The black double coil thrusting out of the chute began to spin, each metal spiral rotating opposite the other, and a candy bar was slowly, teasingly pushed to it’s death. I swear these machines were designed by an out-of-work Bond villain: little snack-filled death traps, all in nice, neat columns and rows.
The Three Musketeer’s bar tumbled down the front of the machine behind the glass, in full view of all the other snacks as if it were being made an example of, letting all the other candy bars, packs of gum, and bags of chips and cookies see what was in store for them.Their future. The Three Musketeer’s tumbled down and down… and lodged, wedged with one end against the glass fronting the machine, the other stuck into a candy-bar width channel running up the side of the machine. And there it hung, about six or eight inches above the top of the one-way trough where it should have landed and I could have retrieved it from.
I tapped the glass with no result. I pounded on the glass with the same result. I began to tip and rock the machine from side to side in an effort to rock the candy free from the groove it was lodged in.
Instead it worked its way deeper, becoming more firmly lodged in the machine.
One of my co-workers was watching as I rocked the machine more and more violently.
“Here, I’ll buy you another one,” she said.
“Can’t,” I replied, taking yet another grip on the snack dispenser from Hell. “That was the last one in the machine.”
“Well, I’ll go to the store and get you another one, will that work for you?”
“But,” I grunted, shifting the heavy piece of equipment around, “I paid for this one.”
“So what you’re saying is there’s a principle involved?”
“You bet your ass,” I said. “I paid for that one, I’m eating that one!”
“It’s close to the bottom,” she pointed out. “Can you just reach up inside and get it?”
“Nope. It’s a one-way door at the bottom there. When I push my side open I’m pushing the inner door closed. To open the inner door I have to release my door out here.”
“Well, good luck,” she said, walking for the door.
“I don’t need luck,” I said, following her out of the room. “I need a coat-hanger.”
This morning when she got in to work, there was a bent up coat-hanger waiting for her on her desk. Taped to it was an empty Three Musketeer wrapper, and stuck to that was a yellow post-it with a hastily scrawled message of just two words.
And the fact that I had to fight for that candy bar made it all the sweeter. I had earned all that nougaty goodness. Best candy bar I’ve had in a long time.
I took the twisted coat-hanger back from her and put it in my own desk drawer. Just in case.
Talk to you later!