May 29, 2002
11:40 AM   Subscribe

Underwear, raw eggs, temporary tattoos, condoms designed to match your blood type, emu jerky, marijuana, hot noodles, super glue. What do they all have in common, besides possibly being things you need to have a really unforgettable Saturday night? They're all things that have been sold in vending machines. From Raphael Carter, author of the insect-centric Honeyguide weblog.
posted by iconomy (9 comments total)
I still have fond memories of the sort of vending machines you can still find in some restaurants on turnpikes and highways across America - the kind that dispense "indispensibles". The women's restrooms always had vending machines full of miniature lipsticks, pantyhose, combs, sanitary napkins and those ugly disposable plastic rain kerchiefs. I've always been curious about what the vending machines in the men's room were stocked with.

My favorite vending machine item has always been Smoky Pets. They're 2 inch tall thin plastic hollow dogs that come with 3 all paper cigarettes that are about half an inch long. You insert the cigarette into the teeny opening in the pet's mouth, and light it. They puff away and blow smoke rings. Smoky Pets are still 25 cents in the restroom of a diner near me.
posted by iconomy at 11:41 AM on May 29, 2002

Inflatable sex dolls, too, in case you're more of a loner on Saturday nights. Great post - but isn't a Pez dispensing machine (that presumably dispenses dispensers) a little superfluous?
posted by yhbc at 11:53 AM on May 29, 2002

Mmmmm, raw eggs and emu jerky...the breakfast of champions. :)

And iconomy, I really want a Smoky Pet...I've never even heard of utterly absolutely kitchy. Ah, a new quest begins. heh. :)
posted by dejah420 at 12:34 PM on May 29, 2002

I'd try emu jerky. : )

This was a great link. I never thought so many things came out of vending machines. Although the pizza machine is supposed to be popular on college campuses, I never saw one at my school or at any other I visited.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:21 PM on May 29, 2002

They missed live bait; I saw a vending machine selling that in a shore community here in New Jersey a couple of weeks ago.
posted by geneablogy at 1:24 PM on May 29, 2002

geneablogy - no they didn't. Look for "live shrimp".
posted by starvingartist at 1:52 PM on May 29, 2002

starvingartist and geneablogy - I saw a live bait machine at a tackle shop on route 25, and it was live night crawlers, not shrimp. All I know is I'd hate to be the guy who refills that machine.
posted by jonmc at 2:29 PM on May 29, 2002

Dejah420 - I'm going to go to that diner tomorrow and see if the ol' Smoky Pets are still there (I saw them a few months ago) - I'll send you some. I tried for almost an hour to find a single mention of them on the web but I couldn't. Kitschy is exactly the word to describe them ;)

The french fry vending machine actually fries the potatoes before it dispenses them. That's the vending machine I want.
posted by iconomy at 4:33 PM on May 29, 2002

i saw one of those selecto-mats when i got off the train in geneva -- it was great, too, as i was hungry as hell, having not eaten anything on the 6/8 hour trip from italy. i think i just got a tube of smarties, and opted to get to breakfast at a nearby bakery (where the attendent took opportunity to point out my terrible french pronunciation -- "je voudrias un croisse de beurre.", "Un CROOOOOUISE BEEEEUUURRRRE?", "uh, yeah, uh, oui, yeah.")

anyhow, the selecto-mats are really incredible -- imagine a whole storefront behind a pane of glass -- flour, milk, boxes of cereal, shoe laces -- when you drop in some money and punch in your code, a massive scoop-type construct races out on metal tracks, parks itself in front of your chosen item, and once it falls zips back toward the console where you can retrieve your groceries.

wish they had one of these in my apartment.
posted by fishfucker at 5:20 PM on May 29, 2002

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