WhiteBoardness - 9/8/97
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 97 03:20:15 -0700
Subject: WhiteBoardness - 9/8/97
Excerpted-from: WhiteBoard News for Monday, September 08, 1997
It's hours before sunup. You're determined to get an early start on a day
of fishing. Uh oh - no bait.
Not a problem. Grab some change and head to the vending machine.
The Live Bait Merchandiser is the first vending machine designed to dispense
the minnows, slugs and earthworms anglers use to tantalize unwary fish.
The machine, usually found outside marinas, bait-and-tackle shops and corner
markets, has given Laura Poteet new freedom.
"It allows us to be able to go fishing in the evening and take bait with
us," said Ms. Poteet, a 28-year-old fishing fanatic from Paradise, Calif.
Two or three times a day, she and her family use the bait machine outside
the Golden Eagles Nest tackle shop near Lake Orville, Calif.
Since introducing the devices in March 1996, Vending Consultants Inc. of
Des Moines, Iowa, has sold or leased more than 700 machines throughout the
United States and Canada, primarily in the Great Lakes region. Worldwide
distribution is planned, said Jim Chico, vice president of sales and
marketing at Vending Consultants.
Like a soft drink machine, the bait machine was designed to maintain a
constant internal temperature and to resist tampering and theft.
It offers six selections, accepts $1 and $5 bills and dispenses change. Each
selection can be programmed for a different price ranging from 5 cents to
$99.95, though items generally cost between $2 and $5.
The product is dispensed in lidded, plastic-foam containers resembling large
coffee cups. Minnows and other live fish used as bait are sealed in plastic
bags filled with water, then the bags are placed inside the containers.
Earthworms and slugs usually are packed in dirt.
The Live Bait Merchandiser also has been used to dispense tackle kits, so
the company started offering a companion machine this summer to dispense
lures, line and other tackle. So far, about 30 of those machines are in the
field, he said.
Rick Newcomb loves the machine that has been in business outside his
Fore-River Fishing Tackle store in Quincy, Mass., since April 1996. He said
the machine "took off immediately" with customers and brings in up to $90
per day at the height of fishing season.
"It is one of the greatest things we have seen in the fishing industry in
the last 100 years," proclaimed Newcomb, who has been in the business for
Los Angeles, California:
Pucker up, sailor.
In a contest of who could kiss the boat the longest - to win a $15,000
Century craft - two people had enough lip to wear out even the judges.
Maureen Huertas and Jesus Vega were still kissing the boat at 7 p.m.
Saturday, 55 hours after the "Kiss of the Century" contest began.
Organizers called it a draw.
"We were down to two people and they vowed they'd go to the bitter end,"
said Mike Walker, a spokesman for sponsor Yamaha Marine Group. "It's hot
and humid, so we decided to give a boat to each of them."
Contestants kissed for four hours at a time and were given 30-minute breaks.
Vega said he would use his time to eat, use the restroom and jog around to
"get my blood flowing."
"I was sitting all the time and my lips were just stuck to the boat," Vega
said. "It is uncomfortable because your neck kind of sticks."
Many of the 18 unsuccessful contestants fell asleep. One glued his lips to
the boat, while another taped himself to a chair to keep from falling over.
"When people would drop off they all looked relieved - unhappy but
relieved," Walker said.
© 1997 Peter Langston