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Red Alert. Rough draft

Woke up with this idea in my head. Decided to run with it. Love to hear feedback!

I hate you, gumball machine. I hate how you stand in the break room, offering up more false hope than a car salesman after he chugged a bottle full of anti-truth serum.

There are red gumballs in there. I can see them. They sit inside that big globe, just waiting to fill my mouth with an oh-so-temporary rush of artificially-flavored goodness. Faux cherry never tasted so great.

Yet every time I put my quarter in that little slot and turn the crank, disappointment in the shape of a sphere rolls down the slide and stops at the bottom.

Sometimes it’s blue. Blue? A blue gumball? What flavor is blue? It’s not blueberry, thank God, because who in their right mind wants a blueberry gumball? Recipe for a disappointed kid: Shove a quarter in his hand and a blue gumball in his mouth. For added spice, tell him Christmas has been cancelled and the neighbors have all decided to hand out broccoli this Halloween.

Sometimes it’s yellow. Yellow? It’s not  banana. It’s not lemon. It’s something that’s not even worth my quarter or my time. Whenever I get a yellow gumball, my hope is it comes down the slide extra fast, slips right past my shoes and bounces into oblivion via the break room’s grimy tile floor.

Sometimes it’s white. White? It’s not vanilla. And don’t tell me it’s peppermint, either, because whenever I’m done chewing, I feel as if I’ve been sucking on one of those pink hockey pucks sitting at the bottom of a urinal.

There are other colors. (Notice I said colors, not flavors). I swear the green gumball was invented by the same guy who gave us Pine Sol. If oranges tasted anything like the orange gumball, Tropicana would be served over movie theater popcorn rather than on your breakfast table.

Sometimes you throw me a curveball. The purple gumball was too sweet. First time in my life I actually felt a cavity form. And it made my saliva look as if Barney had melted in my mouth.

The pink gumball…yeah, no comment. Not worth it.

But I am an optimist, a firm believer in the law of averages. I will get the red gumball. I will leave this break room feeling better than when I entered. I will get the most out of this quarter.

Today is the day. I feel it. My taste buds are buzzing like a bug zapper. They know what’s coming.

So I stick the quarter back into the slot. I turn the crank. Clockwise. I watch the pile of gumballs shift ever so slightly, making the necessary adjustments as one of its brethren is called away.

And there it is – the red gumball! It’s coming down the slide! Oh, it looks glorious! This, THIS, is a gumball! It even rolls down a slide with a certain modicum of swagger. This gumball knows how good it tastes, knows how much better it is than it’s peers!

And then…I hate you, gumball machine slide…

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