Charlotte Rotlander ∙ 11/27/2021 ∙ November 2021
The following is a transcript of our chat with the local delinquent who damn near got himself killed trying to put a snack back in the vending machine. Looks like goldfish aren’t the only snacks who bite back anymore. Local Idiot: See, what I don’t think a lot of people understand is that it’s not right. I paid $1.25, but they gave me two bags of chips—which, if you didn’t know, is worth $2.50. Which is twice as much as I paid. And, y’know, $1.25 for a whole bag of chips? Not bad at all! I felt so bad after taking an extra one… Radish Investigator: I’m sorry, did you just wink at that security camera?
Local Idiot: I mean, I tried calling the number on the machine, but I wasn’t getting an answer. Guy must’ve been on break. Ooooh I wonder if he was eating those vending machine chips. I gotta say those baked sour cream and onion chips are delicious. Soooo beefy it should be a crime.
Radish Investigator: Beefy..? There’s no beef in ‘em Jery.
Jery: Oh. Huh. [Sweat drips down the sides of Jery’s forehead] So anyway, I just put my hand in the little leg slot a- Radish Investigator: Wait hold on. I’m sorry. Leg slot??
Jery: No. I didn’t say that.
Radish Investigator: I wrote it down if you wanna see… Jery: No, no thanks.
Radish Investigator: Okay. So… it’s really Jery with one r huh?
Jery: Oh, no, it’s two r’s, sorry. Radish Investigator: Listen, Jerry. Can I ask you something?
Jerry: Sure, shoot. Radish Investigator: Did you try getting your food with your leg and get your leg stuck?
[Jerry (two r’s) ambles off his chair and looks around at every security camera before getting on all fours and crawling towards me in what he clearly thinks is a threatening manner.]
Jerry: They’re payin’ me [Jerry waves a plastic spork at me.]
Radish Investigator: What? Who is “they”? Hey and put the spork down, preferably on a napkin or something. I haven’t had my lunch yet.
Jerry: [Jerry backs off and drops the spork onto the floor] You want chips?
Radish Investigator: No. Now what are “they” paying you for, Jerbear? C’mon, you can trust me. I love you.
Jerry: To say I’m a good person. They’re payin’ me.
Radish Investigator: To say you’re a good person. Jerry: They’ll keep my secret, plus they’ll gimme five bucks a week for the rest of my LIFE, to tell everyone I almost died for ‘em.
Radish Investigator: When in reality you thought the vending machine’s food slot was a pressure-activated plate you had to stick both feet into and wiggle around a bit to get chips?
Jerry: No…that would be ridiculous. Radish Investigator: Hey, who even told you that?
Jerry: [Tears stream down Jerry’s face] No one. But you wanna know what? Nobody told me that wasn’t right, either. Nobody took the time to tell me that wasn’t right. Radish Investigator: There there Jerbear, there there.
Jerry: Hey, you aren’t writing this down, are ya?
Radish Investigator: No, Jerbear. I’m not. Charlotte is. Let me show you how to use the vending machine, okay bud? C’mon.