Vegas in a Vending Machine


The Coke machine didn’t work. As I stood there pressing the button for a Dr. Pepper, I began to wonder whether the machine was out of this selected item. I wasn’t dead set on drinking Dr. Pepper, so I decided to drink a Coke and proceeded to press that button. But again, nothing!

Although tempted to hit the vending machine—gently, of course, after the fashion of television’s coolest customer, the Fonz (who always seemed to make the jukebox sing and broken machines work with a little love tap)—I refrained myself. Instead, I simply pressed the silver ‘Change’ button, hoping to get my fifty cents back. However, when I did this, strangely, I witnessed a windfall of money.

Not only did my change start flowing from the return slot, but I also received the change from the last (perhaps) 300 vendors. Since the money could no longer be contained by the small return sink, it began to rush from the machine like a river of silver coins. “Cha ching, bling da bling.” I felt like I was in Las Vegas, with one exception: when I play the slot machines in Sin City, I never win a single penny. Now quarter upon quarter was piling up at my feet.

Content to get my fifty cents back, I left the machine—and the money—to the next vendor. Smiling from ear to ear, the young man approached the vending machine like he had just won the lottery. “I have a funny feeling he has more than soda on his mind!” I thought to myself, laughing out loud.

(photo courtesy of Cheng Mao/