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Can you beat the drinks machine?

Updated: May 10, 2021

When I started out in journalism, the landscape was very different to what we see today. It was 'old school' with ashtrays at desks, telephones (landlines) and reel to reel audio recording (look it up kids). Sometimes even the journalists could be found at the desks.


Crazy times.


As a rookie cub, there were some terrifying editors. Absolutely terrifying, who scared the

beejesus out of me. However, one of the great characters I worked alongside; who we shall

call Karl for the sake of not unmasking him like Kendo Nagasaki, attempted one day, for no particular reason to beat the drinks machine.


Not physically have a row with one, he would have lost. No, it was to drink every single beverage that was housed in this cage of delights.


For what reason I don't know, but Karl was a spikey character who I actually got on well with, but it was perhaps a bit foolish to have a go, as he had a few health issues.


Anyway, drink one was coffee with none. Drink two, coffee with one sugar. Drink three, coffee with two sugars. You get the idea. Coffee with five was available for extra oomph.


There was tea, lemon tea, not sure decaff existed, if it did, my sincere apologies for the decaff devotees. Hot chocolate, Coke, lemonade.


Anyway, he had reached drink 25 out of about 50 and started to falter. Physically falter.


I went back to my desk as I had an interview with a non-descript footballer. Twenty minutes

later the ambulance crew were in attendance and Karl left on a stretcher. He lost. The drinks' machine won. We cannot even call it 25-25 a draw.


I was never sure if he reached lemon tea with five sugars, but Karl was good fun and a complete social hand grenade on a night out.

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