Daily prompt: Be afraid…

Daily Prompt
Vending Wishes
Soft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks — you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t yet exist? Share your automated retail fantasies with us!



So OK, I’m grumpy. Well I warned you. Winter = grumpy me. Whether I’d be a barrel of laughs if it were summer is a moot point, because it isn’t and I’m not, so we’re all stuck with it. (I am, anyway: you can always stop reading and move on.)

Which brings me to my automated retail fancies. I don’t have any. The only vending machines I ever use are the ones that gobble your money in return for a thin stream of lukewarm, off-colour liquid they tell you is coffee, with a few blobs of white powder they call ‘creamer’ – whatever that is. (Powdered milk, at a guess.) My rational self wouldn’t go within a hundred feet of these machines, but when you’ve been sitting around for long enough in places that offer them as the only option – A&E departments, small country airports etc – your rational self departs in a flurry of huff and you’re left with desperation.

So with that in mind, I regard all vending machines with distinct suspicion. Yes, provided the machine doesn’t swallow your money and laugh, you can get standard, processed junk food with a certain amount of confidence, because that’s its nature. But with anything else…

They are liars, these machines. They show you pictures of enticing delight and deliver undersize, inferior crap. Martha Kennedy would get 50 seconds per minute from her ‘Time’ machine, and as for Barbara Pyett’s ‘Happiness’… A plastic rainbow?

And if they made a ‘Cheer up’ machine, I wouldn’t waste my money. I’d probably get a short trill of tinny laughter.


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9 Responses to Daily prompt: Be afraid…

  1. bkpyett says:

    Helen you do make me laugh, thank you for that, and a tiny plastic rainbow for you too! ❤

  2. Helen, this may be long, but it’s from my THE FUTURE CHURCH – A SATIRE, now up on Amazon, from an interview with the Rev. Micah McLuhan in 2027 about plans for the COMMUNION VEND-O-MAT:
    AMAZON: What other exciting products should we be looking for in the near future?
    McLUHAN: Take Communion, for instance. That was the problem. Not enough people were. First, you had to go to church on Sunday and in most cases, it had to be on a special Sunday. Even the faithful were never sure. Exit polls at the last election show that those questioned after leaving the voting booth who identified themselves as church goers, when asked: “What do you believe constitutes regular attendance?” overwhelmingly they answered: “One or twice every six months.” That’s down 25% since Barack Obama’s fourth term.
    With that as a given, we figured, “Why not anytime?” R and D did a focus group and came up with an affirmative answer: Most people couldn’t care less. The next logical question was, “Why not anywhere?” That’s why were gambling on The “Communion Vend-O-Mat” becoming a big winner. It’s being test marketed now. “Communion Vend-O-Mats” are being placed in airline, hi-speed train, subway and bus terminals, amusement arcades, snack bars and offices . . .. we’re even trying a few in restrooms. Put in a buck and out comes a wafer and a small paper cup filled with your choice of wine or juice. A micro-chip gives twenty-five seconds of instruction and appropriate music. The Disney Worlds, no matter what country they’re in, have let us add a video screen and the Communion instructions are voiced by whatever character a kid wants, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald – all very reverent and the kids love it. Some of ’em nag their parents into letting them take Communion several times a day. How can a parent refuse when their kids are drawing closer to the Lord! There have been some difficulties, but as the song says “we shall overcome.”
    AMAZON: What sort of difficulties?
    McLUHAN: We’ve gotten complaints about small portions, particularly in snack bars and some vandalism by winos in unpatrolled public locations. Security is important when you take Communion. When we work out the kinks, a lot more people will be walking around in a state of grace than ever before! Once we’ve got the “anytime” “anywhere” concept for Communion firmly planted, we can carry it a step farther and hit supermarkets with the juice in a little throw-away bottle packaged together with the wafer and a talking greeting card in a plastic blow-pack. If you feel the need for God’s grace on a Sunday afternoon, it’s so handy you won’t even have to miss an instant replay to take it. We hope to have it on the shelves before the next Super Bowl.

  3. They have their good points, you can kick ’em and they can’t fight back?

  4. Sista, If you read the Kindle single on Amazon, (subtitled – A SATIRE) you’ll understand the entire context and point. As a committed Christian who is in my church every time the doors are open they are the last organization I’d kick. Our congregation of about 400 has given fee groceries to over 16,000 people in the past 3.5 years.

  5. I think the COMMUNION VEND-O-MAT fits well with Helen’s aversion to present and, perhaps, future vending machines that give out “processed junk.” If any of you are brave enough to read the whole FUTURE CHURCH article on Amazon, I’ll even refund your .99 – whatever that is Australian – and I think enjoy it if you like Helen’s sometimes quirky sense of humor.

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