Few things are as nerve-wracking as making a purchase from a candy machine. Maybe other people aren’t as “into” treats as I am, but when a late afternoon craving strikes, concentrating on anything else becomes problematic.
Scrounging through your desk drawers, in you purse and under the office fax machine, you begin dreaming of which treat you’ll select. Ideally you dig up a dollar or enough loose change to begin your route to the candy machine. If not, it’s time to fundraise. (Since begging gets awkward, I’ve found it helps to carry an addressed envelope to your closest co-worker and ask whether he/she can lend you 44 cents for a stamp.)
Face pressed up to the plexiglass, you scan your options. So many delicious treats! For the next fourteen minutes, you feed the machine your hard-earned nickels. Eventually the machine’s tally indicates you’ve reached 95 cents and you’re officially in the running for a tasty snack. After all this hard work, you deserve it.
Not wanting to end up with the unappetizing pickle-jalapeño-cheddar chips, you triple-check your numbers and letters. Punching in the combination, you begin to salivate as a smile spreads across your face.
The metal spiral slowly starts to spin. Although in reality this process takes about three seconds. In candy machine time, it feels like three hours. This, my friends, is one of the most stressful endeavors a person can possibly experience. Fingers already crossed, you begin praying your candy doesn’t end up dangling in front of you, likely decreasing the life of the candy machine, or at least the glass separating you from pure joy.
Dear Lord. I need this treat. Please make this process go smoothly and give me the strength to hold it together if it doesn’t. Amen.
Half way through the spin, you start rooting for the machine like a parent watching their only child play their first football game.
“C’mon.. C’moon… C’mmooonnn!”
As the spin finishes, your bag-o-sugar begins to fall but appears to pause briefly. Holding your breath, it tumbles to the bottom – causing reason to celebrate. Throwing your hands up in the air, you let out a “WAHOO!” What a relief! Grabbing your treat, you whisper a little “thank you” to the machine.
Can you believe someone thought they were providing something convenient when they invented those machines? You consider maneuvering your hand up the machine next time to help yourself to the selection without having to go through that whole rigmarole. That way, you’d only risk injury to your arm, rather than a heart attack.
Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.