The Popcorn Stand: Take my money, please

In my latest stuff that works rant, that’s all I want, stuff that works. There’s a breakroom close to my work station with two vending machines, one with drinks and one with snacks. The one with snacks doesn’t take dollar bills while the one with drinks does take dollar bills, so at least I can get my Diet Dr. Pepper.

But if I don’t have enough change, I have to trek to the other side of the building where there’s also two vending machines, one with drinks and one with snacks. Of course, the one with snacks takes dollar bills, but the one with drinks doesn’t.

So after my mid-afternoon expedition for a Diet Dr. Pepper and a bag of not so healthy chips, after a while I need to take a trip to the restroom. Of course the restroom has automatic faucets with no handles. They have these sensors I think that need some kind of strategic handbook on how and where exactly you place your hand because I can never get the dang thing to work. After about 30 seconds, I look like a mad man, touching, banging, pleading (yes, I admit cursing), jumping up and down, doing anything I can just so some water will come out. Maybe it’s a magic trick or something and I need to say “Alakazam” or “Ooga Booga.”

I feel kind of inadequate because I see other men use the faucets with no problem. But that’s my point, stuff should be made so easy to work even challenged people like me should be able to use it.

And don’t get me started on the automatic soap dispenser.

Actually needing directions on how to use a faucet reminded me of one of my favorite episodes of “MASH” when Hawkeye and Trapper John have to disarm an unexploded bomb. Col. Blake is giving instructions through a megaphone and tells Hawkeye and Trapper John to “carefully cut the wires.” After Hawkeye and Trapper John cut the wires, then Henry says, “But first....”

Maybe I’m forgetting about the “but first” part when trying to use the faucets, I don’t know.

Guy Clark said it best. Stuff that works. That’s all I want, stuff that works (

— Charles Whisnand


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