Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Vending Machines.

My Chinese friend, Jen, is always running to the vending machines to get a snack. She'll buy Cheetos, Lays Potato Chips, soda pop, cookies, Swedish Fish. You name it, she'll buy it.

I suppose vending machines are really a good idea. It's not just convenient but it's a great marketing ploy for the snack companies.

How many times do you see a soda machine glaring "Coca Cola" or "Pepsi"? I bet, if you paid attention and actually counted each soda machine you pass on any given day, you would see two dozen. Try to imagine what a Hershey candy bar looks like, or a bag of M&Ms, or Lays can totally do it, can't you? I mean, you can visualize exactly what each wrapper looks like.

Then there's the whole money thing. Have you ever been standing at a vending machine that takes only coins? (I know they make machines that accept bills but I know there are still some around.) You have 6 nickels and 3 dimes and you really want something that costs 75 cents...if you're anything like me (or my Chinese friend, Jen) you will ask everybody you know if they have 15 cents...but you'll say it like this: "Do you have any change? All I need is fifteen cents...but no pennies, I don't think the machine takes pennies." You might not even WANT those Vienna Cookies but you just HAVE to have the money...and the exact change is always a plus.

Ugh...then you have to push the buttons. G2, D1, K7, F10. I can't tell you how many times I have mistakenly pushed the right letter but the wrong numbers. I could be craving Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, put in my exact change (without pennies), punch in C6, and watch something disgusting, like creme-filled caramels, pops out instead. And then you're pissed. Yep, I'm sure it's happened to you.

Oh, wait! There's something even worse than that! Imagine: perfect change, right buttons, the lever spins, and then the snack GETS STUCK and doesn't come out at all!!! Ahh! You look around to make sure nobody's looking and then you wrestle with the machine. You try to shake it, you nudge it, you tap on the glass...then somebody walks by, notices that you're molesting this machine for a 75 cent snack, and walks away thinking you're a cheap bastard. (That's what I think every time somebody catches me doing that.)

Vending machines...God's gift or a nasty little joke on humanity? You decide.

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