I’m about as not Catholic as you can get, but I’ve always been fascinated with the process of giving stuff up for Lent. I’ve done it before, albeit half-heartedly; this year, I have one that I think could make some difference.

Goodbye, vending machines in the office cafeteria.

We don’t keep snacks at home. And while I know I can buy all the crap I want at the grocery, these machines in the back of the building are awfully convenient when I get hungry and don’t have time to leave and get a decent meal.

No Doritos. No Hostess products. No horrible off-brand chips that aren’t even that good. No pop. If I don’t bring it, I don’t eat it or drink it.

No crap, at least from these machines, for the next 40 days. And I’m hopeful that once the habit is broken, I won’t feel the need to pick it up again.


  1. Never mind what that heathen says. You’re in southwestern PA now — it’s pop.

    And: Good Luck! I think everyone can benefit from the occasional fast or purge. Lent is a great way to learn new habits or break old ones. It’s even better than the New Year’s thing: it only lasts 40 days. It gives one time to evaluate the role of chocolate/vending machines/Twitter (what?) in one’s life.

    It tells you what you control. And what controls you.


  2. Go Brother! Sounds like a great challenge. BTW, I’ve been in Florida long enough that I say “soda.” How’s the running going?


    1. Mrs. Crappy agrees: while it’s possible to run in Pittsburgh during a normal winter, this hasn’t been a normal winter. We may be adjusting our goals a little.


  3. The lure of the bright lights, the colorful packaging arrayed to stimulate your desire, the whirring of the machines as they dispense their tasty treats, the satisfying “thunk” as your selection hits the bottom of the chute…for the first time in my life, I’m glad I’m not you.


  4. When I moved from Cleveland to Albany NY, the hardest thing was getting used to “soda” vs. “Pop”.

    The Albany newspaper did a report once on where the terminology changed. They sent a reporter west on the NY Turnpike, who stopped in each rest stop to ask. He found that the “boundry was somewhere between Rochester and Syracuse.

    I think they should have put up a sign… “You are now entering “pop” country.”


  5. Re: Hostess cupcakes: just get a big box from Costco. That way, you still get to eat them, but you don’t have to visit the vending machines.

    Er, maybe that doesn’t solve the problem either. Sorry.


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