Steak n Shake Carnies

Steak and shake Last week, Sube, our son Chris, and I were sitting in a local Steak n Shake  at about 10:00 pm.  We had just finished the last of our Christmas shopping and we were looking forward to a delicious steakburger and chili.

About the time our food was being served, a party of about 10 Carnival workers entered the restaurant with great fanfare. The Carnies were dressed as if they had just got off work.  Rhinestone collars and elaborate uniforms with the name of a touring "Exotic Animals Exhibit" festooned on the back.  As they were being seated, one of them took off his uniform jacket.  He had a huge set of black eagle wings tattooed on  his back showing clearly underneath and creeping out of his wife-beater teeshirt.  

He rose and went back to the front of the restaurant and began putting money into one of those novelty claw machines.  The kind that took his money and gave him about thirty seconds to pick up a stuffed doll and transport it to the drop slot at the front of the machine.  Apparently, he REALLY wanted the Santa Claus stuffed doll.  He put dollar after dollar into the machine. Each time the claw would try to grab the Santa but just barely slip loose. The Carnie played the machine untill he realized he was out of money, he began borrowing money from others in the group.  Soon, nearly the entire party was gathered around the machine helping to urge him on.  It was quite the bonding moment. Other customers in the Steak n Shake began to take notice and offer encouragement (if not dollars). 

The suspense was palpable as the doll would fall from the claw at just the last second, prompting another round of pocket searching and pooling of quarters. As we finished our meal and exited, the Carnie was left alone at the machine, leaning on the front of the glass wall staring at the Santa doll.  It was sad to see the Carnie get outplayed by the Steak n Shake Carnie machine.  Seemed almost poetic.
 
 
Last edited December 27, 2009 4:51 PM
 
 
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Steak and shake
 
 
 
 
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