Today in MX, I tell a million Australians how I got stuck in a vending machine.

This was published in MX, Australia's free daily newspaper, and yes, it did actually happen. Not in my current job, thankfully, but back when I was back-packing: working by day, drinking like a fish by night...

Stick Your Job

I’m tired and cranky and falling over when I try to put on my trousers. Not really an ideal state to go to work in.

Drinking with friends until 4am always seems like a great idea at the time. Not so much the next day, and even less when you have to work. So, what’s good for exhaustion and hangovers? Caffeine’s always good - for everything. But unfortunately the killer hangover means coffee is not an option. The mere thought of it makes me feel sick.

So, I decide I can probably handle a cup of tea. Tea has anti-toxidants or anti-oxidents or something. I'm unsure which, but I am figuring that it will either kill the toxic stuff (good) or the oxygen in my system (bad, but at least I'll be too dead to be hungover).

Picking up my MP3 player, I head to the kitchen to make myself a nice cuppa. Humming along happily, I realize that my player has hit the South Park bit, and Chef is starting his thing.

Oh, I love Chocolate Salty Balls. I start singing along with music on my headphones.

One cup of tea is made, and due to my total lack of depth perception (always tricky when you are hungover) I fill it far too full. I’m feeling peckish and decide to head over to the snack machine to get a nice bag of cheese and onion crisps.

Darn, I have nowhere to put my tea down. It keeps spilling burning liquid over my hand and soaking my trousers. Well, the quicker I get the crisps...

I put the cash in the machine and hit buttons and the spin-y thing spins and ... oh dear. It hasn’t gone quite far enough. The bloody crisps are teetering indecisively there on the edge like acrophobic on a bungee platform.

I prod the machine. Nothing. I rattle the machine. My tea spills. I’m getting annoyed now, and interspersing my humming along with my player with threats.

“Gimme the crisps… Chocolate Salty Balls… Gimme them!”

No joy. I look at the machine. I figure, if I stick my hand into the slot, I might be able to wiggle...

Ow! It bites me. The drawer falls forward and nips my skin, giving me a long thin bruise. It looks like a lovebite from a tape-worm. This is so not worth it. But it is. I need those crisps.

“Crisps. Criiiiiiiiiisps. Crispy crispy. Come to me...”

I figure, if I tilt the machine back a little, it should hold the door open so I don’t get injured again. If I can just get my hand into the slot...

Oh nuts. My sleeve is caught. Now I can’t get in or out without ripping my top. This is ridiculous.

Not actually the image I wanted at work.
…suck on my… GIMME THE CRISPS… salty balls let my sleeve go and suck ‘em…

Okay. If I kneel, and keep my hand level so the tea doesn’t spill, I can push the base of the machine to a tilt angle. Then I can move my shoulder right, which means the top should slide OFF the hook and then if I move left I should be able to get the crisps down. Then if I just give the machine a little push and a jerk, I should be able...

So, to summate, I am crouching underneath a teetering snack machine, with an overflowing cup of tea in one hand and the other firmly stuck in the machine itself, looking like I have a bathroom accident as I alternate between cursing, cajoling and singing about my chocolate salty balls...

...and that's when I realise that my boss is standing behind me.

Never. Drinking. Again.

And this time, I mean it.


  1. Hahaha! Laughing so hard, I'm not going to look in case people in my office are giving me strange looks...


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