The Most Interesting Machine in the World

Coke MachineThis week The Hoya reported that Georgetown has just renewed its partnership with the Coca-Cola Company, which dates back to the early 1970s. Here at 4E, we love Coke products, so we think that’s great. But during our weekly blog meetings, we discovered something far greater: the Coca-Cola vending machine in Hoya Court. It is both mystifying and exhilarating, and it must be brought to everyone’s attention.

Seriously, the video on the front of the Coke vending machine is one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen. It begins with a man placing a quarter in the machine (just a quarter!) and hitting the Coke button to order his soda. Inside, these strange blue creatures responsible for bottling the Coke come to a horrible realization: the mechanical arm in the sky is out of Coke! A heroic, blue Coke employee — we’ll call him Norman — straps on a utility belt and volunteers to go on the journey to find more Coke. (Because clearly, this is how vending machines work.)

What awaits Norman must have been more than he bargained for. He begins hang-gliding away from the scene but hits terrible turbulence. He falls off of a cliff (luckily landing in some water), swims with fish that are literally just swimming eyeballs, braves a blizzard and climbs a massive mountain to reach the Coke source. The “source” is a Whomping Willow-esque tree, with giant glass Coke nozzles at the ends of its branches. When Norman arrives, it wakes up, reaches its mechanical branch/arm through a portal in the sky and fills up the requested bottle. Norman is a hero!

A giant celebration ensues, Norman gets a celebratory kiss from yet another strange creature and the blue masses send the Coke bottle off to the awaiting recipient. It is very intriguing, and really gives me a new perspective on what goes into making my Coke. But it does leave a few questions…

1) What exactly is Norman? I really don’t know how to describe what he is.  Also, note the fur ball that is just a pair of lips in the left of the picture.

Seriously, what is he?
Seriously, what is he?

2) Why does the Coke come from a giant arm in the sky? You would think these creatures would be a little more concerned with a giant hole opening up in the sky. But maybe that’s just me.

3) Why is Norman’s journey so dangerous? He almost dies a handful of times. It must have been miserable.

Poor Norman.
Poor Norman.

4) Is it this much of a process to make every Coke? It was incredibly difficult to make just one bottle of Coke. I hope they have a better system than that.

Celebration ensues.
Celebration ensues.

5) Why does the machine vend out glass bottles? Arguably my biggest problem with the video is the premise that there are glass bottles in the vending machine. What vending machine has glass bottles?

It sure does look refreshing though...
It sure does look refreshing, though.

Next time you’re in Hoya Court, be sure to check out the vending machine. It’s a mesmerizing story of loss and retribution — and of going above and beyond the call of duty. Norman is a hero to all Hoyas, and his story is something every Hoya should experience and learn.

Photos: Daniel Smith and Max Wheeler for The Hoya