Saturday, April 4, 2009

gumball machines aren't just for gumballs anymore

Traditional gumball machines have gum in many colors but only one flavor, a Juicy Fruit/Bubble Yum like hybrid. Small gumball machines for your house or office still come with that kind of gum.

Other gumball machines might have gums in different flavors. (My favorites are cherry and grape; what are yours?) Or they have candy, nuts, food for birds or zoo animals, toys, dog biscuits, or even soap. Yes, soap.

Soap is probably the weirdest thing I've ever seen in a gumball machine, but mostly because I couldn't help wondering what flavors the soap came in (even though I knew they were scents and not edible - kind of like scented markers that come in food flavors).

Buying gum (or candy, toys, dog treats, soap, etc.) from a gumball machine is more fun that buying the items at the store. It's like rolling the dice or picking a card in a game. You never know what you're going to get when you drop in your quarter(s) and turn the handle.

Sometimes the toy or gum flavor that you want is elusive and you have to try again. A couple of years ago, we tried to get my mom a stuffed duck key chain out of a gumball machine. It took several weeks and many quarters before we finally got it, because we kept getting frogs. There's always one thing that's more plentiful than others! It's best to have a couple of quarters as a back up, in case you get the icky flavored gumball.

What's your favorite thing to get out of a gumball machine?