Prices recently changed in the vending machines at work, and nothing makes much sense anymore. The Big Grab potato chips (a sack large enough to please even me) cost just 75 cents, for instance. But regular Reese’s (or as they’re called back home: Reesey Cups) are $1.10.
My inner snack-sensor says those prices should be flip-flopped. Don’t you think? A normal candy bar should not be so expensive, and a family-sized serving of chips shouldn’t be so cheap.
As I was standing there contemplating this most pressing of issues, I started thinking about work vending machines in general…
The company that maintains ours also maintained the ones at my previous job. So, it’s all very familiar; the lineup never really changes.
We’ve got two fancy-pants Coke machines, with buttons the size of dinner plates. They offer what you’d expect, plus bottled water, and several (often mysterious) varieties of iced tea.
There are also two non-affiliated soda machines, with full plexiglass fronts. These are loaded-up with all manner of drinkables. There’s Pepsi products, milk (both white and brown), iced tea from a local “farm,” Mexican soda with dragons on the labels, etc. etc.
The chocolate milk is a major roll of the dice. Sometimes it’s fresh and delicious, and other times a little light chewing is required. The secret is in the chunks! One guy was having a bottle one night and I thought I heard crunching. But I could be wrong.
And there’s almost never a Dr. Pepper to be found in that cold beverage dumping ground, so when one appears it’s immediately snagged. Whether the person wants a Dr. Pepper, or not… Then they prance around, wearing a big shit-eater, and singing, “Look what I got!”
There are also two snack machines, with the aforementioned pricing. Chips and chips-related items are at the top, cookies and candy bars are in the middle, and large pastry-style things are at the bottom. It’s a logical set-up, I guess, but not completely.
Lorna Doone, for instance, cannot withstand a fall from the middle shelves of that machine. The two cookies that absorb the brunt of impact almost always turn to dust. And if the package happens to land on its side, well… you might as well just throw it in the trash.
Unless, of course, you’re interested in rolling up a hundred dollar bill and snorting a line of shortbread.
At the very bottom is an assortment of terrible Life Savers knock-offs, for seventy cents each. I once bought a roll of the five flavors, and it was just one solid column of candy. All the pieces were sealed together, and I had to peel and eat the thing like a banana. Pitiful.
They also try to pass-off what looks like premium Hostess snack cakes from a distance, but are actually something called Mrs. Freshley. I once made the mistake of purchasing the cupcakes, and it tasted like two car washing sponges with a creamy bathtub cleaner filling.
Actual high quality candy bars are available in these machines, but they’re $1.10. Sometimes I have an inexplicable craving for a Hershey bar with almonds, like a filthy dumplin’ child in 1945 Berlin, and agonize about whether or not to spend the money. Usually I can’t go through with it, but am perfectly able to justify it in a true emergency situation.
There are also two machines I’ve never used. One purportedly sells ice cream bars, but I haven’t witnessed a single person buying anything from it. I imagine everything is radically freezer-burned, with wrappers that say, “Win a trip to the 2006 Grammy Awards!”
Then there’s the machine folks have dubbed the “wheel of death.” It features rotating shelves, with little compartments containing pre-made sandwiches, microwavable burritos and hot dogs, and the like. People who forgot to pack a lunch are often seen standing in front of it, engaging the flywheel, and looking sad and hopeless.
I’ve never bought anything from the wheel of death, but when I first started working there, a guy told me, “NEVER buy a salad from that machine on a Friday. Seriously, you need to trust me on this…” Heh.
On the other hand, one of my co-workers swears by something called the Big Azz chicken sandwich. He insists it’s really good, but I don’t know anything about it. All I know is, it’s one of only two commercially available food items with profanity in its name, that I’m aware of. The other is Heluva Good dip. Are there others?
When it gets right down to it, the vending machines at my job are fairly standard and dull. Does your place offer anything more interesting, in the world of coin-operated food dispensers?
Tell me about it, so I can live vicariously through your better situation.
And before I call it a day here, check out this mind-blowing Smoking Fish sighting. Siberia! How cool is that? Probably very cool, huh? Keep ’em coming, folks! Our logo, man, he gets around.
See ya next time.