Stories for My Grandchildren

"The Coke Machine"

When I was 11 years old my mother, brother and I moved to Virginia Beach, VA. While walking down Atlantic Avenue to the movie theater 7 blocks away, my brother, Cliff, perked up and asked us if we wanted a Coke and took off running across the street to the Texaco station where there was a coke machine. 

Being after 6:00 p.m. the station was closed. Cliff got down on his hands and knees and stuck his arm in the single slot where the Coke bottles would come out after depositing the money. It was clear to us that he wasn't using any money and was trying to get a drink for free. He must have done this several times before as he looked like a professional. 

After a few seconds he started screaming bloody murder, yanked out his arm and ran back across the street to us shaking his hand and fingers. Mom was almost in tears thinking he had been electrocuted or something. Come to find out that the Gas Station owner must have known that his machine was being pilfered and had set a mouse trap inside the chute of the machine. When mom heard what had happened she laughed all the way to the movie theater. My brother brooded the whole way. I bet the Texaco employees had a belly roll the next morning.


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