Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Vending Machine Mafia

You can't throw a stone without hitting a vending machine in America. And in this connection, I would encourage you to throw stones. The more vending machines you hit and destroy, the better. Throwing stones at them is not an act of violence like the authorities would have you believe. Let's look at it this way. Suppose some robber came by and tried to abstract your hard earned cash from your pocket, would you or would you not give him one where it hurts? Extrapolate that logic to the vending machine.

For the vending machine is nothing but a lowly crook. What it might lack in the terms of a rough voice or a firearm it makes up in finesse. Not only does it charge astronomical rates, but it just usurps your cash. As plain as that. No one knows whether you got your grub or not. But it's got the cash. A thief is always in danger of getting caught. If you start bashing up a thief, the strong arm of the law would come by and give you a pat on the back. But if you start bashing up a vending machine, the strong arm of the law will consign you into one of those dingy rooms they call 'cells'. Talk of double standards.

People in search of the perfect crime need not look any further. The vending machine is pure evil. It is excellence in crime; something gangsters like Al Capone in the old days here in the USA and Dawood Ebrahim back in India used to strive for. For the only one in danger of arrest is the victim.

Just the other day, a tired self decided to get a Coke in the Rec-Center, after pretending to play badminton. A dollar was inserted into the machine only to see a robotic arm travel up (oh, so elegant), try to drop a bottle into a carrier - but there was only air, and come back. I was supposed to get a drink. But I was one dollar poorer. Daylight robbery.

And what of the vending machine that took $1, realized that it was sold out, returned only $0.95? And I thought coke made its money only through sales! And what about the time I tried to get a chewing gum, only to see yet another robotic arm carry air? Surely, I have every right to feel upset. Quarters do not come cheap in the USA.

I know what I'll be in life. I'll be a vending machine operator. I also pledge to donate generously to the tune of a few billion dollars in case a natural disaster hits any part of the world.

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