The overlord of the break room. The glowing ruler of the school hallway. A place to exchange your lose pocket change for a foil bag or plastic bottle full of tasty goodness. That is, until now…
According to this article in Monday’s edition of The Hartford Courant, Macy’s department store in the Westfarms mall is now offering various high-priced electronics via vending machines. That’s right, with a simple swipe of your credit card, an iPod can drop off a shelf and into your possession, just like a bag of Doritos. Now, personally, I’d rather be able to handle the product and examine all the specs before I make an expensive electronics purchase, but maybe this idea could work. If nothing else, it could make for some hilarious variations of classic vending machine malfunctions:
“The *@#$! machine ate my money!” – You know this one. You put the appropriate amount of cash in the machine. You punch the appropriate numbers for the snack you crave. Then… NOTHING HAPPENS! What the hell! The machine just stole the change that you worked so very hard to dig out from underneath the driver’s seat. Worse yet, unless there’s a janitor or something around, there is not a blasted thing you can do about it. You’re just out a buck-and-a-half. Just wait until this happens when somebody swipes their credit card for $300 trying to buy an iPod. There will be hell to pay.
The Hanging Tease – This is the ultimate in vending machine frustrations. In goes the money, and you punch in the number. The corkscrew begins corkscrewing, and the snack tiptoes closer to the edge. The tastiness is soon to be in your hands. But then… IT STOPS! It’s HANGING THERE! Very possibly it is upside down. Unfortunately, it’s either pinned up against the glass, or snagged on the end of the corkscrew. Either way, it just isn’t falling down. Once again, unless there’s a janitor around, you are pretty much helpless. The easy solution is to scrounge up enough change to buy another of the same product, and to save one for later. Your other option is to body check the vending machine in attempts to free the snack. Small riots may occur if this happens to somebody’s iPod. There is also a high likelihood in people being flattened by tipping over vending machines in their rage.
Product damage – Seriously, how can having an iPod be shoved off a shelf and falling a good five feet to the retrieval area below be a good thing? I cringe when I see somebody buy a glass-bottled SoBe from the top shelf. It seems to me like these things should shatter way more often than they do. I’ve already broken one iPod from a fall that wasn’t any higher than your average vending machine. Granted, it wasn’t in it’s original packaging, but this still doesn’t seem like a good idea.
The Two-for-One – Now this… this is the one place where buying an iPod from a vending machine could turn into a jackpot for a lucky consumer. Every so often, you go to buy your potato chips from a machine, and instead of one bag dropping down, the corkscrew gets overzealous and pops out two bags of salty, tasty goodness. You must praise the vending machine gods when this happens, for it truly is a miracle. However, something tells me that stores might take steps to keep this from happening with expensive electronics devices.
“Honey, I’m stuck in the vending machine!” – You know how every once in a while you see some crazy story about a little kid climbing into a vending machine and getting stuck? Well, imagine the temptation of an iPod in a vending machine. I can see full-grown adults somehow managing to get themselves (or at least an appendage) wedged into a vending machine in search of a free music player.
Scorpions On a Plane! – Nope, not another Samuel L. Jackson movie. There really was a scorpion that stung a man on an international flight.
Spy Transmitters Hidden in Coins – This story is actually a little bit creepy. It’s a crazy world we live in. Note: don’t let the headline fool you. Canadians are not spying on us. Rather, it appears some other country is placing spy devices in fake Canadian coins.