Claw Machine

Posted: December 18, 2011 by Keith Stone in lobsters, Staten Island

A Staten Island sports bar that has a claw machine with lobsters as prizes instead of stuffed animals is in hot water (get it?) with PETA. Dugout Pub South lets customers play the game for $2 and the lobsters must be eaten at the restaurant and not kept as pets. On the one hand, it’s pretty much the same thing that most restaurants do and if you’re a competitive bastard like me, it’s cool to win your dinner on the cheap. Buuuuuuuuuuut, it is a bit inhumane to have the lives of animals on the line as a prize for a game, and have a claw knock them around, pick them up, and drop them as well. There are about 1,000 of these machines around the country but they’re more common in, let’s say, more rural areas.

Ernie Pappas, the president of the company that makes the machines defended the concept by saying, “When guys go into a sports bar…they will never be in the NFL, they’ll never be a pro golfer or any kind of professional athlete. But they can be a fisherman by catching that lobster. Here a regular guy can go in, and when he catches it, which is difficult, he runs around saying, ‘I caught a lobster!’ Well, that’s a pretty interesting thing to do.” That’s really the most ludicrous part of the whole story. When I beat my buddies at a drunken game of air hockey, I don’t feel like Wayne Gretzky. Just because you can catch a lobster with a claw machine, doesn’t make you a fisherman. It means you’d be great at getting teddy bears for little kids. Ernie Pappas would make a great politician.

NY Daily News

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