We all know that vending machines are the staple to any hallway of your apartment, university or office space. In fact, vending machines can be found virtually everywhere at UVU, and if you walked from the library to the food court you would pass a dozen machines on the way. The various food and drink contents of these machines are generally a convenience, especially if you feel a pang of hunger, need an energy boost for class or would just like a quick snack to munch on.

However, the same is true that, like your attempt to win a toy in a crane game, you run a risk each time you deposit a dollar into the vending machine. Frankly, they’re not perfect in the technology and engineering area. A bar of candy in a wayward position gets stuck in the coils. A bag of chips, too puffy for its own good, gets lodged against the window. Gears get jammed. Basically the machine just eats your money and gives nothing in return but mockery.

Imagine yourself for a minute. You are between classes for the day, and you suddenly find yourself with an extreme craving. The lunch area is too far away and time consuming to make it to your other class on time, but on the other hand you know you won’t survive the next class without something in your stomach. You wonder what to do.

And then your eyes catch a glitter down the hallway. What is it? It’s the vending machine.

You pull your wallet and finger over your cash in hand. It turns out you have just enough for a savory, mouth-watering bag of chips. Gleefully, you slither, through the crowd of students, over to the vending machine. Once there you pour over the available selection of chips. Finding the bag of chips you want, you proceed to make your monetary deposit and punch the buttons.

The chips-filled coil turns forward. Anticipation builds. Everything moves in slow motion. Excited eyes and a big smile grow across your face. The coil still turns, sending the chips into motion. Fanfare music seems to play as you imagine fireworks shooting out of the machine. Finally, this being the very moment you are hoping for, the chips slowly shift over the edge. And get wedged against the window instead of dropping into the slot below.

The record scratches. Fanfare turns to cacophony. Windows shatter. The earth rumbles. Everything goes dark. Your once-ecstatic emotions crash land into a depressing stupor.

You ponder two alternatives, usually in order.

One, you decide to give the vending machine a good shake to try and force the machine to give up its hostage chips. Every second that you don’t succeed, your rage grows. Bystanders give semi-frightened stares at you, who are pounding away at the machine like a rabid baboon, and security approach you with suspicion.

Or two, you give up and take the shameful walk to your class, hungry and abandoning your coveted snack to the next stranger who gets to deposit another dollar and score a two-for-one. Perhaps the fates will be in your favor another day.