Evil Gumball Machines

I am a pretty cynical, pessimistic person. I was feeling introspective today and looking at just WHY I am so disillusioned with the human condition and I blame... GUMBALL MACHINES!

I remember shopping trips as a kid, talking my mom into giving me coinage for the gumball machines. Sometimes she would oblige and I would choose my machine based on the fantastic, magical display boards teasing me by showing me what I could get for the small price of a quarter.

Click, click, click I would turn the knob, hoping to get one of the cool toys so prominently displayed by the vending company. Click...I would open metal door only to find that no prize had fallen. There must be a jam. What a crushing, often eye watering experience.

One learns to listen for the plastic prize 'egg' to fall. Sometimes, however, I would hear the 'egg' fall and open the door only to find an empty HALF 'egg.' That meant that my prize was up in the magic glass orb waiting for some OTHER kid.

My trust in the world was being eroded 25 cents at a time.

Sometimes I would hear the 'egg' drop and there would actually be a prize. Yay, my racecar with doors that open just like the one on the display board. Oh... it's a plastic ring with a flower on it.

As I grew older I realized that much of life was like the evil gumball machine. Disappointment seemed to lay everywhere be it a cool toy I ordered from a comic book that totally sucked, or the woman I married who turned into a stranger, or the notion that life was fair and that our leaders represented us.

So, in November I will step into the booth, drop in my quarter and have to be content with whatever piece of plastic crap I get.

Uploaded 10/01/2008
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