Candy

Most every afternoon at work, I tuck a dollar and a quarter in my pocket and head downstairs to the break room to get a $1.25 pack of peanut M&Ms out of the vending machine.

It’s a routine that works for me and for my co-workers, who really don’t want to deal with me if I haven’t had my afternoon chocolate.

Several days ago, the vending machine stopped accepting coins. I put in my quarter, it spit it back out. I put in my quarter more slowly. It spit it back out. I put in my quarter more forcefully. It spit it back out. I put in my quarter at a slightly different angle. It spit it back out.

Granted, this was not as bad as that time the vending machine took my money but then the pack of peanut M&Ms got caught on that little coil thingy and just hung there, dangling, refusing to fall down to the bottom.

I almost got my arm stuck in the vending machine trying to reach in and get my M&Ms.

There have also been times when the vending machine accidentally dispenses two packs of M&Ms for the price of one.

So all told, life balances out.

The universe just didn’t want me to have M&Ms that day.

The next day, I tried to outsmart the universe. I took two dollar bills with me to the vending machine. Except now the vending machine was flashing the message, “EXACT CHANGE ONLY.”

The next day, I tucked two dollar bills and a couple of quarters in my pocket and went downstairs to the vending machine.

(I know, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But I’m a fool for peanut M&Ms.)

A friend was standing in front of the vending machine with a panicked look on her face. She had tried to buy a snack using the credit card reader on the vending machine, but it didn’t work and now it wouldn’t let her cancel the transaction. “I don’t want someone else to come along and buy all the snacks using my credit card,” she said.

Darn, she was on to me.

I decided I could go another day without peanut M&Ms.

On Friday, I went down to the break room — but not for peanut M&Ms. I’d finally learned that lesson. I just wanted a cup of ice.

The vending machine was completely empty.

I stopped in my tracks. I looked more closely. Not only were there no snacks in the vending machine, but the glass on the front of the machine was gone.

Maybe a raccoon got into the vending machine? That really happened at a high school in Florida last week. Genius raccoon could eat all the peanut M&Ms he wanted.

At that point, a co-worker walked into the break room. “Do you know what happened to the vending machine?” I asked him.

He paused.

Then he said, “Somebody lost their balance.”

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or ldavis@annistonstar.com.

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.

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