Posts Tagged ‘combos’

I think vending machines have a personal vendetta against me. It’s not something I noticed at a young age, but after countless incidents, I began to wonder if they were conspiring against me. 

When I was a kid, I would always make my grandpa hand over all his quarters so I could put them in the 25 cent machine. Gum balls, plastic rings, temporary tattoos, you know the drill. I was always convinced that I would get the exact color, flavor, or design that I wanted. Obviously this was not the case. Never once did I get the Barbie tattoo I so desired. Instead, I ended up with a drawer full of temporary tattoos of dragons, flames, and skulls. I was very girly, and wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than Mattel’s finest. And so began my lifelong battle against vending machines.

When I moved into my dorm last fall, I was happy to see a diverse array of vending options. There were lots of snacks, sodas, a machine with specialty drinks (Snapple, Vitamin Water, Starbucks Frappuchino, etc.) and best of all a refrigerated vending machine with yogurt, White Castle burgers, mini pizzas, muffins, and more. About a month into the school year, the refrigerated vending machine became neglected. Its supply dwindled until it was empty, and it was never refilled again for the remainder of the year.

I found solace in the regular snack machine that featured Doritos, fruit snacks, Cheetos, Skittles, and the like. Pretty much your standard snack machine. However, I quickly discovered a major flaw in this particular vending machine. I suppose it was an effort to provide more variety, but it posed a serious issue. Instead of nacho cheese Doritos being B7 and cool ranch being B8, the flavors were both in B7, alternating cool ranch and nacho cheese. I was particularly fond of the Combos. They’re delicious stuffed pretzels, with many flavor options for the filling. The nacho cheese Combos were the only ones I liked, but the machine offered cheddar cheese, pepperoni pizza, and jalapeño cheddar in addition to my beloved nacho cheese pretzel snacks. I was rarely lucky enough to find the nacho cheese Combos in the front.

Combos-Coupon

I went downstairs around midnight one night to get a snack to carry me through the rest of a research paper. I swiped my meal card once. Pepperoni pizza. I swiped my meal card again. Cheddar cheese. I swiped my card once more. Pepperoni pizza again. This was followed by another bag of cheddar cheese Combos. I swiped my card AGAIN. Jalapeño cheddar. See, I wasn’t joking when I said that vending machines conspire against me. But once the jalapeño cheddar bag fell into the bottom of the machine, where a feast was quickly accumulating, I saw the nacho cheese combos in all their glory.

Finally! I swiped my card and carefully entered A4. The spiraling arm began to release my beloved snacks… Wait. It stopped. The nacho cheese Combos dangled from the A4 slot, but they didn’t fall within my reach. This is not a joke; this is my life in a nutshell. There were people in the lobby, so I didn’t want to violently shake the machine, demanding they release my flavored pretzel snacks. I saw that a bag of cheddar cheese Combos were next in queue. I kept my cool and swiped my card again, and entered A4. My nacho cheese Combos were released, followed closely by the exceptionally repulsive cheddar cheese Combos. I opened the bottom of the machine to retrieve my snacks. I struggled to push the flap back to extract my winnings, realizing that the trough where the snacks fell was full.

I was going to make a spectacle of myself, cradling 7 bags of pretzel snacks back to my room. Should I leave them? Someone left a snack that I was fortunate enough to discover once. I was excited until I discovered that it was an oatmeal raisin cookie, no doubt abandoned in a quest for a honey bun. What choice did I have? I grabbed the snacks and tried to make a clean escape. Of course the elevator was full of people. By the time I reached the 7th floor where I lived, I had given away the bags I didn’t want and rid myself of the less desirable flavors, left only with one bag of nacho cheese Combos. This became a regular occurrence in my quest for nacho cheese goodness.


 

My first thought when I read The Daily Post’s prompt, Vending Wishes, was that I would create a vending machine that dispensed ideas. In theory, it would be groundbreaking. If you were experiencing writer’s block, all you would have to do was go to the vending machine for some inspiration.
Ideas for horror fiction in B8. Romance in F6. Crime drama in G3.
Then I remembered my struggles with vending machines.

Something would go wrong, no matter how simple it seems. I would likely spend 30 minutes in front of the idea vending machine, trying desperately to bust writer’s block and get that idea for a mind-blowing fantasy novel as I flooded the machine with unwanted ideas for comic strips, biographies, and children’s books. 

Advertisements