THE VENDING MACHINE IN MY SISTER’S APARTMENT BUILDING LOBBY
★★★★★ (1 out of 5)
Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of everything in the world. Today I am reviewing the vending machine in the lobby of my sister’s apartment building.
Located at 81 Empire St., Allston, MA, it contains mostly snacks (my favorite is A4, the York Peppermint Pattie) but it also dispenses condoms and gum (which I don’t consider a snack because it’s not meant to be swallowed). The placement of the gum is dangerously close to the condoms and on two occasions I’ve accidentally purchased the condoms. On one of those occasions I didn’t notice what I had done until I put the “gum” in my mouth. That was the day I was certain I hated this vending machine.
Every Thursday morning when I bring my sister brownies I have to pass that stupid vending machine to get to the elevator. It’s not just the thoughtless placement of wares that infuriates me – that could be changed. But the machine makes the most insufferable humming noise. I feel bad for Gregory, the poor security guard who has to listen to it while he’s trying to watch TV. I bought him a pair of ear plugs, but he said he has no idea what noise I’m referring to, and plus, how could he hear the TV then. So I decided to just keep the ear plugs in my wallet and wear them whenever I visit. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget to remove them and that kind of ruins the rest of my day.
Once in a while I taunt the vending machine. I’ll put a dollar in it as though I want to buy something, but then I’ll press the change return lever. This was really funny for a while until the asshole machine stole my dollar. I pressed the change return until my fingernail turned purple but nothing happened. Eventually I had to have Gregory call the 800 number on the side of the machine, but Tomas, the operator, said he couldn’t help me and I should just put an ‘out of order’ sign on it. As if I even wanted to touch the vending machine again.
I hated to let it win, but the Buddhist part of me didn’t want things to continue escalating. So I gave the machine one more chance. I fed it 65 cents, typed A4 and waited for my Peppermint Pattie to drop. But as the spiral hand turned, it released something else: a fucking Charleston Chew. The machine had been restocked and all the Peppermint Patties replaced. Gone completely with no note or explanation. I unplugged the machine and walked away. As I started out the lobby I heard Gregory say, “You can’t do that.” Gregory has no idea what I can do.
So if you don’t mind eating condoms, having your money stolen, being subjected to the worst noise in the world, and generally being treated like dirt, then this is a really great vending machine.
Please check back next week when I’ll be reviewing Canada.