Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Uplifting Story of the Day
First of all, let's just get it out of the way: I sometimes talk like a gourmet, but I eat like a twelve year old, especially when it comes to breakfast, which I usually get out of the vending machine. So, last night I had strawberries glazed with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, topped with maple whipped cream and this morning, I had coffee and a Honeybun™ from the machine in the breakroom.

The machine in the breakroom is a vending machine mostly in theory. In practice it works much more like a slot machine. But the only other food machines in the building are two floors up and a quarter mile away, so if you work in the basement (it's a nice basement, but it's a basement), you pays your money and you takes your chances. I put in my money. I punch some buttons. The screw turns, my breakfast inches forward and then balances there, three feet above the swinging door, having formed a bond with the next Honeybun™ in line, the exact nature of which I prefer not to contemplate. It's hanging on the edge like Gene Wilder in the opening of Woman in Red.

My options:

1. Shake the machine. This is a risky proposition. The front legs of the machine have already broken through the tile floor, and are in the process of digging into the concrete. Because of this, the president of the company has actually been heard to say, "The next goddamn person to shake this machine is fired, on the spot!" I'm in an autonomous division, reporting to a CEO who reports to the owner, so my job wouldn't actually be in danger, but that doesn't mean I want to piss off the president. So that's a factor. In addition, the machine's been pushed all the way against the wall, which makes it impossible to pull my usual maneuver: lift the front of the machine and drop it. This almost always works, and only slightly increases the holes in the concrete, but doesn't work when there's no room behind the machine.

2. Get help. I know there's a woman in the next room who could open up the machine and give me my Honeybun™. All I have to do is walk about 30 feet and ask for help. You understand, of course, that this is only an option in the strictly formal sense. I would never actually do this.

3. Buy another Honeybun™ and hope they both come tumbling town together.

As much as I disdain plans that contain the word "hope", I go for number three. And I do, indeed, get my Honeybun™, but just the one. The second Honeybun™ is now dangling there, laughing at me. So I go walking back to my desk, toting my $1.20 Honeybun™, having taken the whole thing as evidence that the world is not my friend today (see below entry).

Half an hour later, Kevin comes by my desk to talk about a project. We chat for a bit, then off he goes. Three minutes later, he's walking by again, with a Honeybun™ in his hand. "Mike, do you like these?"

Having just eaten one, I can't really honestly say yes, but I do anyway.

"Here, take it. I got a two for one thing from the vending machine."

At least occasionally, there is justice in the world.

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