The farther we’re forced from one another, the closer we seem to be getting to our food, if the proliferation of focaccia art and the return of victory gardens mean nothing else. At the same time, patronizing supermarkets day after day is ill-advised amid social-distancing restrictions. In a stunning twist of fate, the oft-belittled vending machine emerges as a beacon of hope in an age of disarray.
Of course, to subsist on vending machine fare a mere 20 or 30 years ago would have been a gastrointestinal nightmare, if not mildly nostalgic. But alas, the year is 2020, and despite a global pandemic, record unemployment, and murder hornets, the wide world of vending machines gives us all something to cherish.
Clothes, iPads, and beauty products are all but commonplace in modern vending machines, sure, but with the push of a button, we can also easily obtain barbecue sandwiches, oysters, and crepes—separately, of course. We can buy staple groceries like potatoes, frozen salmon, and farm-fresh eggs. We can even treat ourselves, if not to a cupcake or five, to Big Band classics performed by animatronic chickens. Most importantly, we can do it all in the name of combatting a global crisis.
Let the soft, internal glow of the world’s vending machines be the light that carries you safely to the other side of this crisis, well-fed.