Vending Machine Lock-Up War


In hopes of improving student athletes’ health, Mr. Jerrod Watson, strength and conditioning coach, has repeatedly tried to lock up one of the vending machines in the school, which happens to include the unhealthiest snacks.

Mr. Watson took the responsibility upon himself to lock up the unhealthy snacks in the vending machine since the machine does not turn off like it is supposed to during school hours.

“I locked up the vending machine for two reasons. First, I’m pretty sure they are supposed to be programmed through computers or some other form of witchcraft to be turned off from 7:30 am – 2:30 pm. They were not, and I saw so many kids including athletes use them all day long. Second, there is nothing but poison for young bodies in that machine, and since my words couldn’t stop kids from using it, I took action,” Mr. Watson said.

Mr. Watson is convinced that the Big Texas Cinnamon Rolls are the fan favorites among students. Many kids decided that this was their chance to mess with Mr. Watson and have fun with this new conflict.

“Locking the vending machine didn’t affect me at all, but the fact that Watson locked it up made me want to unlock it. I don’t even eat Big Texas Cinnamon Rolls, but since Watson locked them up, I wanted to get involved. I already give him headaches in his class so I thought that I might as well do it with this vending machine war too,” sophomore Brooklyn Bell said.

While some kids have used this “vending machine war” as a chance to have fun, some students are very angry by this change.

“At first, it made me pretty frustrated because I just wanted some Jalapeño Cheetos because they are my favorite. Even though I think he was doing it for fun at one point, I honestly don’t even know why he cares about what the kids are eating. I think it is stupid that he is doing all of this,” sophomore Monica Rockwell said.

Mr. Watson has named this the “vending machine war” which has been going on for a few months now. There have been many stages to this war.

“First, I tied the cord multiple times around the legs. They were untied by students. I then taped the plug up with half a roll of athletic tape which was also eventually unrolled by students. Next, I got padlocks. I padlocked the cord to the handle of the fire extinguisher cabinet handle, but the handle was removed. I padlocked the cord through the hollow leg of the drink machine, but that lock was fished through the leg. Then, using two padlocks, I put the cord back through the hollow leg of the drink machine. This was somehow fished through the legs. There were then multiple locks brought in from home by students to lock the cord and shorten it so I couldn’t padlock it. Those were removed by me with the jaws of life bolt cutters. I now have a four padlock system in place which has been unbeatable for all my enemies,” Mr. Watson said.

The lock-up had caused rumors to spread. After locking the plug onto the fire extinguisher case, the handle to the case was unscrewed to free the plug. Students have tried to place the blame on others.

“I didn’t rip the handle off, but when Watson started the war, I told him that I didn’t want to be in the crossfire. I told him that if I was hungry, I would want to get something because I don’t usually get the time to eat in the morning. One day it was locked to the handle so I took the handle apart and slid the lock and power cord off,” junior Gavin Rice said.

Throughout this war, the students have protested by sticking post-it notes on the vending machine.

“I wrote on my sticky-note, ‘Jerrod please let me in, I just want to be fat’ but I believe that the best one was from Jake Mosemann. He said, ‘Open the vending machine if you hate Dylan Pringle.’ That was definitely the best one,” Bell said.

This war has started lots of controversy, but the students have remained peaceful.

“I don’t think the vending machine should be locked. I agree that there are better choices of food than in the vending machine, no doubt about it. This is a peaceful war. Neither me nor him are trying to break anything; we are just using our minds to outsmart each other,” Rice said.

The meaning behind Mr. Watson’s actions have been questioned by many of the students.

“Obesity is a big problem in America, and as Watson’s favorite student, I know I should stand with him, but I just can’t after seeing what the vending machine being locked up has done to some of these poor starving kids. Big Texas Cinnamon Rolls have saved kids’ lives in the past, and now Watson is trying to take one of the only good things in Greenwood High School,” Bell said.

Despite rumors, this war was not promoted by the administration. This was all started by Mr. Watson as an attempt to help students.

“I’m pretty confident that Mr. Garrison wanted the machine off from 7:30 am – 2:30 pm. The extreme methods I’ve used to accomplish this were not prompted or approved by the administration. I took matters into my own hands,” Mr. Watson said. “I think Mr. Garrison sees this as what it truly is, which is a good thing for the health of our students that at the same time has made us all laugh a little bit. The administration has had no ego and has let me handle things my way.”