Turn of Phrase: Soda Pop Bottles and/or Gophers

I’d love to have an image here, but I can’t find a decent non-copyrighted one. If you’d like to see the machine described, plug “Vendo 81” into your favorite search engine’s image search.


This is a sentence fragment from a short story I’m working on; the protagonist is seeing ghosts of vending machines past. The one that’s being described here was an old machine in the 1970s when I was a little kid and I ran into one or two of them at older country stores in Wisconsin. Older ones were round-topped, ‘newer’ ones made in the 1950s and early 60s were square-topped; they displayed soda in bottles behind a rectangular glass door, with the necks of the bottles pointing the bottlecaps straight at you from round holes.

If you haven’t seen one, it’s a little hard to imagine, maybe. Give “Vendo 81” a search and you’ll see.


Here’s the phrase that tickled me when I wrote it:


“…a dime for a small glass bottle; for a moment the little bottles are solid reality, lined up vertically behind a rectangular glass door, their necks sticking out of their holes like Coca-gophers.”


Sure I could go for a cold Coca-gopher right now. Couldn’t you?


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