Vending Machines

by Sean Kennedy

I went to buy a Milky-Way bar at a vending machine the other day, and was struck with a revelation. What are vending machines, but simple, psychological reward-boxes? A disguised version of Skinner's pigeon box. You insert your money into the glowing machine, and then it rewards you with a bit of candy, or a drink that will last all of five minutes. You leave, feeling good that you have purchased a bit of oral-pleasure, but the little man inside the vending machine knows better.

Sean: Oh boy, I could really use a Reese's peanut butter cup (inserts money).

Machine: Beep boop beep, whir whir (drops a bit of candy).

Sean: Thank you Mr. Vending Machine. You have taken my money and rewarded me with a hunk of chocolatey goodness. Bless you.

Machine: Come again, boy. I attract you with my gorgeous display, like a flower, or a species of insect, but I only serve to drain you of money, a little at a time. If I could, I would eat my own offspring. Candy is inexpensive. You eat fried styrofoam, and you pay for it.

How many times have you bought a snack or a drink from an enticing vending machine? Paying for a filling treat from a vending machine is no different from dancing and pecking at the ground, while someone rewards you with sympathy money. Fuck the vending machine, man, fuck it! (twisting in feverish pain) Oh, Christ!

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