In Which I Am Defeated by a Vending Machine

I’m struggling.

Remember how hard I’m trying to like winter?

Well, I’m struggling.

This morning, as I was walking to school, I caught myself fantasizing about a road trip to New Mexico. I don’t really know anything about New Mexico. But I know it’s warmer than it is here. I had no sights to see, and no particular reason to head south. I don’t know anybody who would want to come with me, and I don’t know anything about the accommodations. But as I calculated the budget for this trip in my head, the only real deterrent I found was the realization that it would take me several months to earn the money to buy a junker car – and by that time, it would be warm here again. I abandoned my scheme.

I’m also getting hungry frequently. And by frequently, I mean every few minutes. My boss says that it takes a lot more energy to stay warm in the winter, so you have to eat more. But we’re talking one “Superman” taco from Taco Bell (think: everything you love, all on a huge tortilla) and then ten minutes later, I’m trying to decide whether to run back for another one. After eating a few cookies. All of this an hour after lunch from Subway.

Chocolate milk is keeping me from slipping into total cold-weather depression. I stopped at a vending machine tonight (only a few hours after the huge taco and cookies) for a chocolate milk, and found myself unable to decide between Sun Chips (food of the gods) and chocolate milk (nectar of the gods). In time, I decided on the Sun Chips, because I’ve had nearly a gallon of chocolate milk in the past few days, and I decided on something healthy.

And the chips didn’t vend.

I saw them hanging there, stuck on the corner of another bag, and I remembered the wise words of my professor this morning: “Remember the Fonz? He always just bumped things, and they worked.” I bumped it. The chips stayed. I banged my fist against it. They didn’t budge. I proceeded to wail on the vending machine like a small percussion ensemble, wondering all the while if the woman in the hallway behind me was worried for her life. The chips defied me. Defeated, I reached into my wallet and pulled out another dollar. I could save one bag for tomorrow, as long as I got my chips.

The second bag still didn’t vend.

By now, I was beginning to mutter dangerously under my breath. A second percussive wailing ensued, and the girl behind me was definitely trying to appear invisible, in case I began to lash out at more animate objects. Defeated (and with a bruised right hand), I took my double-priced bag of chips, hung my head, and started back for the break room.

I was so sad, I had to buy a bottle of chocolate milk on the way out.

Does anybody with a car want to go to New Mexico with me?


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