BY DAN MILLER
November 18, 2008
Perhaps the vending machine pictured here plays a small part.
It stands majestically in our little break room at the TV station, beckoning all passersby with an assortment of goodies just waiting to be eaten.
Actually, I'm pretty good at pacing myself, and rarely indulge.
When I do, the machine has the inexplicable power to play a cruel little trick on me.
Just last night, for example, I decided that a Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds would really hit the spot.
And, after all, what harm could one little candy bar do?
I put in my dollar.... (yes, they get a dollar for a Hershey bar that was 5-cents when I was a boy).... and the rotating coil moved the candy bar forward to drop it into the tray....
But it stopped.... and the Hershey bar didn't quite make it out of the coil.
It was stuck.
I shook the machine as best I could.... but it's a big, heavy machine, difficult to wobble even the slightest bit.
Gravity could not pull the candy bar down.
It remained stuck.
I pondered the dilemma.
What, theoretically, would Albert Einstein do in this situation?
OK, I'd put in another dollar, and I'd have two Hershey bars.
That would be fine.... I could spread the two treats over a couple of days.
The coils rotated again, and the first candy bar dropped into the tray below.
Then it stopped.
The second bar didn't drop.
Wow.... I had to see if I had another dollar bill.
Yes I did... but $3 to satisfy this longing for Hershey's candy.... goodness, I could have gotten a whole bag of Hershey's at Kroger for $3.
But I had no choice.
It could either put in a third dollar, or leave that 2nd Hershey bar hanging there waiting for some other lucky soul to hit the jackpot.
I put in a third dollar bill.
Eureka.... both fell into the tray, and I went back to my office with three giant Hershey bars.
I ate one of them.
The other two were perched there on my desk, beckoning to me like the sirens in Homer's Odyssey.
OK, that first one was really tasty.... I decided to go ahead and eat another.
It was good too.
I let 15 minutes pass.
Surely I was stronger than the lure of a third Large Size Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds!
Now my stomach hurts, and my mission for the next few days is to avoid direct eye contact with that candy machine.
Besides, the (free) hot chocolate dispenser is looking relatively inviting today.