When I was a little shaver, I don't know what got me into pencils. I was an all pen dog. Ha! Misdirect! One Christmas I got this little deal. More parental guidance to my future bad habits. Ha! Misdirect! I'll explain...
It's a pot metal, one armed bandit. Set to look like an old classic machine from the early days of one of the great vices of the world. I don't remember what got me started on wanting an actual slot machine gambling device, but I made my parents know my intention. I wanted to be a degenerate. I wanted a starter kit until I earned 2.90 an hour.
Maybe it was from the Mash show. They had one in the O club. Maybe it was Vega$. All that Ca$h I would get. Of course, I'd have preferred if it would pay out in Spree candy or golden caramel cats eyes, but I got nothing and liked it.
I did get form and function in a small package. It was a pencil sharpener one armed bandit. I could use it for all the pencils I didn't use to make drawings and write. I did have a set of color pencils, but it had it's own sharpener. Lillian Vernon sold thousands of pencil sets with a neat plastic case and a sharpener. For an extra fee, I got my initials on the top. Good stuff.
The cool thing was, it sort of worked like a real bandit. You pulled the arm and a wheel inside spun and you got something. It was cheap. The machine didn't even total what you spun for correctly. I actually got a "6" according to the little scale on top. They only had two pictures for the score. I used it all x-mas while I was playing with my Micronauts city set.
I did get a battery powered draw poker machine from Radio Shack a few years later. I had a bit bigger one armed bandit bank that did have independent wheels, but it was a bank. It wouldn't pay out unless you unlocked it. Maybe it was subliminal messages. Gamble all you want but you'll get nothing back. Gambles in life are like Oreos. Yummy cookies but Jerry Lewis.
Truth be told, I rarely gamble. I make too little to throw away my cake to a giant "bandit". In fact, it was only two years ago that I actually went to my first casino and spun the fake arm and saw fake twirling of video wheels and proceeded to walk away with $15 less than I came in with. It was my fill. I'll go play PACHINKO!
BONUS JUNK GAMBLING MOTIF
Then there is cards. I've played a lot more poker in my YEWT. I had a lot of sets of cards. However, most of my cards came from: UNITED AIRLINES! Wow.
Airlines used to give a LOT of freebies and well, when I was a kid, I got what a could. They gave free playing cards so you could play cards while flying to your destination. They always had food and nuts and luggage flied free. I must have had 6-8 sets of United playing cards as well as the special activity card sets for kids. (Which may appear later on this blog as I think I still have a set.) By the time I took my last plane trip until modern airline security ball grabbing flights, they were starting to cheapen stuff, but I still wanted my "free" stuff. The above deck came from a US Airways trip to spring break 1986 with...wait for it...my MOM *gasp*. She sat out on the beach while I drove around in our rented Chrysler Spirit and visited malls. I was 17 and I went to spring break with my MOM? Yeah. How did this post become about me taking time from my high paying phone solicitation job to spend time having FUN with my MOM at spring break? I should have been trolling for bitches BUD BUNDY style and working on breaking the nasty with a drunken beach nymph. Instead? Early bird dinner at Howard Johnson's. Then back to the lodge to hear a radio station that played 16 hits over and over and over. COME ON SHAKE YOUR BODY BABY DO THE CONGA! ..over and over and over and over until leaving FL. 4 months later in the rust belt? COME ON SHAKE YOUR BODY BABY DO THE CONGA! ..over and over and over. WGCL bay-bee.
Man, some things just were better back when. Made In U.S.A. Still sealed. Not coated.