vending machine art

Illustration provided by Harley Turso

By Dillon McCarthy

Ladies and gentlemen of Cape Cod Community College (4Cs), there is an evil in our presence. Horrifying acts have been taking place right under your nose and you haven’t even noticed. That’s right, the beloved Reece’s Fast Break Candy Bars have disappeared from most of our campuses vending machines.

I came across this truth while studying in the common area at the far end of the North Building before one of my classes. Upon inspecting the vending machine for my favorite snack, I have was unhappy to discover that my favorite chewy blend of milk chocolate, peanut butter, and nougat was absent. I figured that this was just a mistake, and that there was no cause for alarm, but I in the following weeks I failed to detect a Fast Break bar in that particular vending machine.

On February 7th, I had had enough. Taking my first dive into investigative reporting, I ventured across the campus to locate all of the vending machines and tally whether or not they contained the little delight. I identified the following six machines: North Building, MM Wilkins Building, Tilden Arts Center, Science Building, and the two in the Cafeteria. To note, I only counted the machines which carried snacks and not those selling drinks.

The results of the initial investigation shocked me. I found only one vending machine, the one located in the basement of the Tilden Arts Center, from which I was able to purchase a Reece’s Fast Break Candy Bar. Those located in the Cafeteria, North, and Wilkins, buildings were not stocked with the treat at all, but it was the contents of Science building’s machine that frankly horrified me.

Initially, I did not see the familiar orange, yellow, and blue packaging which marks a Fast Break, but upon further investigation, I discovered that there were in fact two bars inside the machine. They were, however, placed behind a Snicker’s chocolate bar. That’s right, BEHIND a Snicker’s. In order for me to even have to chance to purchase that sweet delight of which I crave, I would need to first spend a dollar and twenty-five cents (even more if I chose to use a debit card) on an unrelated and unwanted object placed un-empathetically in front of it.

I ask you, ladies and gentlemen of 4Cs, what is next? Throughout history, people have always sat around ignoring small problems as they grow and snowball, each consecutive step being shrugged off until it is too late. Although the experiment is widely misunderstood, the story of the frog in the boiling water comes to mind; if the water boiled immediately it jumps away, but if the temperature gradually increases it remains until it is boiled alive. Today it is the disappearance of a beloved snack, tomorrow it’s your rights. I know you feel helpless, as if there’s nothing you can do, but a group of people slowing losing their rights are not cast away, forgotten in the history books, they are the ones who write them. Fight for your rights, 4C’s, fight for your Fast Breaks.

Joe MacKinnon, Director of Maintenance at 4Cs, declined to comment on this story, as did The Hershey Company.