Friday, March 31, 2006

Tales from the Snack Machine

I put a dollar into a snack machine in the classroom building today for an 80 cent snack. It beeped and spit my dollar back out, telling me I had to use exact change. I was bummed, but it occurred to me that maybe the machine was out of dimes and nickels, but might still have a quarter left. So I put in a dollar and a nickel and tried again. Success! And in change, the machine gave me... three nickels and a dime. Probably including the nickel I just put in. Someone is not programming these things carefully.

A friend told me that last year there was an even weirder programming glitch on a different campus snack machine. Items which were marked 80 cents and on the bottom row could be had for 40 cents, but not if you put 40 cents into the machine. You had to put in at least 80 cents (he usually used a dollar), or the machine would know you hadn't put enough money in. But if you put in at least 80 cents, you'd get the snack plus all but 40 cents of your money back.

And plus, one time I heard from a friend whose hairdresser's college roommate's brother knew someone who was driving down a road, when a snack machine started following them down the road flashing its high beams into the car, and then she called 911 on her cellphone, but the police said she was calling from inside the snack machine, so she stopped by a state trooper who anatomically incorrect, and there was a peanut butter cup hanging from the side view mirror. Plus the snack machine was smashed into the grill of the car.

Now one of the three tales above is made up. Can you guess which one?

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