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Ron Nagasawa

Breakfast Of Champions

I have a confession to make. I have some bad habits. While I have drastically changed my eating traits over the past three years, at least once a week I will have a frosted Pop Tart for breakfast.

Not at home, but from a vending machine in our lunchroom at work. I will plan my week around this, and I think my ritual has as much to do with my desire for the rectangular treat as does the taste. I never carry any cash, yet the day before my Pop Tart jaunt, I make sure I have at least a dollar for the vending machine.

It costs 75 cents and there are only two flavors available — Strawberry and Brown Sugar Cinnamon. I’m addicted to the BSC flavor and nothing else will do. Recently our company has been doing some office remodeling and this included the employee lunchroom. So while the construction was going on, the snack machine was moved into the hallway.

Last week as I happily whistled while I walked to the vending machine, I discovered that my dollar had been removed from my money clip. I suspect that my wife took it to give to our daughter so she could purchase a snack at school.

I went to my car and scrounged enough change from the ashtray to buy my morning treat. I was back in business. I inserted the coins into the machine and watched in anticipation as the spring coil rotated my Pop Tart to the point where it would drop to the bottom of the machine. Then my worst nightmare happened. It got stuck and didn’t drop into the dispensing tray.

I mouthed a bevy of swear words and tried to jolt the machine in order to release the freaking breakfast tart. It wouldn’t budge. In a snap decision, I went to find another 75 cents. It meant leaving the machine but I figured it would be OK. I got back just in time to see one of the remodeling guys walking away from the machine with a Pop Tart package in hand.

I actually stopped him and said, “Uh, I think that’s my Pop Tart you have there. It was stuck in the machine, but I paid for it.” He looked at me and slid the package into his pocket. He asked, “What flavor was it?” I told him Brown Sugar Cinnamon, to which he said, “Nope, not yours.” Now to me, a Pop Tart is worth fighting for but I let this one go.

Besides in a few hours it would be lunchtime when I could get my other vending obsession – a little bag of Doritos.

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