Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Double the Cola!

Once in a while, you hear of something so magical that it can only be spoken of in whispers. Anything louder than that and it disappears. Our good friend Hitch spoke to me of such a thing: a vending machine that spits out 2 cans of Coke for every 1 button pressed. Too good to be true, I thought. It was not.

The story was that in the Pulp and Paper building, the Coke machine gives 2 cans. Problem #1: Where the hell is the P&P building? It turns out it's nestled quietly between McConnell Engineering and Otto Maass Chemistry. Only if you know it's there, will you find it. One can only see it if one believes its existence. A thirsty Neil and I decided the time was ripe to get our Coke.

We entered through the main doors. To our left is a long, curving staircase going deep down. Ahead, a hallway. We chose to go down the hall. There was a sign that told visitors to register at the booth. However, the booth was temporarily vacated. Our luck! At the end of the hall, deadend. We were turning around when some lady from an office asked "May I help you?" Quickly thinking on my feet, I said, "We're looking for the exit." She told us that we'd have to leave by the way we came in. Whew! Dodged a bullet there.

Then Neil spoke. "Are there any vending machines in this building?" I cringed. She said no. An obvious lie.

We retraced our steps and went downstairs, revealing a labyrinth of halls. Suddenly, security people appeared down one hall, so we quickly fled down the opposite one. Scurrying down, we stumbled upon an open area, with one sad-looking table. It was lit, however, by a beautiful Coke machine glow. We'd found the holy grail.

Putting the dollar in the machine, I hesistated. Do all the buttons gives 2 cans? Or just one? I pressed the first Coke button firmly. Chunk-a-chunk-a-chunk...a can rolled down. We waited, holding our breath.


Chunk-a-chunk-a-chunk! Another can! We'd succeeded! We grabbed the cans, ran up the stairs and bolted out the doors.

Later that day, Hitch informed me that there was an underground passage from Otto Maass leading to the basement of P&P, thereby avoiding all security and sign-in booths. I dunno about you but this way was much more fun.

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