Slot 44

I call him Wheely Guy. He must have a name but I don’t know it. All I know is that every week, or two weeks, or sometimes I even forget how long it’s been since he last showed up, he turns up at the office with a sullen look on his face, slightly hidden behind a Backstreet Boys era haircut. He’s small. Well, perhaps ‘slight’ is a better word. It’s not that he’s particularly short or skinny but he appears to be in 2D as he walks by pulling a moving dolly (a.k.a. ‘wheely thing’) loaded with boxes. I would say ‘invisible’ but he’s not; I do see him walking by. I just don’t care enough to take note whenever he does.

Actually, that’s a lie. Once the moving dolly bumped off the wall, overturned and bags of crisps spilled out across the floor. I would like to say I only thought the following but as he scrambled to pick everything up I was actually horrible enough to turn to my colleague and discuss just how much Wheely Guy must hate his life when things like that happen.

And yet somehow today he has earned all my attention.

Out of boredom I find myself stood in front of the vending machine in the canteen weighing the decision of Snickers in slot 37 versus Kinder Bueno in slot 44. 44 wins, in goes the money and out comes … a granola bar? What kind of cruel joke is this? I peer in through the glass and notice that the numbers indicating slots 43 and 44 have been switched around. 41, 42, 44, 43, 45. Only one person could have done this: Wheely Guy. Not one to be outdone by a machine, I call in the only other person with a key to it and retrieve what’s rightfully mine then point out what has been done to the numbers. “We had better leave them as they are. He’s probably done it on purpose.” That wasn’t quite the response I expected.

As I am told that Wheely Guy is actually a “mad scientist” who works on the likes of stem cell research and 3D bio-printers but runs a vending machine business on the side to make ends meet, I step outside my body for a minute and observe the conversation from somewhere high up and far away. Yes, that is in fact what they are saying: the man who stocks the machine with Diet Coke is building a device which can print a new set of lungs, a liver or even a heart if you need it. Did someone put a tab of acid in my lunch? Or did I not actually wake up this morning and am just having a very vivid dream? I snap back into my body. A quick search on google leads me to this: http://www.kurzweilai.net/3d-bio-printers-to-print-skin-and-body-parts. Neither, apparently. I wonder if I should call him Mr. Wheely from now on instead.

I gushed this newfound information to my colleague. He brought me back down to reality with a bump as he told me that the whole thing sounded like yet another nutty story I’d made up to make the day go by faster. He made a fair point: why would someone that brainy need a second job when companies such as Pfizer were having a hard time finding people like him to employ?
This left me to choose from one of two conclusions. One: Wheely Guy is in fact a mad scientist and I have just been sucked into one of his experiments. Eek! Two: Wheely Guy has been telling porky pies and is a bit of a deranged loon. And I eat the stuff he puts in the machine.
I think I’m staying away from the vending machine from now on.

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2 Responses

  1. madmalteaser says:

    I do love reading your posts Han. You've got talent x

  2. Hannah says:

    Thanks, Sarah! This wasn't really 'on theme' but I figured it wouldn't hurt to share hehe 🙂

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