So there we were.Tracy, Marie and I at lunch.We had just picked up Marieís new toy (a very small notebook computer to use as a pda), and we were enjoying our fine, greasy, Chinese cuisine.†† Suddenly Marie starts poking, me saying my name and gesturing behind us.Thatís when Tracy gets this weird expression on her face.You see Marie and I were facing in towards the restaurant, while Tracy was facing out the window.And out the window was where the action was.


What was it that caught Marie and Tracyís attention, you may ask?It was a woman having a dispute with a soda machine.I know that this is not an uncommon occurrence.And it started as a common enough situation.Woman pays a dollar for soda; no soda comes out; woman smacks machine.But that is not where it ended.


No, it gets far more disturbing.


She starts beating on the machine.Ok this is still understandable.Many people hit machines when they are frustrated with their lack of functionality.However, it still goes further than this.


After beating the machine for some time, she gets really angry, tears all the stickers off of the machine and rips the power cord out of the outlet.Once the cord is out of the outlet, she jumps up and down on it, repeatedly.


During this whole time, she has not uttered a word.In fact she is completely devoid of audible sound even as she beats the living hell out of the machine.


After stomping on the plug for a while, our Darwin contestant decides to bump it up a notch.First she calmly goes and orders her lunch.Three orders of French fries.Thatís it.French fries only from a Chinese restaurant across the street from several fast food restaurants.Then she sits on the floor in the middle of the place and seems to be calculating her next move.She grabs a hand full of napkins and wipes the soles of her shoes, as if to erase any trace of soda machine residue and any evidence of her soda hate crime.After her shoes were properly disinfected, she put the remainder of her plan into motion!


First she grabs a huge bunch of napkins and spreads them across the table.Then she grabs a cup of water.She walks back out of the door with cup of water in hand, and decided to show the machine what it is supposed to be dispensing as she throws the water onto the machine.Apparently this did not satisfy her overwhelming need for vengeance, because the battle continues.


She walks back into the restaurant and grabs another huge handful of napkins and spreads them across the other half of the table.The she grabs a cup of coffee from behind the counter.She just grabs a cup and reaches around to the coffee carafe and helps herself to some steamy java.But itís not for her, no.Itís for the cause.She is prepared to vanquish her foe with this steamy cup of caffeinated death.


So what does she do?Does she throw it at the machine and do a dance of victory?Does she mock it saying ďI have achieved caffeine despite you!Ē?No.She pours it on the electrical outlet that she had just pulled the machineís plug out of.


This leaves one to wonder.Is he going to plug it back in to try to electrocute the machine?Was she trying to deprive the machine of its only source of sustenance?Is she aware that these outside outlets are weather proof?What goal does she mean to achieve?


We never got our answers.Soon after the last drop of coffee was spilt onto the battlefield she came back in and seemed to settle down.Alas, it was time for Tracy and I to get back to work, so we could not wait around and see what would transpire next.I pondered upon the hourís events, reflecting on the possibility that she may have been one of those incompetent terrorists you hear about in the news.Tracy told me that she was just amazed to see an actual Darwin aware nominee in action.Marie just thought it was funny as shit.


We may never know what went through the mind of our mystery machine assailant.But one thing is certain.Some things are just bigger than the dollar you lost in the vending machine, and apparently one of those things is Pepsi.




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©Margret Treiber February, 2005