The Mystery Button

I recently spied a soda vending machine. The bottom button, which would normally say "cola" or "grape" or some brand name simply said "Mystery."

Did I push it? Nope, as I'm not the hugest of soda drinkers. But did it flitter at the edges of my mind for a few days? Yes.

Surely the mystery slot holds the overstock soda of whatever brand. But what if you hit the mystery button and something that wasn't soda popped out? A candy bar? A bracelet? A small cloud of butterflies?

We likely encounter mystery buttons throughout our days, some pushed, some left alone. If we wanted to look very deeply, we could say life is all one big mystery button. Are we all looking deeply? Excellent. Are we done? Good. Moving on.

Mostly, though, I like when everyday objects, such as a vending machine, and ho-hum activities, like purchasing a soda, contain whimsy and surprise.

Clearly the Motel Fairwil, which has both a soda machine and a food vending machine -- chips, cookies, snacks -- needs a mystery button pronto. Monty Overbove might even create one, for kicks, to see how fast the slot empties and what sort of thirsty adventurers might push it.

(P.S. Is it soda or pop where you live?)


Amanda W said...

Well, where I live it's all coke. But in my heart (where the Missouri girl still lives) it's pop. :)

Wilfair Book said...

Amanda, that's interesting, because I think I knew that soda is coke in certain parts of the U.S. I should have added that as a choice!

I found a map that shows where "soda" is used and where "pop" is a favorite. The West Coast is pretty heavily soda-ified, though pop is cuter word.

Caitlin #1 said...

Alysia, your California bias is showing. In my experience, it's largely "pop" in the other two states that make up the west coast. :)

Wilfair Book said...

I stand corrected:

Jill said...

Oh, I would have so pushed the button just to find out (because you can always give away what you get if you don't want it).
And I grew up with soda and pop and soda pop (guess it comes from having a dad from Idaho and a mom from Kansas).

Wilfair Book said...

Ohhhh, soda pop! Yes. That is my favorite way to say it, though it doesn't trip naturally off my tongue. Must practice.

Also, "you can always give away what you get if you don't want it" reads profound to me.

Also, love seeing my Northwesterners weigh in on the same post. Plus, you and Caitlin #1 know each other, I do believe. :)

Amanda, you are not from the NW, I know, so let's give Austin some love. Wanna meet down on South Congress for lunch?

Rosemary said...

In Arkansas, it's all coke.

"You want a coke?"
"Yeah, hand me a Sprite."

Makes no sense whatsoever.

I want to meet the person who took a mundane problem like extra space in a vending machine and turned it into a fun and exciting game.

Amanda W said...

Alicia - anytime!

Kelly said...

It's fizzy drinks or soft drinks in the UK.

Ooh no way could I have resisted the mystery button! Even though I would almost certainly have regretted it, since the only thing I would have wanted from the machine is a diet coke. But yeah, I have no self control when it comes to leaving things a mystery. This is also why I am never able to resist looking at spoilers.

Plus if I didn't push the button, there's a tiny and ridiculous part of my brain that would have spent the rest of the day distracting me with thoughts such as "But what if the mystery button opened some sort of magical portal?!?"

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