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.