Archive for Friday, January 24, 1992

VENDING VENDETTAS

January 24, 1992

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How many vending machine tragedies will it take before people realize kicking, shaking and rocking the imposing pieces of equipment in a tantrum can be hazardous to their health?

A Des Moines, Iowa, woman was seriously injured recently when a vending machine fell on her after she kicked it. The woman, 19, told rescuers she booted the soda machine when it wouldn't return her money.

``We asked her how it happened, and she said she hit the machine and it rocked backwards and then fell on top of her,'' said one of the samaritans. He said he and a friend managed to lift one end of the machine. He braced the machine against his knee while his friend pulled the woman out from under it.

``The only thing you could see was her head. The machine covered the rest of her. There must have been a lot of pop in there because it was really heavy,'' the rescuer said. A spokesman with Mid Continent Bottlers Inc., which owns the machine, said it weighs about 650 pounds when empty.

This is not too uncommon an occurrence. There have been cases of injury or near-injury after furious patrons have attacked vending machines. Not too long ago there was one fatal and another injurious case of this nature in Lawrence.

It is easy to understand the frustration of people who put good money into machines and get nothing in return. How many times have you seen somebody assaulting a piece of heavy equipment, or done it yourself?

But obviously, the machines have a way of fighting back. A 650-pound object that is as out of control as its assailant is a worthier opponent than most of us can cope with.

Better to lose your money and walk away safe.

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