Every year on the MBIP blog, it’s become a tradition to go and take a trip to the Northwoods Mall and make a yearly count of the many gumball machines located there. The first time we did this was in Jauary of 2013 and we counted up 68 gumball machines on that first trip. Last year we went around Easter and sat on the Easter Bunny’s lap and counted up 86 gumball machines, the count had escalated! And so as we begin on this year’s sticky journey, we must wonder...will there be even more gumball machines? Will there be less? Does anyone really care? Don’t answer that last question and let’s just get in the MBIP Mobile and head over to The Northwoods Mall!
We got our first big snowfall and the MBIP Mobile is covered in Mother Nature's chilly dandruff. We've had an easy winter so far, so I haven't had to mention this, but I'll bring it up now, I fucking HATE winter!
And here we go on this cold wintery day. I would've just as soon stayed in bed, but when it comes to counting gumball machines, duty comes first!
We have arrived at the snowy entrance to the Northwoods Mall...
Let's go in and let the counting begin!
Wow, right off the bat we're hit with a new display here in the front section of the mall.
These gumball machines are all manufactured from the "Northern Beaver" company. Hmmm, wasn't Northern Beaver a porno magazine in the '70's? If only I wouldn't have taken all those drugs back then maybe I'd remember, but then I certainly wouldn't have had as much fun back then, so it kind of equals itself out.
Okay, that display had 18 gumball machines to begin our count for the year. Let's head over to the middle of the mall, as I recall there's one huge gumball machine that has a thyroid condition over there...
And there it is! I think this one has made it onto every gumball expedition here at the Northwoods Mall, nice to see that some things don't change. I just hope they've changed the gum since 2013!
Check it out, a relaxation center. I'd love to stop and take a breather here, but there's no rest when you're on a gumball machine counting journey. We must soldier on!
Hey, wait a second, what's that over there...
Okay, let's get back to gumball duty, we're up to 19 machines, let's see how many are up on the second floor this year.
The massage chairs are still here, one of these years I have to try them out, but I don't have time today, I'm running late due to traffic moving slow because of the godamned snow. Did I mention I fucking HATE winter? Oh, good!
And now it's time for the annual, "do these chairs come with a happy ending?" joke. It just never gets old...at least for me.
Wow, there's a big change in the gumball machines up here this year. There used to be one giganzo display and now they're all lined up in a row here, like something out of a Joe Walsh song.
These machines are of the straight up, "Beaver" variety. Now that definitely was a porno mag in the '70's! Okay, there was 22 machines in that line-up which brings our total up to 41. This is starting to get pretty damned exciting! Well, just play along with me, okay?
There's another strip of gumball machines in the upper area, just opposite the ones we just saw.
Here's a view of this strip and there's 22 machines in this one too, bringing the count up to: 63 gumball machines in the Northwoods Mall so far.
Cry Baby Guts...what the hell does that even mean? It does bring back memories of one of my favorite stores in NYC on 14th street though. It's now long gone and is probably a Starfucks or a 7-11 by now.
Wow, they've gotten rid of the gumball machines that used to be back here on the second floor and it's been replaced by this strange looking kiosk.
You can win gift cards to other stores in this machine, which is a little strange because none of these stores are located in the mall.
Here's another section of the kiosk declaring that, "Every Cup Is A Winner!!" Double exclamation alert! Okay, I've had enough of this. The count for this year is 63 gumball machines which is the all time low since we've started this. And do you know what that means?
It's time to get a pretzel! Actually I was going to end this with a comparison of the two pretzel shops in the mall, this one, which is called "didoughs" and another one downstairs called "Auntie Anne's." Well right after I took this, a mall cop on a Segway rolled up and asked me what I was doing. It felt like a scene from Paul Blart: Mall Cop! He got all Barney Fife on my ass and told me I couldn't take any photos in the mall and I had to delete this one and I told him I wasn't going to. He rolled about a foot away and called someone on a phone while I ordered a pretzel.
In the midst of all of this, this gentleman came up and said he's a big fan of MBIP and asked if we could take a "selfie." I love it when this happens, so I said, "Of course," and here's the selfie he took and later posted on Twitter. I forgot to write his name down (UPDATE: Just found out from Bob Gordon that his name is Sam), but you can follow him on Twitter by clicking here. At this point the mall cop kept bitching about pictures, so I decided to hit the road and do this pretzel duel on another day. And so the final tally is 63 gumball machines for 2015! Chew on that and we'll see you all tomorrow!
Bonus Marriage Proposal From Eric at Oliver's Pizza!
Eric, who was the bartender on yesterday’s post told us that he was going to propose to his girlfriend at last night’s Trivia Night at Oliver’s Pizza in the Heights. I couldn’t make it, but told him to send me a photo if she said yes. And apparently she did, because last night he sent us this photo of the proposal from Trivia Night at Oliver’s! Very cool and congratulations to the two of them. Maybe we’ll get invited to the wedding! Stay tuned for that!