So it's late, late at night and I'm cleaning up and I notice the cans that mostly my recently evicted neighbor has lying around. I need to do something with them. I make the decision to go onto a well-troughed path and give them to the first non-drunk homeless person I run into-- who will naturally deposit them and gain a couple more dollars.

Mind you, it's 2 in the morning on a Friday. I take the walk, carrying the bag of cans. On my way, someone smiles-- appearing to be a social worker-- and asks me how I'm doing. "Uh, fine" I say, and walk off quickly.

I meet up with a few homeless individuals, but they are all drunk so I pay them no mind. Eventually, I walk my complete walk, sigh, and decide that since I'm closer to Safeway than home, I may as well deposit them. The man who deposits them for me is snarky and rude, but I pay him no mind.

I decide to get rid of the couple of dollars from the cans to complete the world-class entertainment of no entertainment. I purchase a couple doughnuts, slightly annoyed that unlike their competition Fred Meyer's Safeway doesn't discount them after a certain hour when they become stale and need to be gotten rid of.

When I return to the Ondine, I decide to do something with the vending machine to rid myself of the rest of the change. I know that at the moment, there's a bag of M&Ms perilously close to dropping, but still stuck. I decide to put the coins in. Best case sceniro I end up with 2 bags of M&Ms. Worst case sceniro I end up with one bag of M&Ms. I deposit the change and end up 2 bags. I clap one hand in mild excitement.

At this point in time, something occurs to me about the M&Ms depository. The next time someone puts in their coins, nothing will drop. The time after that, someone might decide on M&Ms with the belief that they will end up 2 bags of M&Ms, as it appears the M&Ms will be perilously close to dropping. But, only one bag will drop, with the other bag perilously close, practically fallen but still tied to the metal ring. Finally, the next time someone will deposit the coins and 2 M&Ms will drop, and the cycle will begin anew.

That's the vending mechanics of the machine for the moment. I suppose those interested should know that this vending machine is the thing to watch.

copyright 2001 jhowards