I tried exceptionally hard to figure out something I could write about that would live up to the standard of this blog, but alas I was left nonplussed. So instead of a thought-provoking post or a heartwarming tale from my college life, I am going to share an anecdote from my high school days. What follows is the tale of how I learned vending machines do not accept pennies as a legitimate form of payment.
It was a cold morning, and the threat of snow from the night before had been unfulfilled. I, in naïve anticipation of a snow day, had turned off my alarms, and instead of being awoken by the wonderful tones of “Circle of Life,” I was thrust from the sweet embrace of sleep by what sounded like a herd of elephants stampeding. In reality, it was just my brother running down the stairs.
Late, I sped through my morning routine and grabbed a quick bite to eat as I ran out the door. Though I had started out my morning a full 45 minutes late, I still managed to get to school on time and getting an acceptable parking space. As I stumbled across the track to the high school nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I was very cold and still bitter that we even had school that day. I mean, my hair froze on the way into the school building, which was a mere five-minute walk from the parking lot! That had to be categorized as some form of cruel and unusual punishment.
Regardless of my beliefs about whether or not school should be in session, the first bell rang, and so began another day at school. The second class of the day started before I realized I was missing something. I am a self-proclaimed food snob, and blatantly refuse to eat what my school cafeteria called “food.” As a result I always brought my lunch from home. And because I wanted to add some personal flare, I didn’t just “brown bag it” like most people. No, I brought my lunch in a Mystery Machine lunchbox, which I had conveniently left at home that day.
It looked like I was going to have to eat school lunch that day. As we headed to the cafeteria, I reached for my wallet and realized that in my blind sprint to make it to school on time this morning I had left all the contents of my wallet except my license at home. I frowned. I don’t particularly enjoy going up to strangers, and even less so when I have to ask them for money. But, I needed to eat and so I began canvasing the cafeteria.
For some odd reason the only extra money people had was in the form of pennies. I managed to collect a grand total of 165 pennies, which was just enough for a water bottle and a granola bar to hold me over until the school day ended. The lunch lines had already closed, and so I walked over to the vending machines, both my hands cupping the plethora of pennies that had been generously donated to me.
I put the first penny in the machine and to my dismay, heard the sound of the penny dropping out of the machine. I tried again and again until I realized that it would not take my pennies. And it was at that moment, standing in the middle of a high school cafeteria with two handfuls of pennies, that it was going to be a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”