Vending New Jersey Company
4400 Route 9 South
Freehold, NJ 07728
October 2, 2008
Dear Vending New Jersey Company,
Oh, the melancholy of machines! I take yogajazzerobercising classes on Thursdays in the Neiman building near my house. When I’m done I usually venture to the bottom level and buy a donut from the nice young gentleman at the donut counter. But he has been replaced with a machine! What is the world coming to, when it fails to heed the apocalyptic caveats of science fiction novels? We cannot replace donut technicians with robots! Soon robots will be running the government, delivering babies, and farming humans for their meat. Of course, robots don’t eat, but that’s one of the cruel things that will happen anyway. Robots lack the solicitude of the human race because their insides are made of cold steel.
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Vending New Jersey Company. Yorick was the nice young gentleman with the donuts. What does the machine offer by way of round, centerless pastries? Why, nothing. The closest it comes to that is a Nutri-Grain bar, which isn’t even close. And another thing! I used to be able to just point and grunt at what I wanted. There were so many donuts! How was I supposed to know what each one was named? But now, with the machines firmly usurping the thrones of humankind, there are at least eight different letters and numbers I have to hit in order to buy a Twix. Yes, a Twix, something I could have gotten before by grunting and nodding! I don’t speak Machine. They don’t even make Human-Machine bilingual dictionaries. How am I supposed to get that Twix out? Should I just guess, and say something random, like “A-3 J-2 G-8 B-4”? What if that turns out to be the most vehement, racist, profane remark that ever machine heard? Or should I go down there and say “Bleep bloop bleep beep beep bloop”?
Now you see my dilemma. In case you’ve never yogajazzerobercised, it’s a draining activity. You need food afterwards in order to, I don’t know, keep from collapsing! But now I have virtually no way of procuring any food. Therefore I am going to sue that vending machine. I am not suing your company – just the one vending machine. I expect it will have some suave robot lawyer in court, too: “Your honor: bleep bleep bloop beep bleep. I rest my case.” But I am resilient, and my lawyer is resilient (meaning expensive), and I expect to win. I am suing because I am undernourished on Thursday afternoons. I will not let the machines win! Victory to the human race! And also, bring back Yorick the donut guy! At least he could hold meaningless conversations about the weather. Can a vending machine do that? No: it lacks the compassion to discuss clouds. Once again, Vending New Jersey Company, you have destroyed an American community. Our quarters are rapidly disappearing into your enigmatic robots, but no one speaks Machine, so all we get in return is robot laughter. “HA HA HA HA HA. HA HA HA HA HA.”
I hope you designed your vending machines to withstand long-term prison sentences.