Why the Vending Machine is so Common


The Englishman had been instructed to bring two pairs of shoes with him to school; one for indoors, one for out. Like most of the things he was instructed to do for work, he had forgotten.

This meant that he was forced to borrow a pair of slippers from the school cupboards every day; they had a stockpile of thousands of pairs of slippers, just in case the hoardes of Gengis Khan came calling and all needed appropriate footwear. The problem was that the Englishman’s feet were considerably larger than the average Japanese man’s, and so he broke every pair he borrowed within a day or two.

Ashamed of having reduced school property to so much threadbare leather, he hid the evidence away in his locker and resolved to come before anyone else (this would mean getting up very early indeed), grab the evidence and bury it somewhere. The day arrived and, at five in the morning, when the moon was still in the sky, he broke a window, climbed in, foisted the many ruined slippers into his laptop bag and made good his escape.

As he was walking along, feeling very clever, even though he hadn’t really done all that much, he came across an ogre walking the opposite direction. The Ogre was carrying a large barrel of grog over its head; when it saw the Englishman, it stopped him in his tracks.

“You there,” snarled the Ogre, “do you know where the local chugakko is?”

“Why?” Asked the Englishman, deftly covering up his lanyard from the same chugakko.

“I hate that school and yet am unaware of where it’s located. I’m going to eat every last child in that school and then wash them down with this delicious melon-flavoured grog.”

The Englishman considered- while he would like to see some of his charges eaten by an ogre, others of them possibly didn’t deserve it. After a few minutes’ deliberation, he decided to misdirect the Ogre.

“Well, you’ve got a long way to go,” the Englishman lied. “I’ve just walked from the chugakko and look at all the shoes I wore out on the way here.”

He opened his bag and showed the ogre all the busted footwear from his school.

“Why were you wearing indoor shoes outside? Are you some kind of animal?” Asked the fashion-conscious ogre.

“I’m a gajin.”

“That explains it.”

As they were talking, the sun began to peak over the horizon. As its first rays crested over the hills, the ogre began to steam and smoke. For, you see Ogres cannot be outside in the day- if the pure light of day touches their skin, they turn to metal, with glass fronts, plastic shelves and handy coin slots. The Ogre screamed as he was transformed into Japan’s first vending machine. The grog he had been carrying melted through his new form and was partially turned to metal too, in the form of cans.

The Englishman thought nothing of this and continued on with his plan; however, as he walked on his Kyoto-Sensei drove by, saw him with the illicit slippers and fired him on the spot. He died in a gutter.

The vending machine caught on, however, and now can be found all over Japan; many of them bearing the name of that first Ogre who started the craze, Black Boss.

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