How I acquired a vending machine. Or: Griffin is far, and cement is heavy

Here is a new law of the internet: Craigslist transactions are weird, 100% of the time. Even if they end up going off more or less without a hitch, they’re WEIRD. This is a truth.


My sister found the ad for this sucker and mentioned it repeatedly while I shopped online for something that would make a good Little Free Library. I had this fun idea that I was going to make a library for cheap. Hahahaha.

So after a dozen emails and texts I had more or less arranged to go buy this newspaper vending machine. I drove south and my GPS had me get off the highway much sooner than I’d anticipated, with like an hour left to drive. Not a great sign. But the weather was lovely and I was in a great mood so on I drove. In my Honda Civic, because that’s relevant later.

I managed not to stop at ANY of the yard art and folk art places I drove past! Somebody please give me some kudos for that.

I finally ended up at what my phone assured me was the right place, which was halfway between nowhere and nothing as far as I could tell. Seriously, I was driving along amidst nothing, and suddenly there was an airport and a couple neighborhoods. I love remembering that America is full of these places. I found the correct house and found a tall gentleman working in the yard outside.

Y’all, this guy was SOUTHERN. And not in the redneck way that television would like you to understand Southern. He reminded me of high school football coaches. He had the accent and the vibe and I wanted to hug him.

He took one look at my car and he said “Is someone else coming with a truck?” And to his credit, although it must have been immediately apparent that I was totally clueless, he didn’t even make fun of me.

See, it turns out that when they installed these vending machines back in the day, they kept them from wandering off by putting them where they belonged and then FILLING THEM WITH CONCRETE. This sucker weighs over 300lbs if it’s an ounce. And there I was with my Civic and my two hands!

Bless his heart, dude helped me figure out how to wedge the horrible beast into the back of my trunk, heavy end first, using the bumper as a fulcrum (the paint is fine, Mom! haha! totally fine!). We cleaned out everything that might blow away on the long drive home and threw it in my back seat. And I tied the trunk shut, sort of, using the rope that my father insists on leaving in the trunk of every car he’s ever owned. (I should add that this is not the first time that rope has come in handy. So thanks, Dad.)

I wasn’t too worried about the trunk coming open or the machine falling out because 300 LBS, PEOPLE. I was more worried about my rear axle. I kept telling myself that I must have had 300lbs of passenger before, this couldn’t be that bad, right? and I drove home very slowly. And in fact I spent the whole drive home trying to figure out how the hell I was going to get this beast OUT of my car. I knew I couldn’t do it by myself, so it was rapidly becoming a real possibility that I was going to have to leave it there for two days until my husband got home. I was envisioning picking him up at the airport with the rear end of the car looking like this:


Haha! Welcome home, honey! Please wedge your suitcases into the back seat because VENDING MACHINE!

Fortunately, one of my lovely soon-to-be neighbors was home and came over to find out why there was a vending machine hanging out of the back of my car. With the help of gravity, simple physics (the fulcrum again!), and brute ladystrength, we managed to wiggle the beast out of the trunk… and onto my foot.


Ohhhhh yeaahhhhh.

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