Hey! Remember when pop machines were everywhere? Just like phone booths, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a pop machine. Gas stations, grocery stores, at every entrance to a mall… most of the time you didn’t even have to go into a store to get something to drink. It was great.
For many years the Kroger by my house had a couple of them at their gas station, which was awesome. Many times in the middle of the night I’d walk my dog down to the CLOSED gas station and get a couple cans of pop to take home. It didn’t matter that the gas station was closed, and I didn’t even have to get in my car.
Then, that gas station decided to get rid of the pop machines and put in coolers with sliding doors. No more cans, now they were 20 ounce bottles. No more Big K for $.35 a can. Now it was regular price for Coke and Pepsi products. The worst part? You could only get them during business hours, because they would lock the coolers at night.
Actually they wouldn’t even do that. They would lock the coolers an hour before the gas station closed and they would open them about an hour after they opened in the morning. I guess they really hate making money.
Because I spend a lot of time awake at night, and because I have a hatred for going into places, I’ve been looking around for outside pop machines. Around here, they’re hard to find anymore.
There’s a Family Dollar that has a 7 Up machine sitting outside it, just a few more blocks from my house. It’s $1 for 20 ounce bottles. Not bad, except it’s an older machine and it doesn’t tell you when something is sold out, and the machine is almost never completely stocked. So you might wind up with something you don’t want at all. Also, it MIGHT take your dollar bill. Otherwise, you better have change.
A few miles up the road is another Kroger, and they have a Big K machine still. I just discovered tonight they moved it from just outside the store to their gas station. But it’s still $.35 for a can. Awesome.
Other than those two places, I don’t know of any others around here. So if those go, I guess I’m just going to have to start going into stores or drink water at home. That doesn’t sound so bad, because I love water. But when you want a cola, you gotta have a fucking cola.
I am curious though. Do you have pop machines-a-plenty around your neighborhood? I know things are different everywhere, and for some reason Cincinnati goes through these kinds of trends when nobody else does.