Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Vending machine


We have a vending machine in the breakroom at our library. I have historically had an antagonistic relationship with it over the years which, written down like this, seems a tad... unhinged. Although I am sure that if one took the time to search out my rich history here of blog posts about this vending machine it would probably all appear perfectly sensible.

Or maybe not.

But I want you to know that I have come around to the vending machine.

Oh, I don't use it, or really think we should have one contracted to an outside business, but I accept it. It's not the subsidized sushi bar I feel we deserve here, but the sheer eccentricity of Vance, of Vance's Vending, has led me to put aside my ancient enmity.

Here is Vance:

Vance is very enthusiastic about his vending!

When he comes in to stock his vending machine it can turn into a sprawling, multi-hour process. Sometimes he brings a very quiet, possibly disabled assistant with him to help. Sometimes he brings in near or post expiration off-brand packaged supermarket bread he gets somewhere to just... give away to us. He does this with great excitement and fanfare and is disappointed when his enthusiasm isn't entirely shared. He also likes to give out free snacks as a goodwill gesture. I usually just accept one of these and give it to a co-worker later who will appreciate it, because saying "No." takes way more time. So so so much more time. But Vance is absolutely most especially excited when he has some bizarre snack he got from his dodgy distributor that he can hand out for people to test.

I was telling someone the other day about Vance's freakish product lines and strange, "throw it in the machine and it's all profit if it sells" approach to weird items he's acquired. Recently he was selling two cans of sardines in the machine. I couldn't think of an example of one of the odd test snacks he's handed out so I made one up to give an idea: Golden Graham Flavored Doritos. And though that is fictional, it really does capture the spirit. Now though, I can remember the Pumpkin Spice Nut Rolls he handed out that were universally found to be disgusting. And, reflecting on this, I decided I should pop on over to the vending machine to take note of some of the items in it.

We have Sponch, which is marshmallow cookies with coconut and strawberry, even though it really doesn't look like cookies. We don't have any more sardines (they were all bought????!!!!!), but we do have some "Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies". We also have "Snoop Dog Flavored Rap Snacks". Actually, we have a whole line of "Rap Snacks" (It says on the package of one "The goal is to be rich forever").

But please don't get the wrong idea, there are also perfectly normal, familiar snacks in the machine like Fruity Pebble Candy Bars, Barritas Pineapple Filled Cookies, and Smokin' Lime "Hot Nuts". I don't think I've ever seen any of my co-workers eating any of these, but then, it does seem like the sort of thing one would do privately.

If I ever decide to plonk down $1.50 for one of Vance's incredible snacks I promise I won't do it secretly. 

I will tell you all about it here.

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