Please Insert 25¢



by Johnny Bananas 

The Gullibility Tester hangs on the wall at Epstein's Bar, my favorite watering hole. Unlike a lot of novelty machines that claim to test people for intangible qualities, this one actually works. I know because I designed it.
Well actually, I just rewired an old "love tester" machine I'd bought at the swap meet,
and using my sign painting skills (those are my drunken Santas you'll see carousing
on the front windows there every winter...) I put new wording on the front of it.
The mark drops in his quarter, grips the brass handle, and then the vertical row of clear 11w bulbs that will supposedly guage his capacity for discernment (from TOTAL RETARD up through
SIMPLE SIMON all the way to GENIUS! NOTHING GETS PAST YOU!) starts to blink at random.
He---and it's usually a he for some reason---watches expectantly as one rating after another
lights up, and with how the bells inside are chiming and the blinking of the lights becomes
more and more frantic it really does appear that it's about to reach some decision...
And then it dies. Grows dark and silent, with only one red plastic disc of an indicator light
sort of off to the side still glowing, the words next to it announcing:
This is all my machine does. All it will ever do, no matter how many times a person tries it.
And thus his gullibility is tested quite accurately, by how many times he falls for this,
the number of coins he drops into the slot...
And as the regulars all bust up laughing it also measures how well he can take a joke.
(Copyright 2008 by Whoever The Hell I Am...)


Reminds me in a way

... of the monkey box we built in high school. We left it plugged into the wall in a prominent place. It had a big button that said "PANIC". All kinds of other buttons, switches and dials.

Sooner or later, someone would push it releasing an awful cacophony of buzzes, horns and bells. People would try to turn it off by pushing buttons and flipping switches, but none of those did anything. Then they'd unplug it.

But it ran on capacitors that had been charging while it was plugged in. :)

Good story.

- Erin

Nice Little Story

Really written well. Quite enjoyable.


All it needs is a way to

All it needs is a way to require an actual quarter to be inserted. Something like waiting for a signal from a serial port, then to lock the screen after a timeout.

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