Fiction Outtake: Gumball Machines (Pre-Trevor’s Song Era)


Trevor stood in front of the machines, a cigarette dangling off his lip. If he’d ever needed to look cool, right now was it. Adults weren’t supposed to chew gum, let alone buy it out of gumball machines. And that was assuming there were gumballs in all these machines. There wasn’t.

If anyone had been handed adult status and tried harder than Trevor Wolff to give it back, Trevor would like to meet that person and shake their hand.

He rubbed the quarter in his hand. Only one, and four things to choose from. Gum, one of those sticky hands that they loved to smack each other with, a rubber ball, and some unknown, unidentified other sort of toy.

There was no sense taking the chance on the unknown thing. Not with only one quarter. Maybe he’d be able to plant it in Daniel or Eric’s bunk, but sooner or later they’d remember they hadn’t bought it.

Mitchell had torn the fingers off the last sticky hand. He’d plastered them to the front of the microwave, trying to make the thing give them the bird, although he was the only one who’d been able to see it. Four of the fingers were still there, looking like … sticky little lines.

It was kinda cool and definitely something that got people talking, but it made the rest of the hand hard to drag across a guy’s beard when he fell asleep in the front lounge. What made it fun — and why Mitchell had done it — was the way the fingers would suddenly pull off a whisker or three. Not even the big idiot could sleep through that.

Trevor drew on the cigarette. Gumballs were fun, but it was hard to chew and smoke at the same time. Now that the band got a per diem that could stretch to cover cigarettes, chewing gum instead of smoking wasn’t as necessary as it used to be.

As for the rubber balls, the bus driver had banned them, at least on the bus. Which was where they were headed as soon as everyone finished whizzing and Trevor decided what to do with his quarter. Saving the ball for later was stupid, too. Mitchell and Daniel would grab it and play some form of tackle handball until either the ball got lost or Charlie pulled them off each other and sent them to opposite corners — and took the ball for himself.

There was no way Trevor was wasting this quarter on those two. Or the stupid-assed tour manager.

Eric came out of the rest stop and stood beside Trevor, looking at the choices. “Slim pickings,” the guitarist said, his hands jammed in the back pockets of his jeans so his elbows stuck out.

“Tell me about it.” Trevor moved slightly so he wouldn’t get touched by one of the elbows.

Eric bobbed his head and for a second there, Trevor was afraid the guy would tell him all about it. He’d done that sort of shit before.

“Maybe we should wait for the another one,” Eric said. “There’s bound to be something better out there.”

“What’s better than Mitchell’s face when he sticks his foot in a shoe and finds a sticky hand waiting for him?”

“Mitchell’s face when he’s gone a week without finding a sticky hand,” Eric said. “We’ve done that one so much, we’re all checking our shoes before we put them on.”

Trevor couldn’t argue with that. He exhaled hard, watching the smoke float past Eric’s face. It was sort of fun to see how relieved everyone looked when they didn’t see anything waiting for them. “I’m bored,” Trevor said.

“Me, too,” Eric said. He pulled his hands out of his pockets. “We need to come up with something different.”

Trevor nodded his agreement, the end of his cigarette flapping along.

“When the time is right, we’ll know what to do,” Eric said.

Trevor closed his eyes, willing Eric’s spirituality lecture to stop right there. He wanted to have fun, not listen to a bunch of bullshit.

“No,” Mitchell said.

Trevor didn’t open his eyes yet. Clearly, the big idiot thought he was raiding the sticky hands.

Eric coughed. A fake, hollow cough. The kind that said someone had detected the sort of fun that was needed.

Trevor opened his eyes and used his tongue to flick his cigarette off his lip and onto the ground. “Too late,” he told Mitchell in a sing-song.

“Trevor–” Mitchell growled.

Daniel came out and looked at Mitchell, then at Trevor. And finally at the gumball machines. He groaned. “You didn’t.”

Trevor slid the quarter into his back pocket, trying to be casual about it. “I did,” he said and shrugged.

“Me, too,” Eric said. He was smiling, like this was great fun. For him, who never did this sort of shit, it probably was.

Mitchell opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Not even hot air. He turned and walked off to the bus. Daniel did the same thing: opened his mouth. No sound, no hot air.

The drummer turned away and jogged to catch up to Mitchell.

Eric and Trevor looked at each other. “This could be fun,” Soul-boy said.

“Could be,” Trevor agreed. “At least until they dump all the shit out of our bunks, looking for whatever they think we just bought.”

“It’ll break up the boredom,” Eric said.

Again, Trevor couldn’t argue. He felt the quarter in his back pocket. The guy was right. Sometimes, it was best to wait, even a little bit. There would be better gumball machines up ahead. Better pranks.

Although, this one was off to a good start.

This bit of fun was inspired by another Easystreet Prompt. You can read a bit of the thoughts that went into this outtake at my blog. If I can get it to post correctly.



  1. Robin

    March 23, 2009 8:00 am

    For some odd reason I now feel the need to start singing old ketchup commercials…

    “Anticipation. Anticipaaaa-aaaaaa-tion is makin’ me wait…”

    Robin’s last blog post..Turquoise Fence

  2. mariana

    March 23, 2009 10:02 am

    creative creativity…
    intriguing characterization

  3. Missy

    March 23, 2009 11:52 am

    Sorry I haven’t commented in a while, but you are still in my feeds. I’ve given you an award. Check it out here.

    Missy’s last blog post..Incurable Disease of Writing Recieves Proximidade Award

  4. Thomma Lyn

    March 23, 2009 1:04 pm

    Bwahahaha! I love how Trevor thinks. And wow, I also loved this: “If anyone had been handed adult status and tried harder than Trevor Wolff to give it back, Trevor would like to meet that person and shake their hand.” Perfect!

    Thomma Lyn’s last blog post..More Frog Eggs and a Bunny Benefit!

  5. Sweet Talking Guy..

    March 23, 2009 5:43 pm

    Hey, the sticky hand prank sounds like fun!

  6. bunnygirl

    March 23, 2009 7:43 pm

    This is a good one! I loved the way Trevor thought it through.

    bunnygirl’s last blog post..Monday Bunday: Roll Call!

  7. L-Squared

    March 23, 2009 8:23 pm

    Hahaha, I love it! I know that’s what I always say, or at least it’s what I would always say if I’d stop being so lazy and actually leave you a comment a little more often….

    L-Squared’s last blog post..Dear Past Me

  8. tracker

    March 24, 2009 10:51 am

    Ah, yes. Sometimes the best prank is the unpranked one. I think I like these guys.

    tracker’s last blog post..The “Natural” Dog

  9. julia

    March 24, 2009 11:50 am

    How diabolically clever… As Tracker says, the unpranked prank!

    julia’s last blog post..Through the Opera Glasses – 9 – The Ultimate Blog Party 2009

  10. Alice Audrey

    March 24, 2009 2:49 pm

    LOL!! Trev, my boy. You are fun to watch, even off stage.

    Alice Audrey’s last blog post..Ick Factor

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