Penny penny penny penny penny …

These are all useless to me.

C’mon, change purse. What else do you have for me?

Is that a dime? Yes it is!

Penny penny penny penny penny …

Lint ball. Gross.

Ha! Quarter! Nuther quarter!

Oooo, oooo, we’re halfway there …

My first job out of college, I ate lunch out of the vending machine every day. I would eat the same thing every day. A bag of Fritos, a bag of peanut M&M’s and a Dr Pepper.

I am not proud of this.

I would probably still be eating like this, however, except I really do want to live to see 60.

Which is why I came up with a rule: If I don’t have exact change to buy something out of the vending machine, I can’t have it.

This significantly cut back my M&M’s consumption. At least until somebody invented a doohickey so that vending machines can take dollar bills.

This necessitated a change in the rule: If I wanted to eat out of the vending machine, I had to have exact change OR a single.

This worked well until I started working here at The Anniston Star, where the vending machine is right next door to the front desk, and at the front desk is a very nice woman named Rhonda, and Rhonda has access to a cash register, and Rhonda is always happy to break a $20 for me.

So then if I wanted to eat out of the vending machine I had to have exact change OR a single OR any paper currency guaranteed by the United States of America.

And then they added a credit card reader to our vending machine.

Have I mentioned that some evil genius decided to put Pop-Tarts in the vending machine? POP-TARTS ON DEMAND. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.

And yet.

And yet.

The line holds.

I am of the old school that thinks credit cards are for financing major purchases like a new washing machine or a riding lawn mower or Fleetwood Mac tickets. Such power is not to be wasted on a Snickers.

And so most days at work I bring my lunch from home. Usually carrots and hummus. Sometimes a kale salad.

Besides, there are only Chili Cheese Fritos in our vending machine, and they do not pair well with peanut M&M’s.

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.