Crazy soda machine lady

Today I had to get up early and help move some symphony in St. Louis set up their instruments and stage. In between, I’m stuck sitting in a college’s cafeteria for several hours while they practice and then give a concert. That’s what I’m doing now. Usually when I do this, the cafeteria is open and there are a lot of people here. Today it’s closed for some reason, and it’s just me and an occasional person might come in to use the vending machines. That’s where the psycho lady comes in…

I’ve been sitting here for a few hours, working on various things and catching up on my email when a lady comes in and heads for the vending machines. After standing there for a few minutes, she asks me if I have any change and I tell her I’m sorry but I don’t have any cash at all. She says, “All I need is 4 quarters for a dollar. You can’t give me that?” as if I have the money and I’m just not willing to help her out. I tell her no, I really don’t have any money at all. And I don’t!

She goes back to the machines and fights with putting her dollar into the candy machine. It keeps spitting it out, she smooths it, tries again, etc. Finally it goes in and she starts hitting buttons. And apparently it took her dollar and didn’t give her anything back. So she starts hitting the buttons and cursing. She kicks the machine and keeps trying different buttons to get her candy and/or her dollar back. It doesn’t work. So she approaches me again.

“That machine just took my money. Who do I talk to to get a refund?”

“I’m really not sure. Normally the cafeteria people, I think. But they’re not here today.”

“Well where should I go then?”

“I’m just a visitor here so I really don’t know.”

“You don’t know where any staff people are?” she asks accusingly.

“No. I don’t work here and I’m not a student.”

She looks pissed. She turns around and starts muttering to herself as she walks out of the room. Every other word she mutters seems to be “stupid.” I watch as she leaves the building and I assume it’s over. A minute later I see her walk in with one of the security guards. They don’t come into the cafeteria but they head towards the basement. He disappears through a door and she doesn’t. She mills around for awhile and then comes back into the cafeteria. She walks up to the machine and has another go at it. Hitting buttons, cursing, calling it stupid. Then she starts shaking the machines from side to side. Then she puts her hands on top of it and rocks it back and forth. I’m just waiting for it to fall on top of her. But it doesn’t. She leaves again, muttering the whole time about how stupid and retarded the machine is.

Over the next hour, this repeats several more times. She walks in, beats the hell out of the machine, yells at it, calls it stupid, calls it retarded and then walks out muttering and shoving chairs out of her way. It’s pretty amusing to watch. During one of her exits, she actually does an impression of how retarded the candy machine is. She says in a stereotypical retarded voice, “I’m a machine and I’m retarded!” I begin to fear for my safety.

This lady doesn’t LOOK crazy. She’s in her late 20’s or early 30’s, short hair, small build. In fact, that machine would crush her pretty good if it fell on her. But how psychotic can you be, getting this upset over losing $1.00?? I can understand shaking the machine to try and make candy drop out of it but I don’t understand her taking it so personally! Currently she’s still milling around in the lobby area. I’m expecting her back in here in just a few minutes to see if the candy machine has changed has changed it’s mind yet. Every once in awhile I’ll see her pass by outside the cafeteria. She keeps going up to all the closed doors around the lobby and trying to open them, only to find them locked.

Later that hour…I left the cafeteria and noticed that she was asleep on the couch in the lobby. Guess she used up all her energy by pacing around and beating the hell out of the candy machine. I snapped a picture of her and a picture of the culprit. Here they are:

Resting after a hard day of stressing over a candy bar.
The culprit - Evil Mister Candy Machine.

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