Crab Vending Machine.
October 22, 2010 8:12 AM   Subscribe

 
How much does it cost to get crabs?

(...same as in town ... )
posted by chavenet at 8:14 AM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


It looks like the crab version of the Matrix.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:19 AM on October 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


You just know some guy's gonna get his crab stuck on the spindle without falling off into the chute, and he'll be rocking the machine back and forth until it falls over and not only will it crush him HE'LL BE SMOTHERED WITH LIVE CRABS.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:20 AM on October 22, 2010 [40 favorites]


Big fan of the banana song at 2:32.
posted by phunniemee at 8:22 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, let's put live animals into tiny plastic boxes, then chill them so they can't/won't move more than a few millimeters in any direction. THEN we can sell 'em to the public through Crustacean Station vending machines.

How pleasant.
posted by zarq at 8:23 AM on October 22, 2010 [11 favorites]


It all seems rather shellfish (sorry!) as zarq points out.
posted by numberstation at 8:24 AM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]




I dunno whether to flag it, favourite it or simply wonder how often they stock it
posted by The Lady is a designer at 8:29 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


What, pray tell, is the clear liquid being dispensed in the seedy(?) lounge at the end of the video?
posted by cavalier at 8:30 AM on October 22, 2010


Are they not speaking Japanese?

(Not that I get to hear Mandarin or Japanese that often...)
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 8:36 AM on October 22, 2010


There was a bait-vending machine at my bus stop as a kid, so I am perhaps not as surprised by this as some of you lifelong urbanites.

I often wonder if they sold more worms to grownups who were going fishing, or to my schoolmates for throwing.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:37 AM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


For some reason the guy trying diligently to push the bill with Xiaoping's face on it in order to get a LIVE CRAB FROM A FUCKING VENDING MACHINE has confused me mightily.
posted by angrycat at 8:41 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are they not speaking Japanese?

The reporter's speaking Japanese, but the vending machine is in China. It's everybody's favorite slow-news-day staple, "boy they sure do THING funny over there in PLACE."
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:44 AM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Ugh that just tripped my claustrophobia trigger SO HARD
posted by hermitosis at 8:46 AM on October 22, 2010


Ok, so they're nice and calm when they're really cold, but by the time you get home you've got an angry crab in a box?
posted by orme at 8:46 AM on October 22, 2010 [11 favorites]


Are they not speaking Japanese?

Yeah, looks like it's a Japanese news report or something. It's in Nanjing though.
posted by kmz at 8:46 AM on October 22, 2010


This is an outrage. IT DOESN'T COME WITH ANY SAUCE!
posted by oddman at 8:50 AM on October 22, 2010


That's just WRONG!
posted by PuppyCat at 8:50 AM on October 22, 2010


Response 1: They're sold in boxes? C'mon, it'd be loads more fun if you had to catch them with a crane amusement machine-style, not to mention more sporting to the crab.

Response 2: It's only a matter of time before they put people into machines like this, mark my words.
posted by JHarris at 8:51 AM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hey, let's put live animals into tiny plastic boxes, then chill them so they can't/won't move more than a few millimeters in any direction. THEN we can sell 'em to the public through Crustacean Station vending machines.

Well, the traditional way of cooking crabs (at least the way my Chinese parents did it) is to boil/steam them alive, so I don't think people are all that worried about their feelings in general.
posted by kmz at 8:53 AM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Warning hot sticky angry snakes.
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on October 22, 2010


Getcha some of "these as a side dish!
posted by gorgor_balabala at 8:54 AM on October 22, 2010


these
posted by gorgor_balabala at 8:55 AM on October 22, 2010


the traditional way of cooking crabs (at least the way my Chinese parents did it)

My white American parents, too. We're all "Greetings from the top of the food chain!" in my family.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Should probably dispense beverages too, like Mountain Dew or Crab Juice.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:57 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


None for me, thanks; I'm on a low-crab diet.
posted by albrecht at 8:59 AM on October 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


ewww! Mountain Dew?!
posted by Ghidorah at 8:59 AM on October 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Response 1: They're sold in boxes? C'mon, it'd be loads more fun if you had to catch them with a crane amusement machine-style, not to mention more sporting to the crab.

Wouldn't the crabs just hold on?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:07 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, the traditional way of cooking crabs (at least the way my Chinese parents did it) is to boil/steam them alive, so I don't think people are all that worried about their feelings in general.

I think that's a shame.
posted by zarq at 9:07 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


This vending machine could only exist in China. If it were an American vending machine it would already be suing someone for anonymously tweeting that it has crabs.
posted by The Bellman at 9:10 AM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is one of those great concept, terrible actual gameplay things, isn't it?
posted by saturday_morning at 9:12 AM on October 22, 2010


To those talking about the humaneness of these machines, I wonder how you feel about swatting a mosquito or a housefly. They're about as bright as crabs and lobsters are, but not big enough to be delicious.

On the other hand, if you want to make a case against eating all animals, I can respect that, but I hope you have a consistent definition of what's an animal (do eggs count, etc.).
posted by Xoder at 9:14 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just a question, do the crabs have more room to move around in the plastic box or in the big-pile-o'-crabs in the bushel basket covered in ice as they are otherwise sold?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:21 AM on October 22, 2010


but by the time you get home you've got an angry crab in a box?

Unexpected Angry Crab in a BoxTM; the perfect present for the co-worker who drives you crazy.
posted by quin at 9:22 AM on October 22, 2010 [21 favorites]


C'mon, it'd be loads more fun if you had to catch them with a crane amusement machine-style, not to mention more sporting to the crab.

My friend has seen one of these. Not in Japan or China, either - good ol' midwestern Ohio.
posted by naju at 9:23 AM on October 22, 2010


Unexpected Angry Crab in a BoxTM; the perfect present for the co-worker who drives you crazy.

Muses upon the potential cost of garnering Shanghai office staff's cooperation
posted by The Lady is a designer at 9:33 AM on October 22, 2010


What exactly is the point of this machine? Do you buy the crab to take home and boil, or buy the crab to nosh on -- whole? raw? -- during your train ride?

Because from the video, it goes from hibernation to CLAW CLAW CLAW in a matter of seconds...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:41 AM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Those machines would be huge in Baltimore!
posted by TedW at 9:42 AM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I watched the video 3x and I completely missed the part where the crabs were speaking Japanese.
posted by stevil at 9:43 AM on October 22, 2010


To those talking about the humaneness of these machines, I wonder how you feel about swatting a mosquito or a housefly. They're about as bright as crabs and lobsters are, but not big enough to be delicious.

I don't eat quite a few animals, including veal, lamb and shellfish. I didn't eat red meat for many years, and am eliminating it once again from my diet. I only very rarely eat pork products. I'll probably eliminate chicken and turkey eventually, although for the moment I just try to stick to the free range stuff. I don't have a problem swatting mosquitos because I am concerned they might they carry disease. I don't really encounter houseflies in my life, and am not generally faced with a need to kill them, or spiders, which I do encounter. If I feel there's some sort of threat involved, I'll kill a bug. Otherwise, live and let live. I do eat eggs. However, I do not think of eggs as "fully realized" living animals, so to speak. I can expand on this if you're curious.

On the other hand, if you want to make a case against eating all animals, I can respect that, but I hope you have a consistent definition of what's an animal (do eggs count, etc.).

Why should I care if you or anyone else respects my personal views on what constitutes "acceptable" food? Cruelty is relative. And my opinions are of course, my own.
posted by zarq at 9:47 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want to know what the little vials of liquid are on the bottom of the crab machine.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:48 AM on October 22, 2010


CRAB VENDING MACHINE

ONE IN TWELVE IS A XENOMORPH

元100 VALUE
posted by shakespeherian at 9:53 AM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Could the crab claw its way out of the box, could it, even if it was warm and angry?

w/r/t the ethical questions, there's a great essay by DFW called Consider the Lobster (also the title of a book of his essays) but is there a philosophical argument to be made that animals have rights?

I'm curious about this because was working with a student on this exact question and it was pretty fascinating. Utilitarianism and contractarianism weren't good approaches.
posted by angrycat at 9:57 AM on October 22, 2010


a sign on the machine states that if your crab is dead, you get three free ones for your trouble

Oddly enough, Ashley Madison makes the same guarantee.
posted by PlusDistance at 10:06 AM on October 22, 2010



To those talking about the humaneness of these machines, I wonder how you feel about swatting a mosquito or a housefly. They're about as bright as crabs and lobsters are, but not big enough to be delicious.


If a crab came into my house uninvited I would swat it too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:09 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I wonder how you feel about swatting a mosquito or a housefly"

Well, let's see. The crabs are not coming after me for my blood. It's merely self defense to swat a mosquito.

As for houseflies, I just open the window and let them out, unless it's a horsefly, and then it's self-defense again.
posted by HopperFan at 10:10 AM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by klausman at 10:13 AM on October 22, 2010


The last vending machine, around the 3 minute mark, is where it's at. We need to get one of those babies at work.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:14 AM on October 22, 2010


Aren't we all really just angry crabs stacked in a vending machine in a Chinese train station? I mean, if you really think about it, man?
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:16 AM on October 22, 2010 [30 favorites]


Is that Snooki in the comments? Hilarious!

You know, watching this made me hungry. How starved do you have to be when seeing crab vending machine makes you hungry?
posted by Xoebe at 10:24 AM on October 22, 2010


Aren't we all really just angry crabs stacked in a vending machine in a Chinese train station? I mean, if you really think about it, man?
posted by Kafkaesque 9 minutes ago [+]


Is this an attempt at performance art?

Because if so, it's actually quite good.
posted by zarq at 10:29 AM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


*phew*
FINALLY!
posted by Theta States at 10:30 AM on October 22, 2010


Those machines would be huge in Baltimore!

They'd be bigger in Texas, because they'd be stocked with cows.
posted by ericbop at 10:34 AM on October 22, 2010 [15 favorites]


The crabs are not coming after me for my blood.

Mister Weinstein, have I got a pitch for you.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:41 AM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


If a crab came into my house uninvited I would swat it too.

All sea crabs; blue, dungeoness, king, etc., have a standing invitation to come to my home and enjoy the spa-like conditions they will find there. Think about it, crabs, you and your friends could be enjoying the warmth and (eternal) relaxation crabs can only find by being slowly lowered into our patented crab sauna in one of our customized crab gondolas all while our personal attendants shower you with our special formula of all-natural herbs (and spices) meant to draw out and enhance the beauty we know you possess under that tough exterior. Welcome to paradise, crabs!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:42 AM on October 22, 2010 [25 favorites]


You just know some guy's gonna get his crab stuck on the spindle without falling off into the chute, and he'll be rocking the machine back and forth until it falls over and not only will it crush him HE'LL BE SMOTHERED WITH LIVE CRABS.

He'll be a CRUSHED ASIAN covered with CRUSTACEANS!
posted by Wet Spot at 10:46 AM on October 22, 2010 [79 favorites]


Don't forget the massage in the buttery unguents by exotic masseuses, The 10th Regiment of Foot
posted by The Lady is a designer at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mister Weinstein, have I got a pitch for you.

It's been done.

Starring Russell Johnson. (The Professor from Gilligan's Island.)
posted by zarq at 10:49 AM on October 22, 2010


Don't worry, there's a little guy with a Katamari on his way to roll all this up in just a little bit.
posted by A dead Quaker at 10:50 AM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's been done.

Wait, what? I was going to pitch a story about a pair of New Yorkers who have to come to terms with recently-unearthed repressed memories of child abuse when their father arrives in town to announce that he's dying of kidney failure.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:55 AM on October 22, 2010


Aren't we all really just angry crabs stacked in a vending machine in a Chinese train station? I mean, if you really think about it, man?

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the plastic boxes of Chinese vending machines.
posted by gompa at 10:58 AM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


is there a philosophical argument to be made that animals have rights?
Is there a philosophical argument to be made that humans have rights? Does it not apply as well to animals? (Ignoring arguments based on religion: humans have souls / made in God's image / endowed by Creator / whatever.)
posted by hattifattener at 11:03 AM on October 22, 2010


He'll be a CRUSHED ASIAN covered with CRUSTACEANS!

I don't generally like puns very much, and I haven't ever commented on one favorably online. But you've done a beautiful thing, here, man.
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


And now I've got that sound stuck in my head... (Man, that cancel level was the BEST EVER.)
posted by maryr at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2010


^---- Cancer level. In Katamari. Meant to press the Preview button, I swear...
posted by maryr at 11:06 AM on October 22, 2010


He'll be a CRUSHED ASIAN covered with CRUSTACEANS!

Sometimes a favorite is not enough. I echo Ipsifendus. Wet Spot, this is sublime.
posted by The Bellman at 11:14 AM on October 22, 2010


Considering that all of the middle aged asian women I know(including my mother...and soon, me) take pride in their ability to pick the freshest live crab out of a tank, I can't see this being particularly targeted towards them.
posted by sawdustbear at 11:17 AM on October 22, 2010


Wet Spot, this is sublime.
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:22 AM on October 22, 2010


These stories depress me. A bunch of Americans laughing at how weird Asians are with their vending machines instead of weeping at how woefully unimaginative American vending machines are.

I would kill myself, but all this vending machine has is twix.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:24 AM on October 22, 2010




Shit, if this were in America it wouldn't be any damn sissified vending machine. In America, they'd have people at ball games who would run out and shoot live crabs into the crowd with pneumatic guns like they do hot dogs and t-shirts now.

You'll have a face full of live crab, and you'll have it 30mph, and you WILL LIKE IT, motherfucker. Or go back to France.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:55 AM on October 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


He'll be a CRUSHED ASIAN covered with CRUSTACEANS!

This had me snorting into my comforter for about a good thirty seconds before I Regained Control.

Is there a philosophical argument to be made that humans have rights? Does it not apply as well to animals? (Ignoring arguments based on religion: humans have souls / made in God's image / endowed by Creator / whatever.)

Right. We have inalienable rights in the context of the Constitution, but what is the basis for this? Does it all go back to a Christian God? I should know this, and I guess I could also look it up, but heh it's my fuckin' day off and you all are smarter than I am anyways.
posted by angrycat at 11:55 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Right. We have inalienable rights in the context of the Constitution, but what is the basis for this? Does it all go back to a Christian God?

Nope.

Natural or inalienable rights aren't contingent on any one religion or society's beliefs, customs, rituals or laws. They're based on the idea of moral universalism, that says there are ethics which are universally and inseparably human, without regard for religion, gender, race or culture.

Many religions declare that moral universalism stems from a higher power. Theirs. Christians in particular use that argument a lot when it comes to abortion.
posted by zarq at 12:15 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just can't bring myself to eat animals who have to be boiled alive. Seems like such a sucky way to go ...
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:21 PM on October 22, 2010


crab shears
posted by msbutah at 12:22 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


crab shears

Well, that's just horrifying.

There are two things you don't want people to see you make: laws and sausages crab cakes.
posted by zarq at 12:25 PM on October 22, 2010


He'll be a CRUSHED ASIAN covered with CRUSTACEANS!

Wet Spot, this is sublime.

And might I add, a bit eponysterical!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:35 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shit, if this were in America it wouldn't be any damn sissified vending machine. In America, they'd have people at ball games who would run out and shoot live crabs into the crowd with pneumatic guns like they do hot dogs and t-shirts now.

You'll have a face full of live crab, and you'll have it 30mph, and you WILL LIKE IT, motherfucker. Or go back to France.


Rou, I think you can be expecting a phonecall from their marketing and development people any minute now!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:39 PM on October 22, 2010


Well, that's just horrifying.

Definitely, but at least it kills them instantly. I feel much better about this than I do boiling them alive, whether or not they possess the mental faculties needed to feel pain or anguish. I come from a long line of crabbers and shrimpers by trade. At my insistence as a squeamish young boy, my family began cleaning the crabs first before boiling them. This entails removing the "back" shell and cleaning out all the fun stuff inside the crab's main body compartment. Like the sheers, it's both totally unpleasant for the human and instantly over with for the crab.
posted by kryptondog at 1:28 PM on October 22, 2010


Worst. Unplugging the vending machine prank. Ever.
posted by disillusioned at 1:48 PM on October 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


ooooh, they should get one at the Discount Seafood Warehouse!

man I love that place, it's LOB-AWESOME!

they should add an audio clip to the machine with motion detector saying "CRABS!"
posted by gkr at 2:02 PM on October 22, 2010


Natural or inalienable rights aren't contingent on any one religion or society's beliefs, customs, rituals or laws. They're based on the idea of moral universalism, that says there are ethics which are universally and inseparably human, without regard for religion, gender, race or culture.

Maybe that's true where you live....
posted by chavenet at 2:02 PM on October 22, 2010


First thought: If it were in the US, someone would come along, buy a bunch, and set them free. Either back in the sea as a statement or somewhere potentially humorous as a prank...

Second thought: All I need is one roundtrip ticket and a bunch of Chinese bills, and my Christmas shopping will be complete.

ME: "Um, you may want to store that gift in the fridge, instead of under the tree...for the cat's safety."
posted by eviltwin at 3:27 PM on October 22, 2010


No comments on the medical marijuana vending machine? You people are so sophisticated.
posted by Cranberry at 4:45 PM on October 22, 2010


What, pray tell, is the clear liquid being dispensed in the seedy(?) lounge at the end of the video?

Pretty sure it is Sake
posted by netd at 5:28 PM on October 22, 2010


but is there a philosophical argument to be made that animals have rights? I'm curious about this because was working with a student on this exact question and it was pretty fascinating. Utilitarianism and contractarianism weren't good approaches.

Not entirely sure what you mean by "not good approaches," but Peter Singer is one of the more famous animal rights guys out there, and my understanding is that he's coming from a utilitarian perspective. Someone who knows more about this than me feel free to jump in.

Or we can just make crab jokes; I'm cool with either.
posted by naoko at 5:41 PM on October 22, 2010


Can we make jokes about boxes that have crabs?
posted by nathancaswell at 6:06 PM on October 22, 2010


I'm going to put them in my mouth. Oh, yes.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:12 PM on October 22, 2010


I can't believe I didn't spot the opportunity to go the extra yard with the "crushed asian" joke. Well played, sir. Well played.
posted by Curious Artificer at 6:43 PM on October 22, 2010


My understanding from the brief Peter Singer bit in Wikipedia is that the greatest good for the greatest number should be expanded to include animals. But there still would be line-drawing involved -- if we were to include insects, say, in this, the calculation would be a lot different than if we drew the line at mammals. And how would one justify the line drawing?
posted by angrycat at 7:08 PM on October 22, 2010


What exactly is the point of this machine? Do you buy the crab to take home and boil, or buy the crab to nosh on -- whole? raw? -- during your train ride?

Look, you put your money in the machine, you get a cold crab in a box. What you do with it at that point is between you and the crab.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:30 AM on October 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


I didn't realize that vending machines were such a big thing in east Asia. This makes the women's self-defense skirt that turns into a vending machine make a lot more sense.
posted by philotes at 8:01 AM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


angrycat, you draw the line between animals that feel pain and those that don't.
posted by oddman at 5:54 PM on October 24, 2010


Why yes, I would like to see more Japanese news stories about how other cultures sell weird shit in vending machines. Somehow, I suspect that the knish automat* in front of the 2nd Avenue Deli would get a feature on this same news story.


*Yeah, I know, that thing hasn't worked since the Nixon administration. Whatever.
posted by norm at 10:22 AM on October 25, 2010


The worst thing about the crab shearing photo is how absolutely depressed the crab looks: "Fuck it, get it over with."
posted by Ogre Lawless at 7:47 AM on October 26, 2010


The worst thing about the crab shearing photo is how absolutely depressed the crab looks: "Fuck it, get it over with."

Reminds me of this: "Gimme the bad news..."
posted by zarq at 7:58 AM on October 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


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