Ok, my heart is still racing after that... A disaster of Titanic proportions. Let me explain:
90% of the time the first thing I do when I get off the elevator at work (brother, Andrew, in tow) is make a b-line straight for the vending machine. I have to fill my Pop Tart fix. Of late we've had 3 varieties: strawberry, blueberry and cinnamon. Yeah, like who the hell eats cinnamon ones, hello?!? So we trudge, half asleep into the lunch room/vending machine area. We're about neck and neck at this point, both of us have our hands in our pockets (our own pockets, you twisted little monkey!) We turn to peer into that looking glass. Salvation in the form of a 3 by 5 inch frosting and sprinkles covered pastry.
The 3rd row from the top, "isle" C, is as follows:
C1: Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies (2 per pack)
C3: cinnamon Pop Tarts. Maybe a dozen of 'em
C5: empty (normally the blueberry section)
C7: one single pack of strawberry Pop Tarts.
Andrew's on my left, so not only am I on the strawberry side, but I'm also directly in front of the change/dollar slot. That strawberry is like so totally mine. In a relaxed voice (I had to quickly find my Happy Place in order to deliver the line so cooly) I say,
"Andrew, I love you. You're my brother. But if you even think that those strawberry Pop Tarts are yours, I'm gonna have to kick your motherfucking ass!!!"
That being said, a dollar bill appeared instantly in my hand as I ever so gently fed it into the slot. It's an Evil Dollar Slot too, picky, and I'm worried because the only change I have in my pocket in the massively fucked up $1 bill I'm trying it insert. Like Luke Skywalker, I close my eyes and let the Force flow through me. Nice and easy. That does it. Take the ratty dollar. Oh please, Dollar Slot Gods...
In it goes. I am so there. He can't see it, but a grin has just silently crept across my face. It's the same grin the Snake wore right after Eve bit the apple. The same grin Alexander the Great wore after conquering most of the known world. The same grin Clinton wore after meeting privately with Monicka Lewinsky. That pack of strawberry Pop Tarts is my bitch now. Come to Butthead...
I punch up "C7" on the little retarded back-lit keypad. Ecstasy only moments away. My toes curl as I see the gleaming metal spiral unwind around my prize. The light hitting it there in the case, it looks like the Hope Diamond. Already this day is going to be kickass. I can feel it. I own this day.
The spiral makes one and a half rotations and the Pop Tart's quivering, as if it's scared to leave the warm confines of it's well lit nest.
"It's ok baby Pop Tarts, Uncle Mattie will take good care of you..."
Already the saliva content in my mouth has doubled. Andrew's probably worried about the glazed look that's draped across my face. The package starts to drop. It looks like it's going to be a graceful swan dive into the "reception room" down below. In the meantime I'm quickly making amends with all the outstanding issues on my karma bank credit record. I'm sorry for having nailed Stacey Steinberger in the fourth grade with that ice ball. I'm sorry for swiping some of my roomate's beer in Santa Cruz. I apologize for everything. Thank you sweet Jesus for our daily bread, errr, ahhh... pastry. The Pop Tart is at a 45 degree angle. I am so there in the momen...
What just happened?!? Did my Pop Tart get stuck? No way!!! Goddammit! Fuck Stacey Steinberg, fuck drinking the beers, fuck these Pop Tarts! My god, why have you forsaken me?!? Who can I start killing around here? Life sucks. Work sucks. Vending machines suck. ER repeats suck. God-mother-fucking-dam...
Ok. So Andrew sees my plight. Senses my pain. With one swift blow he chases the bogeyman away. I mean, that's what older brothers are there for anyway, right? The Pop Tarts fall with a resounding thud. The same sound my heart makes when falling back into place, avoiding such a close call. All is better now. The Pop Tarts are safe with me. My brother wins. He reminds me of why it's so great to have an older sibling to guide you through life. I would be nowhere without his guidance. He's #1 in my book. With that security and brotherly warmth in mind I turn to him,
"What?... Of course I'm not giving you any of my Pop Tarts. What're you insane?!?"