All that glitters...
Yesterday morning I wanted a coke. I Really, really wanted a coke, I needed a coke. The kind of Coke-want that drinking water or even eating something is not going to smother.
I have two lines of defense against these moments.
1) I don't carry cash and no cash means no change which means no coke.
2) The coke machine is right outside my bosses office.
These have worked for me. The machines thus far (Thank Gawd) don't accept plastic and I don't really need my boss to see me slacking off and getting sodas all day every day. If I really need a soda I walk to other side of the building and take the elevator down to the basemment and then go to the machine and then take the elevator back upstairs, walk back across the building and go back to my desk. It's a lot of work for a coke. But Monday, I wanted a coke and my boss was not in and I had change, but I didn't have exact change so I took three quarters and went down to the machine.
I put my money into the machine and punched the coke button. Nothing. The machine spit out one of my quarters. Bitch, I said. I tried again, this time putting the money in quickly and immediately hammering the coke button. Nada. Now I was really pissed. I tried again - Take it! Take it! Take it! and nothing happened. I don't know why I kept trying. But I did. Over and over. I put the quarters in different orders, I put them in slowly, I put them quickly, I pushed the coke button as I was putting them in.
I was waiting for a new machine gremlin to come on duty and maybe one that wasn't such a stickler and then my quarters would be acceptable and I could get my coke. With coke machines and their gremlins, it just depends on who is on duty when you come through, some are real bastards and some don't care. I was willing to wait for a shift change.
It did not occur to me to go get a dollar bill, even if it had, that would have been tantamount to bending to the machines will and I wasn't going to let it get the upper hand. Eventually I got tired of this and the urge for a coke passed. I went back to work and eventually went to lunch where I got a Mr. Pibb.
Time passed. I needed a Coke, a real coke. I wanted it and I wanted it now and surely, there had been a shift change in the machine and by now I should be able to get a coke. So I went back and fed the machine my quarters. Whatever gremlin was in charge of quarters was still on duty! This time I didn't give it another chance and on my way out I dropped one of my quarters. It sounded funny when it fell. I picked it up and looked at and it didn't look right either. It was not the right color and the edges were wrong. I dropped it again and I dropped one of the others. the dull quarter sounded like a quarter, the shiny quarter didn't. I went to my computer to look up Mr. Shiny 1964 quarter. No wonder the machine wouldn't take it. it didn't taste or feel right.
Maybe someday some one who doesn't know their history will decide to corner the silver market and I'll be able to retire. I'll buy stock in coke.