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Alright, this isn't about disc golf, but then not everything on this site is about disc golf, so there. While I'm at work I usually drink water (actually a mixture of bottled water and carbonated, sugar-fee, flavored water, but that's probably TMI...), but every now and then I feel like drinking something else. I mean, sometimes I need a little jolt of caffiene or sugar to get through the day. Anyway, when the spirit moves me I make use of one of the two vending machines just outside of the building I work in (this is temparate Southern California, so no problems with vending machine contents freezing and exploding if the machines are kept outside).

My problems all seemed to begin a week or two ago, I usually don't carry change, so when I want to use the machine I have to use the dollar feeder. Unfortunately, the dollar feeder on the machine containing iced tea (one of my preferred choices) had broken. Well, I'm guessing it was broken because it wouldn't even begin to suck in my dollar. In the past it would suck the dollar in, then spit it back out, holding out on taking the bill until the 7th or 8th try (yes...I'm stubborn). Now it wasn't even giving my nicely-folded-in-fouths dollars a chance. There is a debit card reader on the machine, but I'm somewhat skeptical of these things in a non-monitored setting - you know, all the stories of thieves installing fake readers on top of real ones so they can steal your card info. but I digress...

So I brought a roll of quarters to work, figuring that I'd use quarters to buy a drink when I wanted one. Last Friday was the inaugural run of "the quarters experiment" as I like to call it. I put four quarters in the machine for iced tea, pressed the tea button, and nothing. Nada. No tea. Not wanting a Powerade, lemonade or water I decided to press the coin return button. Out came the coins, one at a time, rolling down the slide on the inside of the machine then hitting the coin return cup and going airborne...flying through the air and landing smack dab in the middle of a crack between two sections of cement paving, about two inches deep. Well, only one of them went in the crack - I deftly blocked the others with my foot. I looked down into the crack to find that my quarter was not alone. It was resting on top of a few other coins in the crack. Luckily, I was able to fashion a tool from a piece of paper and slide the quarter along to a wider part of the crack where I could retreive it. After a few grumbles, I took my quarters to the adjoining machine and bought a Coke Zero and made my leave.

Fast forward to yesterday. I decided to try the tea machine again, thinking that maybe it had received some maintenance. Four quarters in, but no tea. And yes, I always push the tea button before putting my money in, in order to see if it's sold out. This time before pressing the coin return button I put my hand down in front of the return slot so I could catch the airborn change. That was not necessary, as the quarters slid easily into the return cup...that is, three of them did, while the fourth never returned. @#&%! Of course, the bill reader still wouldn't work.

Ever the glutton for punishment, I tried it again today. Four quarters in, press the tea button and nothing. This time I decided to try the lemonade button, after all it was a nice sunny day, perfect for lemonade. Whirr...grind...groan...clunk...voila! Out came a lemonade, followed a few moments later by the sound of a nickel hitting the coin return cup. Huh?? I enjoyed my 95-cent lemonade.

I'm not sure what spirit is trapped inside this machine, but as long as I get a drink from it 9 out of 10 times, it's worth it for the entertainment factor.

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Comment by Carl Renda on March 26, 2008 at 4:11pm
Hah! This is hilarious. I'm glad I take my Mt. Dew by the 12 pack.
Comment by Rizbee on March 26, 2008 at 4:00pm
Coke machine (not the iced tea machine) just ate a dollar coin. #&@?!!
Comment by Rizbee on March 20, 2008 at 3:46pm
Success today! Four quarters, one iced tea, no drama...
Comment by Rizbee on March 12, 2008 at 6:26pm
Later in the day yesterday I was hungry, so I went out to the snack machine (right next to the offending soda machine) to see what it had. There was a package of pretzels that someone had tried to purchase unsuccessfully that was hanging precariously from it's spot in the machine. I took a chance, paid and selected pretzels. In the process of my bag being vended the second bag was also knocked loose - DOUBLE PRETZELS FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment by Rizbee on March 11, 2008 at 3:29pm
It looks like these vending machines do not accept dollar coins. When I bought train tickets this weekend from the vending machine I received my change in dollar coins - a mixture of Susan B. Anthonys, Sacagaweas and two President coins (Washington and Adams #1). I just tried to use a Sue to buy a Coke Zero - no go.

Comment by Monica on March 8, 2008 at 11:21am
Are you complaining about "dad stories"? Someday, that is going to come back and bite you in the butt...what happened to respecting your elders? Don't diss the dad that drives ya. ;) When I heard about the trevails, I thought..."there is someone who is having a more frustrating day than I."
Comment by rizbee_jr on March 8, 2008 at 1:16am
This is what I have have to listen to on a daily basis. If I had to grade it, it would be a 3 out of 5. The best story was the one with the donkey, the british tabloid, and the ex-president.
Comment by DiscGolf365 on March 8, 2008 at 12:38am
great story!
Comment by Monica on March 7, 2008 at 5:31pm
When I saw it, it LOOKED like a 95 cent bottle of lemondade too....

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