Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed
Since it's that road-trip time of year, my thoughts drift back to the 1970's when my own family piled into the Skylark and navigated the roads of the American Midwest. Since that would have obviously been pre-internet, the only way to comparison shop the hotels was to read their neon signs as you whizzed by. Signs proclaimed "heated pool", "color TV" - my favorite sign had some words that ran together to read "air conditioned switchboard". But what about those signs that also included the mystically named "magic fingers"?
In 1958, John Houghtaling invented Magic Fingers, a device mounted onto a hotel bed that would shake the mattress under you for 15 minutes, promising escape from the work-a-day non-vibrating bed world. Let me describe the experience to you. First you drop 25 cents into the coin box at the head of the bed. There is a buzz from deep within the mattress, and very quickly the fine lines printed on the bedspread go into soft focus. Panicked, you wonder whether it's scientifically possible to rattle the eyes out of your head. Eventually you are able to let go and enjoy the body massage by imagining that you are sleeping on a giant purring cat.
You're able to forget for a while that you're in a cheap motel, that the vibrating bed has probably been used less for its therapeutic advantages, and more as a giant kinky toy. That's right, forget it all, let go... and right when you've drifted off into a quarter-fueled zen state, your time is up and the bed grinds to a halt. You rack your brain trying to remember where you may have stashed some more change, and the cycle begins again.
The company is still around, at least in name - perhaps they are another zombie brand? There's precious little information at their website, only the offer of the home game version of Magic Fingers. In a way, it seems like Magic Fingers would work better at home anyway - you could have longer and more regular massage sessions to work away stress and help you to get to sleep. Just keep a tin cup near the bed so you can drop in a quarter and hear the "clink" that let's you know the fun is about to start.
Magic Fingers official website (you've just GOTTA tell us if you buy one, or put one on your wedding registry...)