Late Night Vending

A concerned friend emailed me the first image in the sequence. I finished the story.

I admit it. Late at night, when no one else is around, I shake vending machines on campus in the hopes of a free snack. I don’t know why. It’s not honest. Maybe I figure I’m owed a free treat for all the times I’ve been screwed by one of these machines. Money eaten. Snickers bars hanging precariously—but permanently. And sadly, I’ve only won two snacks: a wedged Twix that I’d already paid for, and a nasty bag of over-buttered pretzel chips. And now it’s habit. If it’s late enough and no ones looking, I give the machine a shake just in case.

I Bike People


I put me bike together only to discover that the front tire was flat and my pump didn’t work on a presta valve. It was “rideable” and the bike shop was downhill, so I made an attempt—a very perilous one. The apartment is at the top of a very steep hill. My handlebars nearly came off (discovered 2 more bolts that needed tightening), my feet kept hitting the back of the front tire when I turned (removed the cheap toe baskets from the pedals), and the flat tire pitched me forward and near out of control as I braked hard on the steep drive way. In the end I coasted safely to the bike shop.

Ah.. bike people. So handy. So helpful. A nice grease-handed guy asked what was up, found a simple valve adapter to save me from buying a new pump, and quickly noted: “Dude, your fork’s on backward.” (Did I mention the apartment was dark?) “You probably felt a bit jerky riding over here. I’m surprised your feet didn’t hit the tire when you turned.” A sheepish grin and a few minutes later my fork was righted, everything else checked and tightened, and I was sent on my way—no charge. I  Bike People.

So if you’re in the neighborhood with bike trouble, check out Helen’s Cycles in Westwood.