by | Sep 22, 2019

The Vending Machine File

I discovered the carefully labeled Vending Machine folder in one of 8 filing cabinets safeguarding my father’s manuscripts.  I don’t know what possessed me to look in that particular filing cabinet, but after his death, I started searching for an additional hidden cache of something that might resemble an inheritance after my brother located the stack of cash we would use to bury him.
The vending machine file was not some hidden inheritance,  but rather a document that explains my genetic predisposition to become the satisfaction guaranteed guru.
Contained in this folder were carbon copies of the same letter typed over and over to Canteen vending machines, the federal trade commission, the NJ department of Law and Public Safety (division of weights and measures) Jersey City Police department and Humble oil.  It recounted over and over how he’d been driving his TR3 on the Pulaski skyway when it broke down and was towed to a nearby service station.  It was only after the car was in the process of being repaired, that my father realized he’d forgotten to eat breakfast or lunch and tried to quell his hunger from a vending machine offering his favorite childhood treat, a butterfinger.
Except the machine stiffed him.  Yes, that’s right, he lost ten cents.
Though the incident occurred in 1960, the stack of letters were all dated July 1962, and were typed with sheets of carbon paper between copies to create an historic document known as the Vending Machine File providing undeniable proof of the lineage of the satisfaction guaranteed guru.
I kid you not. In fact, I will provide a full copy of this file for the enjoyment of my viewers.