by Amanda James DIll

The best thing about vending machines is
that unlike those crane games—
you know,
the ones where you put in four quarters
for two attempts at winning a prize—
you always win.

Problem is
the selection is limited,
as is the capacity.
You can always find the same types of snacks,
but nothing you'll find there is a 'full meal.'
And just like that vending machine,
you can put all your change into the machine
trying for the 'item' you want,
and still go home with nothing.

Frustrating as it is,
sometimes the machine hangs
and there's not much you can do about it.
Sure, you can cause a scene
by picking a fight with the machine,
but all that'll do is get you a
free ride in a police car.

On the other hand,
if you really want a prize
from one of those crane games,
you can win one,
With practice
(and lots of quarters)
and maybe a little luck,
anyone can get that
adorable purple dragon
lurking in the back corner
of the prize tank.

Of course, if you're satisfied
with packets of peanuts
or half-melted candy bars,
go ahead and keep putting
all your change into that
vending machine
on the corner.
But later you'll probably wish
you'd put in the time and effort
for that purple dragon.


Last updated September 16, 2011