Smarties, the universe, a vending machine, and a Fleck

Not so long ago, training season began.

As many of you know, marathon training is fantastic horrible. Suddenly, your hobby becomes an obligation. You start rationing your food and drink in terms of “how many miles do I have tomorrow?” and any social life you had is reduced to “I can see you between naps on Sunday. And you have to come to me, because I’m not leaving the house for anything.”

Just about the only thing I like about marathon training is that it’s one of the rare times in life when you’re actually encouraged to increase your caloric intake by 500 calories a day. Now, they say this extra 500 calories should be in the form of “good gains”, but that’s just not my style.

drink all the juice

Like many places of employment, we have vending machines at my office. Most treats and drinks are only $0.50. Pig Lion that I am, I try really hard to avoid the junk food while I’m at work because, let’s be honest, daytime is the only time I eat a healthy-ish diet. Often, while my co-workers chow down on their afternoon snacks I sit furiously chewing gum in my cubicle, because I know that once I’m home my face will find itself buried in a bowl of ice cream.

spoons are overrated

This year, I decided that my caloric increase would be had in the form of afternoon snacks from the vending machine at work.

“Is it that time?” I asked my cubicle-neighbor on a Friday afternoon, week 1 of training nearly complete.

“Yep, let’s go,” he replied. We locked our desktops and headed happily to the vending machines.

My mouth watered and my eyes lit up when I saw the third row from the top.

Peanut Butter Cups, Reese’s Pieces, Kit-Kat, Big Turk (gross), and the moneymaker – SMARTIES!


I gleefully inserted my 2 quarters and watched, in rapt attention, as my box of Smarties uncoiled itself from the metal snakey-arm-thing. I held my breath as the metal snakey-arm thing hesitated, and then released the Smarties box from its grip.

My eyes followed the graceful arc of the Smarties box as it fell 3 rows and landed…

… and landed…

… and landed…


Not landed.

My box of colorful chocolatey candy-coated delight wedged itself on the bottom row of the vending machine, between the label for the dried fruit snacks (that no one ever eats) and the bottom of their metal snakey-arm thing.

I looked at my colleague.

He looked at me.

Flabbergasted, neither of us spoke for at least 10 seconds before I, professional that I am, burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.

fat vending machine

Ever the gentleman, my colleague tried shaking the vending machine.

The Smarties box wedged itself deeper in the slot yet, somehow, it also protruded outward, nearly touching the glass, at a most impossible angle. The whole thing was utterly ridiculous.

It was at this point that I lost my legs and fell into an obnoxious puddle of laughing-tears on the floor.


“I don’t think anyone’s having Smarties today,” he shrugged, and then did what anyone in his position would do – he took pictures.

View 1

View 1

View 2

View 2

“It’s okay,” I said, “clearly, the universe is telling me not to eat the Smarties.”

Empty handed, I went back to my desk, popped a piece of gum and, chomping furiously away, tried to mathematically calculate how such a fail was even physically possible. I arrived, again, at the conclusion that it was the universe telling me to take those extra 500 calories a day and make them healthy ones.

But that’s just not how Fleck rolls.

So I did what anyone in my position would do.

After work, I bought a tub of Smarties ice cream.

Smarties ice cream

Take that, universe.

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31 thoughts on “Smarties, the universe, a vending machine, and a Fleck

  1. Fantastic! I’m a chocoholic but I totally get it; gorging myself on fatty, sugary treats with impunity is one of the best parts about hard climbing! Sure, you could eat a granola bar or some buckwheat pancakes sans butter and syrup…or you could snarf down chalwa and ice cream!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m SO glad to have someone else on my side! I’m a personal fan of the use of ice cream as a recovery food. I’m telling you – there’s protein, carbs, everything you need in a big bowl of it! Great to see you back in the blogosphere! Your pictures were really cool in your last post! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Vending machines can be the cruelest of devices at times. I’m glad you evened the scored with a bowl of ice cream! I’m pretty sure I would have unleashed on that machine, though. Never get in the way of my afternoon snack! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I was strong enough to succeed in such an attempt, I might have tried it myself. But I certainly wasn’t in any shape to fight any type of heavy immovable object after my epic laughing fit. It was just too ridiculous!


      • Clearly, it’s evil and possibly predatory. That’s why it didn’t give up the candy. Seriously, evil vending machines have killed people before. (OK–it doesn’t happen very often, statistically only twice a year, but still …)
        Evidently, predatory vending machines capture desperate junk food seekers, attracted by the lure of sweet and salty, by inducing so much frustration in their hypoglycemic victims, that said victims shake the machine so hard that it topples over on them. (Can we say Reese’s pieces meet hammer? Or is the angler fish a better analogy?)
        Anyway, maybe it was all a freakish incident or maybe that machine is one of the evil, predatory ones. I’d keep my eye on it, if I were you–just in case.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s been quite a while since I trained for a (half) marathon. That was a good four years ago. I had the same struggles, kept calorie count, and fretted over sugar but ended up indulging.

    And I never ran again.

    Well, I did. But not like you are. You’re tempting me to return to former hobbies, and it’s not a bad thing at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The case of the missing marathon | See Fleck Run

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