These machines accept quarters (only) in exchange for merchandise encased in a plastic bubble delivered through a small slot at the bottom. They have remained simple mechanical devices, so far escaping the otherwise rampent modernization. The plastic bubble alone, endlessly useful in its simplicity, may be worth the full quarter with anything else being bonus. Most have a placard with goods to tempt you taped onto it, but what you get in the bubble is usualy a third rate copy. Favorite vending machine treat? Translucent plastic rings, best way to win a girl over.

alas, the flight of these machines from rampant modernization is daunted but not failed: networked together with a front end which takes whole dollar bills. Could that be The future of Grocery Shopping in general?
Didn't they try that with the automats? (Ruby's Autodiner, somewhere on the south end of Highway 1 is not an automat, so don't turn around -- just keep going)

Favorite item: Necklaces (The friendship necklaces suck, but sometimes there are little Chinese character pendants that mean "Fire" or "Crazy". And sometimes your friend gets "Crazy" and then later half of it breaks off so when people ask about his necklace he can say he's not only lost his mind, but half of his insanity too.) The experienced Plastic Bubble Popper soon comes to realize, however, that the items are not so important. The machine is an oasis of pointless action, especially for three summer-out-of-highschool teenagers.

As for the plastic bubbles, throw in a slice of cheese or an orange peel and watch it grow!

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