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October 20, 2007 12:00 PM   Subscribe

It's late at night and you're being followed by thugs. The solution: become a vending machine.
posted by Xurando (30 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'd say the problem is not crime, but that they live in a place where there are so many vending machines that pretending to be one becomes an option.
posted by nax at 12:05 PM on October 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hope those thugs aren't thirsty.
posted by fleetmouse at 12:07 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Japan: the only country more batshit insane than America.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:08 PM on October 20, 2007 [3 favorites]


I suppose it could actually thwart a mugging, not because the mugger is so dense he doesn't know it's you under that vending machine costume, but simply because of the logistics of trying to hold up a non-responsive person dressed as a coke machine without attracting notice.
posted by frobozz at 12:09 PM on October 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


I like this concept, but what if someone wants a cold Coca-Cola™ beverage and starts pressing your buttons? Your cover is blown.

I'd want to be able to turn into a nonalcoholic beer, Fresca or Canada Dry vending machine instead.
posted by porn in the woods at 12:10 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's brilliant in a crazy sort of way. I kinda want one.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:13 PM on October 20, 2007


This Mountain Dew tastes funny.

It's somewhat better than regular Mountain Dew.
posted by ColdChef at 12:13 PM on October 20, 2007 [6 favorites]


Cool idea. But Jesus, the NYT is getting really desperate for their bullshit-social-trend pieces, aren't they?
posted by gottabefunky at 12:46 PM on October 20, 2007


Yeah - Tastes more like a Squirt.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:47 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


But there is no crime in Japan (well apart from corporate crime and very very organised crime)... that's obviously just the new fashionable fetish.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:56 PM on October 20, 2007


nax writes "I'd say the problem is not crime, but that they live in a place where there are so many vending machines that pretending to be one becomes an option."

As a long term resident, I can vouch for the fact that that's not a "problem".
posted by Bugbread at 12:57 PM on October 20, 2007


I often find myself in this situation. This will help.
posted by ninjew at 1:06 PM on October 20, 2007


"Gimme my change back!"

*starts banging on machine*
posted by dreamsign at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2007


Forgot to link to Boy Becomes Fire Extinguisher to Hide From Thugs.
posted by Xurando at 1:39 PM on October 20, 2007


"Take the 'manhole bag,' a purse that can hide valuables by unfolding to look like a sewer cover. Lay it on the street with your wallet inside, and unwitting thieves are supposed to walk right by. There is also a line of knife-proof high school uniforms made with the same material as Kevlar, and a book with tips on how to dress even the nerdiest children like 'pseudohoodlums' to fend off schoolyard bullies."
Hey, buddy -- give me your wallet or I'll beat you up? No wallet? POW!

Hey, nerd -- nice chains. POW!
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on October 20, 2007


a line of knife-proof high school uniforms made with the same material as Kevlar

Yep. Japan ain't alone on this stuff: Candidate says bulletproof books could save lives in school shootings.
posted by ericb at 2:15 PM on October 20, 2007


Xurando writes "Forgot to link to Boy Becomes Fire Extinguisher to Hide From Thugs."

Thanks for the picture links.

That "kid disguised as fire extinguisher" looks pretty much exactly like "kid unsuccessfully hiding behind fire extinguisher", which is pretty much what the hypothetical thugs would be looking for. The Coke machine works much better.

The manhole bag is actually pretty cool. If I were the kind of guy who used handbags instead of backpacks, I'd get one.
posted by Bugbread at 2:24 PM on October 20, 2007


I'm not sure how well this would work. I once read an account by the partner of a steroid freak about what it was like having to live with a man who abused steroids. It described the usual problems -- man-tits, tiny nuts, explosive temper, etc. but the thing I found interesting was that one at least one occasion, he tried to fuck a vending machine. Now sadly, this account didn't go into more detail. Which orifice exactly was he trying to mount? The one where the snacks come out from? You wouldn't get much friction there, would you? The coin slots, perhaps? But that seems a bit tight, even for someone suffering from 'roid rage shrink dick. My best guess was that he was trying to go in via the coin return slot -- the place that returned your change because it had been rejected. It would still be a bit tight, and there's a 45 degree bend to contend with, but I can't think of anywhere else that it could possibly go.

Anyway, my point is that dressing up as a vending machine wouldn't protect you from the various club bouncers, criminals and body builders that stalk the streets. I'd opt for the fire extinguisher disguise if I were going to go that route. That way, if they start to get close you can always open your faucet and give them a good hosing down.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:43 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK, on looking at the NYTimes's sideshow, I see that I've been unfairly maligning that steroid abuser for many years now. Those vending machines are definitely HOT.

I'd hit it for sure.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:47 PM on October 20, 2007


However, given the Japanese fascination with robots, pretty soon they'll have vending machines that look like people and then we'll be right back at square one.
posted by Quietgal at 5:14 PM on October 20, 2007


Quietgal writes "However, given the Japanese fascination with robots, pretty soon they'll have vending machines that look like people and then we'll be right back at square one."

Naw, that would be even better. You wouldn't need a disguise, if you saw some psycho you could just stand up straight and repeat "Please insert coin. Please insert coin. Please insert coin."
posted by Bugbread at 5:17 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't it be easier, cheaper and more effective to have a quick change outfit that made you look like a cop?
posted by fenriq at 6:08 PM on October 20, 2007


what if someone wants a cold Coca-Cola™ beverage and starts pressing your buttons?

If I were making a Coca-Cola vending machine disguise, it would have a little hatch through which I could reach out to hand the customer a can of Pepsi.
posted by sfenders at 6:09 PM on October 20, 2007


Lesson 1 in Mugging 101: Coke machines don't wear shoes.
posted by dr_dank at 8:37 PM on October 20, 2007


I thought for a moment that this was the stupidest idea I had ever heard of, and that it clearly showed that the entire Japanese culture and people were now entirely bereft of any sanity and class whatsover, and then I remembered that my country invented Truck Nuts.
posted by yhbc at 8:53 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's things like this that make me convinced that life in Japan must be like one great big, occasionally pornographic, Looney Tunes short.

Is this thing produced by the Acme Corporation, by any chance?
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:55 PM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Kadin2048 writes "It's things like this that make me convinced that life in Japan must be like one great big, occasionally pornographic, Looney Tunes short."

Inventions like this shouldn't convince you of that. Inventions like this becoming popular should. That hasn't happened yet. Every country has crazy inventors, that doesn't mean the country as a whole is crazy.
posted by Bugbread at 6:49 AM on October 21, 2007


30KA!!
posted by moonbiter at 9:42 AM on October 21, 2007


This seems like a good example of Chindogu, the Japanese art of useless inventions--a few of which actually become successful products in the US, completely perplexing the inventors.
posted by eye of newt at 10:20 PM on October 21, 2007


at least one occasion, he tried to fuck a vending machine.

Yeah, nothing new.
posted by cillit bang at 2:20 AM on October 22, 2007


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