Is there some state regulation mandating that any vending machine or coffee dispenser put in an auto shop must be ancient? Any time I have to take my car in I end up seeing a coffee pot powered by coal and a soda machine that probably had a “bottles-to-cans” conversion performed some time during the Carter administration. Despite looking like a prop from The Grapes of Wrath I’ve always had faith that the sugar water cans inside at least get changed out every quarter or so.
As usually happens when I have faith in something, a minor incident has shattered the whole thing. I had to take my car in for its legally-mandated state inspection, which is always my one Libertarian day a year. John Galt wouldn’t get his car inspected by the government to see if its turn signals worked, he’d rather just get rear-ended in the name of principle and pontificate on it for seven pages like every Ayn Rand character.
The inspector was finishing up another job, so the store gave me the gift of about 20 minutes of Me Time. The TV wasn’t working and my smartphone’s battery was just ready to quit, so like a good American I went for Plan C – gorging myself on artificial sweeteners when I’m neither hungry nor thirsty. So I strolled over to the machine, took a look at my choices, and saw…this:
2005. This can has been there since I was a sophomore in college. I don’t even remember who won that Super Bowl. Pepsi doesn’t even have that logo anymore! That can predates an entire corporate re-branding that happened years ago! And I know what you’re thinking – “that’s just the display soda, the real soda in the machine is from 2009 at the earliest.” We’ll never know because the button was too busy being old and having an arrow painted on it to actually work. My guess is the spring went on strike due to unhygenic working conditions. So I didn’t get to see what decade the Pepsi can came from; it’ll be Schroedinger’s Can forever.
From now on I think I’ll bring a bottled water when I get my car inspected.