Vending Machine Will Dispense Free Product
(October 11, 1996)

(Lights up on DAVE.)

DAVE. Well, this happened on a Saturday afternoon in August. I was hanging out with my friend Steve, and it was really hot. And we really wanted a drink. Well, just then we saw this soda machine, and we thought, “Wow, a soda would be really good right now.” So we dug into our shorts for some change, but we didn’t have enough. I had a nickel, and Steve had a dime, but that was it. We didn’t even have enough to call a friend and tell them about how much our lives suck cause we can’t buy a soda. So we’re looking at this soda machine, really bummed out cause we’re thirsty and we can’t have a soda, when we see this little sign on the machine. It says, “Do not rock machine back and forth. Injury or death may result. Vending machine will not dispense free product.”

So we got to thinking, “Of course that’s what they want you to think.” I mean, if you could get a free soda by rocking the machine, obviously they’d try to make you think you’d die or something, right? It’s not like a soda machine is actually going to fall over — I mean, it’s hella big! So me and Steve start rocking this vending machine back and forth, and we can hear the cans knocking around, and Steve crouches down by the slot where they come out, and he’s all, “A little further, man! It’s almost there! I can see it!” So I rock it a little bit further, but I guess I rocked it too far, because I couldn’t rock it back, and it fell over, and I got out of the way, but Steve didn’t get out in time. So Steve is lying there under the vending machine, and I’m like, “Oh shit! I better call 911!”, but then I’m like, “Fuck! We don’t have the money to make a call!” So I tell Steve to be cool and I’ll be right back.

And I’m running around asking everybody, “Dude, can I have just like five cents? My friend’s stuck under a vending machine and I need five cents to call 911”, but nobody seemed to have any change. So I’m asking people forever, and this one guy says, “get a job!”, so I say, “What, are you hiring?” And it turned out he was, cause he runs a restaurant and his busboy just quit, so I say I never was a busboy before but my Mom used to make me wash the dishes and he says good enough and so I got a job and that was great but then he says “Now wasn’t that easier than running around with a dumb line like that thing about your friend under the vending machine?” And I’m like, “Oh shit! Steve! Dude, can you advance me a nickel on my first paycheck, cause it’s true! I really gotta call 911!” And he’s like, “911 is free. You don’t need to pay.” So I’m all, “Why didn’t you tell me that to begin with? My friend could have died! Fuck your job, you white male capitalist oppressor!” And I run off to find a phone so I can call 911, and the girl at 911 sounded hella fine, but she was kind of a bitch. All she wanted to talk about was Steve. Man, that dude gets all the chicks, even when he’s pinned beneath half a ton of metal and plastic. So the paramedics came, and they got the vending machine off Steve and they took him to the hospital. It was a really bad scene. It took them like two hours to pry the soda out of his chest. I was still hella thirsty, so I asked if I could have it, and they said OK, so it all turned out OK, except it was a diet. And now Steve has this big soda-can-shaped dent in his chest which he shows to all the chicks at parties.

I told this story once, and some guy said that the moral of the story should be, “Read The Sign, Dumbass”. But I don’t think so, cause if you remember, the sign said that the soda machine wouldn’t give us a free soda, and it did, even if it was diet. So I think the moral of the story is: Vending Machine Will Dispense Free Product. Thank you.