Vending machine oddness


Many odd things happen to me in my life, but this week something odd happened which was not in any way connected to the theatre and was only vaguely related to being a librarian, in that it happened on the university campus where I work.

Picture, if you will, a vending machine filled to the very gunnels with tasty Fairtrade snacks – chocolate, flapjack, biscuits, fruit juices and something that tastes vaguely like cola.  Sometimes (I will leave my readers to decide how often), a fellow needs some chocolate to sustain him through a day in the Library of Doom, and on this particular day, nothing suited my deprived taste buds more than tasty Divine chocolate, specifically the Orange Milk Chocolate flavour.  I duly fed the machine several shiny silver coins, pressed the buttons and watched the orangey milky bar of goodness tumble down towards the area you can reach through the flap.

As I watched, I was surprised to see that it didn’t stop when it hit the bottom, but instead took a flying leap back upwards, presumably trying to regain its former perch at the top of the machine.  Instead, its desperate gambit landed it in the vending slot for orange juice, where it stopped still, wedged between a carton and the metallic spiral keeping it in place.  My chocolate (which I needed, not wanted), was so close, yet utterly out of reach.

Since I have been trying, very unsuccessfully, to boot a cold out of my system, I decided that the machine was clearly trying to influence my Vitamin C intake, so purchased the orange juice, allowing both juice and chocolate to tumble out.  I spent a few minutes pondering how strange it was, and trying to recall whether I’d ever seen anything bounce in a vending machine before (I concluded that I had not), but soon got on with the much more important task of eating the chocolate, which tasted just as good as usual after its adventure.

Has anyone else witnessed anything similar?  And does anyone think it’s likely that I’ll return to more normal topics soon?

  1. We have constant problems some of them baffling with our vending machine. We use the proceeds to pay for the holiday party at the end of the year.

    Sometimes the chips get stuck together and you have to pay an extra fifty cents to get two bags of chips. Sometimes the machine doesn’t work because someone used a stick to knock the peanuts down from the bottom row of the machine and jammed open the collection tray. We have security in our building to check for these kinds of things.

    Other times the machine has stopped working because someone has tried to shake it like a pinball machine to get a candy bar to come loose.

  2. I always thought the idea of trying to dislodge things from vending machines with a stick was something only cartoon characters did! How very silly! I do sometimes hit the side of the vending machine, but only if my chosen (and paid for!) snack is teetering on the brink and needs a nudge in the right direction.

    • Marine Paint
    • November 18th, 2010

    i’m fond of using vending machines because you can instantly get a drink or a snack

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