Nancy, among her many skills, is an expert at those crane games, or claw games as they are also called, that live in the entrances of supermarkets and the game rooms of bowling alleys. Give her just a few dollars and she can pick them clean. One glance and she knows if a particular animal is buried or is ready to be plucked. She has an uncanny way with the claw, even using the swaying left over from the positioning motion to make sure that its crooked finger latches under the arm of the animal.
Part of her secret is to talk to the toys as they are being lifted, "C'mon stuffed sharpei, I love you. You want to come to me. I love you so much." Sure enough, the more she sweet talks, the more the fabric seems to cling to the hook and it is dropped into the chute.
We went to Sunset Bowl last night and Nancy left with an armload of stuffed animals and Spongebob Squarepants characters. We paused just long enough to give one to an admiring child on our way out.