Friday, December 05, 2003


On the first floor of the Tunaville University Library is a brand new vending machine. That fact alone is unusual because everybody knows that vending machines and libraries do not mix. Libraries are traditional "no food, no drink" kinds of institutions. Or they used to be. Now, libraries are traditional "broke" kind of institutions. So in order to buy a few new books, or maybe a librarian or two, many libraries (including ours) have fancy shmancy cafes where you can pay exorbitant prices for a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon. All of which makes the new vending machine that much more unusual.

But check out the insides – that’s where the fun begins. There is nary a Skittle or Milk Dud to be found. No Fritos, Doritos or Tostitos. Our big metallic red friend has landed from the corporate planet Staples. Yes friends, it is an office supply vending machine. Tickle it's tummy and you can get pencils, pens, notebooks and Wite-out. (Does anybody still use Wite-out?). It's a little strange because I thought we sold those kinds of academic accessories on the 2nd floor at the copy center.

My favorite weird thing in Big Red is selection F-8. For the ridiculous price of I don’t know how much, you can purchase an entire ream of white copy paper. Why? Why? Is it is for those moments when you suddenly find yourself 436 plain pieces of paper short? I must do more research. Right after I go to the cafe. Mmmmmm Milk Duds......

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