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Avoid Gum Ball Machines

Dear Kitchen Therapist,

Finally, I can see the light at the end of the long, gloomy pandemic tunnel.  Vaccines, travel, outdoor dining, baseball games, birthday parties, museums, Spring!  It’s almost too good to be true and that, i guess, is my concern.  Could you please tell me what to avoid to preserve my hopeful mood? 


I Don’t Want to Blow It

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Dear No Blow,

This one’s pretty easy.  Whatever it takes, avoid gum ball machines.  It’s not just that you won’t get your favorite colored ball.  Or that the person in front of you will.  Or that the flavors of the gum balls won’t match their colors.  It’s that your coins probably won’t even fit in the coin slot due to the bungling of some coin jammer who has left the premises and can’t be apprehended.  The crushing frustration may well unleash a torrent of disturbing childhood memories—from missed gum balls to dropped stuffed animals in those machines with the little claws.  

Don’t get me wrong.  Gum ball machines can be great in the right frame of mind.  But in your precarious mental state, walk on by.