Today I went to the water cooler to fill up my water bottle. The cooler was empty. Empty or not working. I peered around. No visible water sources. I remembered that humans can only survive 3 days without water and I started to panic. Beads of sweat began to form on my brow. I quickly tried to catch them in my water bottle but I was too late. Actually they were too difficult to collect so I walked around all sweaty-looking until I saw it: a tap. I ran over, full of joy and relief, and tried to place my water bottle beneath the tap. It would not fit. My water bottle was too long and wouldn’t fit between the tap and the sink basin. I tried collecting water in my palm and throwing it into the water bottle but to no avail.

I was about to start a fire so as to set off the hallway sprinklers when I remembered the vending machine in the basement of my building. I started to run down the stairs but it was taking too long so I grabbed some woman’s scarf and used it as a parachute to jump down the middle of the stairwell. I landed directly in front of the vending machine. I fed it my one dollar bills and eagerly pressed the button for a water bottle.

There was a pause. Then all hell broke loose.

The machine started to spit out $2 worth of nickels. What is this?! I pressed the water button, not the nickel button! I started feeding the machine the nickels that it had tried to feed me but it kept spitting them out, over and over and over. I paused. I gave it two more $1 bills. It paused. It gave me $2 in nickels. I put in 8 quarters and mashed all of the buttons. It gave me dimes.

I think I stopped when an elderly man grabbed my arm, just as I was about to shove all of the dimes and nickels in at once, and said, “I think it’s broken. Let it go.”

I sat at the bottom of the stairs, pant pockets full of coins, too heavy to walk back up.

I never did get that drink of water.



The above story is entirely true except the part about me parachuting down the stairwell. The old man may also have been a mirage. The part about not getting water is also false. I eventually went to the convenience store across the street where I bought a bottle of water with 40 nickels.