Monday, June 15, 2009

A Claw Machine Addiction Pays Off for Youngsters

Horseshoe winner picks out one of Becky Johnson's stuffed toys.

Horseshoe winner picks out one of Becky Johnson's stuffed toys.

The Johnsons were vague when I first asked them how they accumulated all the stuffed animals and characters they donated as prizes Saturday. Becky and Eddie Johnson, members of Countryside Neighborhood Alliance came up with 100 fluffy odd stuffed characters as prizes for playing horseshoes at Juneteenth Freedom Day 2009. This was the third year our neighborhood has participated.

The kids loved it and even a few adults gave a few throws of the horseshoe. This went on until every stuffed toy was gone at about 3:00 PM.

Finally the Johnson’s secret came out. They had accumulated the stuffed toys from an admitted “addiction” they had with claw machines. Eddie confessed, “you get into a habit … it had become a driving force … an addiction we had to overcome.” They would go to Burger King and sit down to eat –  they would here ring out “your a winner” and they thought someone else had grabbed a toy that “they could have gotten out of the machine.”

At one point said Eddie, “we planned our day around it spending $3 to $6 dollars.” He explained that 5 years ago they just dumped the stuffed toys into the claw machines making it easy for pros like the Johnsons to grab a bundle. Eddie complained that now they have learned to “pack” them in to make it harder.

Claw Machine

Claw Machine

Finally their daughter, Amy, had to have a little talk with her parents about their …  ahhh … well problem. Amy conducted an intervention of sorts. Amy and their son are proud that their parents finally have come to grips with their admitted addition. They have now curtailed their habit and it is no longer a driving force but an occasional treat.

What better way to atone for their … ahhh … problem then to donate the toys as prizes for Juneteenth Freedom Day. In the past they had already given some to school children with special needs and other children at their Penn Forest Christian Church.

Nowadays the Johnsons can “walk away” from a claw machine with no lingering anxiety. BUT if you see them at next years Juneteenth with a pile of stuffed toys you’ll know the Johnsons have had a relapse. They have my phone number as support as members of CMA (Claw Machines Anonymous).

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community, Local Events

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