I used the keypad to punch in the numbers.  The corkscrew began to turn, forcing the bag of Peanut M&M’s closer to the edge.  I watched and waited as it turned and turned, the yellow bag now barely hanging.  And then it all stopped.  Once again I had been denied a tasty afternoon snack and had my hard earned $0.65 stolen from me.  Once again, I wished my friend Pat were here.
Some men are hunters.  Qail, dove or deer.  Pat was a hunter of vending machines.  Many was the time when we’d be working on something and he would stop and say, “It’s time for a tasty treat.”  Then we’d roam the building, Pat tracking down his target.  We’d stop by all the break rooms where he’d look into the glass of the vending machine, assesing his prey.  “No, this is no good,” he might say.  Then we’d move on to the next location where we’d be sure a vending machine would be.  Or he might nod and send me out into the hallway.  It was my job to make sure no one was around, to whistle when the coast was clear.
The silence of the workplace would be shattered, then, by the sound of a large, heavy vending machine being tilted forward and then slammed backwards against the floor and wall.  A few seconds later and he’d walk out of the break room grinning madly and clutching his kill.
“Hey, what do we got here?  Want a Mr. Goodbar?  Whoa!  How about some popcorn?  I got two of those babies!”

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