Amusement arcades don’t want you to leave. Needy things. They lure you in with brash, flashy game lights and keep you there until dark. Or until you have spent all your money – whichever comes first. You never see clocks in arcades or casinos, time is something they don’t want you to keep track of. The temptation of gambling for the small chance of winning is irresistible to most. Stopping in your tracks next to the, nigh on impossible, teddy grabbers emblazoned with funfair style glitter graphics, you peer in. The carpet is always loud to cover the sand holidaymakers tend to drag in behind them, but inviting and familiar all the same. The almost unbearable KERRCHINGG of coins dropping is too much to step away from. A gaudy yellow change machine transforms your normal everyday money into arcade money that no-one uses in real life. Armed with buckets of useless tender, you pick a machine carefully. One that has precarious 2p pieces balancing at the edge of the push level game. One with a crappy plastic toy encased in a £5 note, held by an elastic band. You don’t really want it, but you have to get it. One you spotted had 2p already in the shiny silver exit chute. Must be a lucky one. It is incredible how fast you can spend through 2p coins when hypnotised. An 8p win. Yes! You burn through another £3 worth of coins, one by one until your fingers smell metallic and vinegary. The glitter and the constant KERRCHINGG fade, You are spent up. Raising your head you see likeminded gamblers absorbed in their tuppenny nudging. Heading towards the exit (another arcade) you notice something that isn’t quite right in a place that doesn’t make much sense. Thinking to yourself whilst surfacing into the salty sea air
Why exactly are there fake trees in arcades anyway?