

Thanks, this is wonderful and I was definitely rooting for Tommy.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 8:31 PM on February 4

I went into reading it thinking he'd found a way to trick old mechanical machines into dealing out jackpots, not that he was finding ways to just empty the coin hopper or whatever.

This is why I'm not a major criminal. My brain goes for the "clever" solution instead of taking all the shortcuts.
posted by hippybear at 9:08 PM on February 4

This is why I'm not a major criminal. My brain goes for the "clever" solution instead of taking all the shortcuts.

Indeed - we spend all that time and effort learning to defend ourselves against all imaginable varieties of fruit, and then in walks a guy with a pointed stick.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 5:23 AM on February 5 [5 favorites]

Pointed stick? Oh, oh, oh. We want to learn how to defend ourselves against pointed sticks, do we? Getting all high and mighty, eh? Fresh fruit not good enough for you eh? Well I'll tell you something my lad. When you're walking home tonight and some homicidal maniac comes after you with a bunch of loganberries, don't come crying to me! Now, the passion fruit. When your assailant lunges at you with a passion fruit...
posted by Naberius at 6:41 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]

That article needs illustrations
posted by hypnogogue at 6:53 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]

“Further objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon examining the accompanying drawings.”

Is that one of the best closing sentences ever in an article like this? I think it might be.
posted by straight at 10:26 AM on February 5

...trick old mechanical machines...

Ditto. I have an old 5¢ mechanical slot machine inherited from my grandfather's gas station that I poked and played with incessantly as a kid. The guts were fascinating. It was also rigged to pass over the jackpot...
posted by zengargoyle at 1:17 PM on February 5

That article needs illustrations

Well here's The Protector:
posted by eddieddieddie at 7:03 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

« Older What   |   Getting up close and personal with the moon Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments