Tuesday, September 07, 2004

3f remix: coke machine

As promised, here's a favorite from the old site; for the newcomers and the truly faithful.

Originally published October 9th, 2003:

It all started with a backpack.

Apparently, they don't make backpacks like they used to. I used the same black Jansport backpack from 8th grade through my sophomore year in college. It was made in the good 'ol days of backpacks, the days before backpack makers decided that you needed 9 compartments, a sternum strap, a daisy chain, and a mesh Nalgene holder in order to effectively transport textbooks.

My most recent backpack I bought a year ago from Eddie Bauer. Now, only one zipper works and the bottom has two huge holes that at any moment could send my precious laptop hurtling towards the cold bricks that pave the hallways of broken dreams inside the Tech Law building.

And sometimes, it just likes to come unzipped, usually while I am making my course towards class. Yes, I am the guy with the half-unzipped backpack that has no idea that all of his stuff is precariously teetering from one corner of his backpack. You've all seen this guy, and probably been this guy at some point.

This is the guy to whom you say, "hey dude, you're about to lose all your books." Quite simple, really. But since shady law students are in training to become shady lawyers, they will more often than not fail to alert you of the impending doom hanging from your shoulders, and are more than happy to walk behind you, waiting for the action.

So, now I'm at the mall...looking for a new backpack. And I'm back in Eddie Bauer, hoping they'll have something more reliable than last year's model.

Enter cute girl, to my left. I spend a few moments debating whether or not to try and establish contact, but no good lines are coming to mind. And you gotta have a good line. Otherwise you'll walk up to them, trying your best to be cool, and you'll end up spouting out something like, "so...buying pants, huh...whatcha gonna do with those?"

So, since I don't have a good line, and since I don't think she'll be impressed by my inadvertant Lloyd Christmas impersonation, I move on with my life and my backpack search. There are plenty of fish in the mall.

Fast-forward 20 minutes. I've walked through every possible place in the mall that could possibly have a half-way decent backpack, and my efforts have born no fruit. So I'm walking back to the entrance from which I entered, and I spot the cute girl, walking towards me.

We get to within about ten yards of each other, and I decide to try and establish eye contact. After a second or so, eye contact is a go. Next issue, will she break eye contact or smile? She smiles. Just one more element to the equation...verbal contact. Since we're walking opposite directions, I don't really need a great line. I'm set up to say any number of things, like "hi", or "hey", or "do you work for UPS, because you sure are checkin' out my package."

Suddenly, I become aware of a single unsettling fact that means my chances with this girl are now quite low.

I've just walked into the side of a Coke machine.

Coke's been getting pretty fancy with their machines lately. Up at school we have the new ones with the window and the elevator/conveyor belt thingy. Very high-end stuff. But apparently, for this particular model, Coca-Cola took some cues from the Romulans to design the coke-machine-of-prey, a coke machine with cloaking technology.

Anyway, I sure didn't see it and I sure did walk right into it. I can just imagine what this girl might have told her friends. "This really creepy guy at the mall was checking me out, and I thought he was going to talk to me. Luckily he got laid-out by a Coke machine."