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Monday, August 09, 2010

A Break-Room Story

They call it the “break room,” but I call it my office. I work here, too, you know.

The Pepsi machine next to me thinks he is a real gift to the world. When footsteps echo down the hall announcing the arrival of a new customer, I hear him blow his fan just a little harder, trying to show how cool he is. I can’t stand it when he delivers. The money drops down (he makes a big deal out of swallowing sometimes—clickclickclick-cherchunk-plink) and the guy punches his Diet button.

Wait for it . . .

Wait for it . . .

Wait for it . . . (the guy punches his button again)

Wait for it . . . (thump) and he spits out the bottle.

The Juice machine, just on the other side, has issues. He blinks that annoying light behind that faded, washed out sign. Looks like he’s having a seizure: flick, flick . . . flick . . .flick, flick, flick . . . flick . . . The $1.00 sign barely hangs on, just above the money slot. What a character.

Me? I’m just a snack machine. I rule the world.

“How much is that Honey Bun?” I’m not going to tell, with that attitude. Well, ok. But only if you gently push the right combination of buttons on my face. If it’s in F-1, then push the “F” and the “1” and I’ll tell you.

Did you gently push--gently? Well, then you’d better have the correct change because my bill slot may not work . . . for a while at least. Or maybe I’ll run out of nickels . . .

I’m nice, so I might let you have some peanuts or something—they are cheaper anyway.

And if you buy water afterward, my friend on the end there will quit convulsing.

Hey, hey! I said “gently!”

  • Make another selection.
  • Make another selection.
  • Make another selection. (I can do this all day, buddy . . .)

Oh, alright. Here you go. B-2. Peanuts. Here, let me hypnotize you with my screw-arm:

  • Turning and pushing (you are getting hungrier) . . .
  • Turning and pushing (salivating now . . . lick your lips) . . .
  • Turning and . . . oops!

What’s this? The peanuts sitting right on the edge? Just a quarter-turn more to go?


Maybe if you calm down and take a few deep breaths . . .


Hitting me in the face won’t help. The package might slip and get caught sideways—it will never come out now . . .

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