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The vending machine is gone!

January 21, 2009

Words cannot express how excited I am. Today has been a good day, friends, a very good day.

When Husband and I took over the student ministry we inherited two vending machines that the former student pastor had set up to earn income for the ministry. Great. Except I’m not full-time in ministry, and filling the things is an unspeakable pain in the neck. (Which reminds me: See John’s post on Christians swearing. I started tearing up from laughing.)

I pawned one off to Scott (children’s pastor) and the other one is in my other office, so I figured I’d just deal with it. Bad idea. I hate this thing.

Scott has similar sentiments about the one I swindled him into, so he put both of the machines on Craig’s List and sold them for a pathetic sum, which is fine ’cause I probably would have paid this guy (Mike – nice guy, likes dog sledding and talking) to take them.

Mike planned to come by at 10 this morning to get the devil machine out of my life. I got up an hour early so I could get to the office, empty it out and fix the two coin slots I broke some months ago.

‘Cause $0.75 is just too much for a can of pop, so I thought to myself, “How hard could it be to change?” I’ll not go into the mechanics of the devil machine, but suffice to say: impossible. I didn’t even break them so that they didn’t dispense soda. No, I did one better: I “broke” them in such a way that they dispensed unlimited amounts of soda.

Of course I didn’t tell anyone, but it didn’t take long for the staff to figure out that if you just twist the knob, a can comes out. Fortunately most of them are too honest to rip off a student ministry. (Although I did find a slug in the coin recepticle once, but I suspect that was the college intern who was here last summer.)

I got here an hour early and started getting cans out. For the four slots that still work, that meant putting coins in, twisting the knob, removing the can, retrieving the coins, and doing it again. And again and again and again. For the two “broken” (read: rebellious) can slots, I figured I’d just twist, twist, twist until they were empty.

Until I got a little zealous. I was making good time emptying out the remaining 7UP cans when the twisty-mechanism-thingy gouged the side of the last can and sprayed 7UP all over the machine. Cleaning that up, and then fishing out an empty, torn apart pop can set me back a good bit of time.

Then the fixing. My plan was to take off the one $0.75 slot that works and use it as a model for putting the other two back together. I know, I prayed for wisdom on the way in. *shrug*

Got the first one done, exactly like the model (or so I thought), attached it to the machine, and gave it a try. Nope. It still just spins. At least I got it set back to $0.75 to match the label, though, so I’ll do that on the other one and figure out my error as I go.

Got the second one off, completely disassembled and in putting it back together, noticed these little levers on the side. I bet… So I put this one back together with my new little insight in mind, completely sold that I’ve got this figured out. It makes sense. It’s the only thing I wasn’t doing before. I’ve got it.

And it’s a little after 8 AM now, ’cause the rest of the team is starting to filter into the studio so I have to be done soon anyway ’cause I have to actually get paid for 8 to 9 AM.

Reassemble the second one. This is definitely going to work. DT sticks his head in and asks how it’s going. I tell him I figured it out. No problem. Reattach coin slot #2. Reattach the “model” coin slot #3. Grab some quarters and give #2 a try. It eats the quarters and spins around! Awesome! I try it without quarters and it doesn’t spin! Excellent! I try to twist it back to reset it and reveal the coin slots … won’t budge.

You’ve got to be kidding me. I try the “model” coin slot that I didn’t change at all: same thing. Won’t spin without coins, but won’t spin back either.

It’s now definitely after 8 AM and I have more broken coin slots than when I began.

I beat the machine.

I take coin slot #3 off again and try to reason with it. “I didn’t change anything! All I did was take this part off … oooooooh.”

I take the back off again, twist the handle, align coin slots, remove the spring, adjust the lever, squeeze the spring back in place, screw the back piece on again and try. With coins: Spins. Without coins: Doesn’t spin … and it spins back! I know, I prayed for wisdom on the way in.

Remove coin slots #1 and 2. Take off the back, twist the handle, align the coin slots, remove the spring, adjust the lever, squeeze the spring back in place, screw the back piece on again, take the back off, twist the handle, align coin slots, remove the spring, adjust the lever, squeeze the spring back in place, screw the back piece on again, reattach and reattach. Test. Test. Good! Good!

All that to say I didn’t start work until 9 this morning, and worked through my lunch to make up for it. So there should be a whitty and insightful post here about art and church and Jesus coming back, but there’s not because the devil machine ate that time. But don’t worry, the devil machine has been taken away so it’s a good day after all.

And I found a substitute. If you were really looking for something good on the aforementioned topic, check out this post on the Artists for Christ blog. It’s better than anything I would have posted anyway.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2009 10:29 am


    Nice start to the day, huh?

    • Lex permalink
      January 22, 2009 12:11 pm

      Something like that. ;)

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