Let me tell you a bit of a story and once you’ve finished reading it now I want you to forget all about it until the right time comes to remember you read it all.

There was once a couple who owned a store. The store was in a small village just east of here and because of that it was an unusual store. It was unusual as the stores biggest success was its sale of gumballs. It’s important to note that these were no ordinary gumballs. The couple had found some incredible gumball machines that promised many amazing things. The gumballs came in an amazing rainbow of colours, sizes and flavours and the couple knew once the gumball machines were installed that they would attract many customers.

Now, the gumball machines themselves were extra special as they serviced themselves with no screwdrivers required and, as the locals started to buy gumballs, they found that the village began to change. And, incredibly, the more gumballs they bought the more change seemed to happen and the more changed seemed to happen the more gumballs they bought.

And then the story took an interesting turn…

One summery day, one of the gumball machines developed a fault. The rest of the machines were working fine and as expected the faulty gumball machine began its self-maintenance routine. The usual rainbow of colours from the machine started to stutter and fail but people continued to drop in coins and kept looking for the amazing gumballs. “It will fix itself” the couple said “that’s what they do”.

But the machine continued to stick, the sticking got worse and this meant the river of rainbow coloured gumballs started to dry up. The machine, being a self maintaining machine, decided that its best option was to leave itself on all day and all night in a bid to shift the gumballs and fix the problem. Of course, as I know you’ve already guessed, the store closed at night time and once every so often the machine would manage, with a worrying series of whirrs and crunches, to force a stuck gumball through the mechanism, send it speeding through the shiny metal cover and onto polished floor where, after landing with a loud click it would roll quickly into a dusty corner of the shop where perhaps it would one day be found or perhaps it would be lost forever.

The machine kept trying to force the gumballs though and the couple, although confused by the missing stock, left the machine alone as, after all, it was a self maintaining machine.

About the Author