At some point, it’s probably time to give up

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012

While I enjoy living in a small town like Bainbridge, there are times that I have the need to visit a bigger city. It seems like everyone here has a preference for which big city they visit for those errands — some prefer Dothan, and others prefer Tallahassee.

I have come to prefer Tallahassee, myself. I find it a lot easier to just travel down U.S. Highway 27 at a relatively consistent speed — although I’ve definitely learned to slow down around Havana! Plus, I love the Wonka candy machine at the Tallahassee Mall.

As I’ve stated before, I have quite a sweet tooth at times, and shortly after I moved to Bainbridge, I discovered this wonderful machine. It’s basically a vending machine for different Willy Wonka (Nestlé) candies, including Sweet-Tarts, Gobstoppers, Shockers, and Runts. You put your money into the machine and it dispenses a small pail, which is then filled with the different candy that you selected, and then all you have to do is grab a lid to close it up.

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However, each of the last few times I tried to get candy from the machine, there has been something progressively wrong. The first problem was when I got to the machine and two of the candy options were broken — I’m not sure if there was something wrong with the machinery, or something was stuck, or what it was, but you could not select those options. That’s okay, I was still able to find a few that I liked among the six options that were remaining.

The next visit to the mall, about a month later, I was greeted by the message: “Sorry, this machine is undergoing mandatory maintenance at this time.” So I went from six options to zero. Lovely.

In my most recent visit, the machine was working again (although one of the candy options was still broken, but at this point I was just happy for what I could get). Everything seemed to be working smoothly as the candy was dispensing, but I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.

My pail had been dispensed upside-down, and not only that, but there were three pails stacked upside-down on top of each other, instead of just one. I tried to open the door and grab the pails to flip them the right way, but by that point about half the candy had already bounced off the bottom of the pail and spilled all over the floor.

I think God is trying to tell me I need to lay off the sweets for a while.

Justin Schuver is the managing editor at The Post-Searchlight. You can email him at