Machine mugging

I put my sixty cents in the machine and request a Snickers.

(tangential rant: When I was a child this bar used to be called Marathon; a name which conjures up sport and stamina and maybe ancient Greece and war too. Then they changed the name to Snickers; which for me sound likes “sniggers”, or maybe like something you’d use to trim your garden hedge (snick! snick!). And the irony? Snickers have subsequently launched an energy bar called…Marathon!)

The chocolate bar edges slowly forwards, stopping just short of the ledge like a suddenly rebellious lemming, and stands there, immobile. Knowing well the caprices (and weaknesses) of this particular dumb waiter, I start shoving it, rocking it back and forth and giving it sharp slaps. The internal light flickers, the chocolate vacillates, and following one last thwack it finally falls.

As I retrieve it, a metallic clinking is heard. I reach over and retrieve my sixty cents from the change slot. It’s as if the machine is saying “Here! take your chocolate! And take the money back too! Whatever you want, just…stop hitting me!”