Ever since he was about 3 years old and it was raining heavily in Norfolk (something it does quite a lot all year round), we’ve let the boy have the occasional play on the 2p machines at seaside arcades.
He’s never really shown that much interest in developing an addiction to them, in fact last year the difference between him and his sister was astonishing. Fifi shovelled her 50p’s worth into the slots in about two minutes flat whilst the boy wandered around, half putting coins in before changing his mind and taking them out again. After about 40 minutes he decided to give up and “banked” his 38 remaining pence for a rainy day. We thought it was perhaps the cutest thing in the whole world. Contrast that to the wild-eyed mania we saw this year, the constant demand to return to the 2p machines from sun up to sun down, and I think we’ve learnt our lesson. No more 2p machines for him.
I must admit I felt the clarion call of the slidey shelves and the precariously balanced 2p’s myself, and had to show complete restraint before I snatched the tubs off the kids and rammed all the coins into a machine that would definitely have paid a handsome return. Perhaps they take after me eh?
Where do you stand on 2p machines? A bit of harmless seaside fun or the first step into a career in gambling that will see you in Ladbrokes on a wet Tuesday afternoon looking desperately for the winner in the 3.15 at Fakenham?