A few weeks ago, not sure if I mentioned it, they installed some of those vending machines where you put the coin in, turn the handle, and out pop some M&Ms or other such confectionery (or nuts, which I don’t think are classed as confectionery. Note to self: check in supermarket if nuts are in the confec aisle). It’s the kind of machine you used to get those egg shaped plastic things with a surprise (and very small) toy from when I was a kid (maybe you were too). So, these ones apparently give part of the money to charity, which is good and all but I was needing a bit of an afternoon pick-me-up a week or so ago and thought I’d blow 20c on the chocolate/liquorice bullets.

You know how real bullets are hard, cos they’re made of like, metal and stuff? Well, there were certain similarities between these and those. They weren’t real nice. So I, wrote the word ‘Stale’ on a post-it and stuck it just above the word ‘Bullets’. ‘Clever me,’ I thought. ‘What an anarchist.’

Just now the people came to take the cash and stock the lollies as I was right there making a cup of tea. But instead of it being done by a guy in one of those puffy jackets with zips on the upper arms, and a big clip of about 120 keys hanging off his belt as I expected, it was being done by a woman in her 50s, who looked like she might be your auntie, and a youngish girl of maybe 17 who looked like she volunteered after school at the local library. I saw them read my litte quip about the freshness of the bullets and felt saw a slight tinge of embarrassment fly across the woman’s face. I felt like I’d told my mum that her steak & dumplings tasted like shit (which they don’t; it’s my favorite meal of all time. I tell you this to illustrate just how bad I felt).

So, poor thing. But I think, despite my rant the other day about being overcharged for coffee, I’ve done the right thing in telling them their bullets were crap. So much so, that I’m eager to drop another platypus in the slot because they’re closer to being fresh now then they’ll ever be. And, it seems, charity now begins at work.

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