Monday, December 01, 2003

Vending Machine In My Kitchen - A One Act Play In Two Parts

Ok, so this is one that I don't know if I should put here or at the House of Chicken &'s a true story of late night absurdity that can only exist in my world...I think. It kind of blurs the line between creative writing and ranting...maybe I will post it to both later on.

I just wish that there was a place for this unrelated anecdote in there: At work, the men's bathroom was being cleaned, so the only option for the bursting guy is to use the women's restroom. So Sheryl, the cleaning lady, makes sure the room is empty before I go. I take care of my business and "drain the lizard," as they say (who "they" are, I know not). As I am washing my hands, Sue walks in halfway, then puts on the brakes to deliver the line "You're not a woman!" with an expression on her face to match the surprise in the tone of her voice. "I'm glad you agree" says I, drying my hands with a paper towel and exiting, unable to surpress a gleeful giggle that evolves into a maniacal fit of full-throttle chuckling as I enter the breakroom, much to the confusion of my co-workers.

Vending Machine In My Kitchen - A One Act Play In Two Parts

When we first come upon our protagonist J-Ro, he is driving home from work on his lunch break at 1:30AM, on a mission to consume a bowl of matzoh ball soup. In addition to his desire for soup, his colleague Bunny has made him hungry for spinach as a result of her own meal, even though he yearns not for sweet & sour anything...not even spinach. Driving home, J-Ro's lightbulb appears over his head as he remembers that he bought some leaf spinach in butter sauce on his reconnaissance mission to the supermarket...his first solo foray involving something other than simply snack foods, alcohol and a shrimp ring in nigh on three years. A comforting thought indeed, as the craving for that leafy green goodness was reaching a fever-pitch.

J-Ro pulls into his driveway, surrounded by massive hacked-off limbs of trees strewn about after mighty winds bent the boughs and branches in numerous directions which threatened the very flow of electricity and cable into the house from the curbside, not to mention the raingutters on the house itself. He enters the bungalow that is his new home, across the driveway from the main house, heading straight for the kitchen, to retrieve the spinachy goodness and free it from the clutches of the freezer holding it captive.

Entering the kitchen, he flips the lightswitch, quickly turning to his right and noticing the blinking "2" of the answering machine's LED display. "Ooh, a new message," he thinks to himself (message # one being from some guy with a funny accent, who had called for his brother, to commission a track from his now broken-up former band for a compilation CD). After pressing play and discovering naught but silence, his head turns back, when something foreign seems to appear out of nowhere. "What the fuck?!? Is that??" It's a small vending machine, the analog variety, with individual coin-slots that one twists manually. It simply says "Snacks & Chips" on the front panel above the pick-up tray. "Why the hell is there a vending machine in my kitchen? What have Matt and Cassie done this time? This is absolutely ridiculous!"

Our hapless hero, barely surprised at this turn of events and mysterious newfound kitchen accessory, shrugs and carries on with the intended mission -- the spinach retrieval. He opens the upper door, observing the now two-month old ice cream birthday cake that is the only other occupant of the infrequently-raided freezer and passing over it to obtain the Green Giant's Jolly vegetable contained therein. He shuts the door, turns, stares again at the oddity occupying his kitchen floor, scratches his head with his free hand, then quickly switching off the kitchen light and exiting his tiny home, heading for the main house, to cook his spinach and heat up a nice bowl of matzoh ball soup.

While the spinach is in the microwave getting hot, Matt & Cassie make their way from the upstairs, apparently on a field trip to the water closet...possibly to suss out burglars. Matt is the first to speak, as he rubs his eyes with his fists and blinks.

MATT: "What are you doing here"
J-RO: "Came home to get some matzoh ball soup. Also, Bunny got me hungry for spinach, so I went to get that out of my freezer. So, why the hell is there a vending machine in my kitchen? Where did it come from?"
MATT: "I don't know what you're talking about."
J-RO: "Bullshit! There's a huge box full of coffeepots in the basement that prove otherwise. Where the hell did you get a vending machine from, anyway?"
MATT: "I still don't know what the hell you're talking about."

CASSIE exits the bathroom and joins the conversation as it stays its course on the carousel, with neither side getting off the horses.

CASSIE: "I suggest you call the number on the back of the vending machine and ask them why there is a vending machine in your kitchen."
J-RO: "I don't think that would be a good idea. I definitely don't want whoever owns it to know I have it. That surely cannot be a good thing."
CASSIE: "If you have any further questions regarding this matter, you can consult our lawyer."
J-RO: "Did you say I should insult your lawyer?"
CASSIE: "CONsult our lawyer."
MATT: " You can insult him, too, if you like. I don't care, I'm going back to sleep. Goodnight, weirdo."
CASSIE: "Goodnight, Jon. Have a fun rest of the night at work."
J-RO: "Goodnight, Bonnie & Clyde."

exit MATT & CASSIE up the stairs. A heavily perplexed J-RO continues to prepare the spinach and matzoh ball soup, using two separate bowls. "What the fuck is up with the vending machine?????" The preapred meal is then taken into the den, where J-Ro resumes watching the final epsiode of Season five of "Friends" on DVD. Once the meal is over, he will go back to work and share his bizarre tale with his many co-workers, clearly doomed to an eternity of repeating this story to everyone he encounters, the vending machine his albatross, only funnier.

fade out