There you have it. Douglas Adams shared with us the concept in robotics called “GPP”, which stands for Genuine People Personalities. And so, your gentle author found himself feeding a robotic beast. It has a yawning mouth, a tongue and indeed, even a sniffer.
It also has a temperament. The customer puts the container in the mouth, the tongue rolls it back to the sniffer, the most judgemental part of the machine. The sniffer decides if the container tastes good (that is, will be redeemed by the store) or tasted bad, and if so yakk’s it back on the tongue to the customer, for their deep sadness. They’ll have to go elsewhere for their ten cents. (Here in Oregon in 2019, many containers have a 10 cent deposit you can get back. Other states have different rules.)
It took five machines to process my empties – one after the other each machine develops The Sad. They lick the empties, crush them into their bellies, but you can hear them whispering to each other about how they are just used as a slightly upscale garbage compactor. So you’ll see them break down, weep a little, and then be ready for more empties ten minutes later.
They sit in a line, quietly whimpering to each other. Bearing the burden. So what happens next? I’m cleaning up the various bits of cardboard because I don’t like to leave trash behind and I find a fat stack of Fred Meyer returnables credit blanks – which could have been turned over to The Resistance for them to redeem at $14.40 per… but I’m kind of a honest guy Eagle Scout type so I turned it in to the store. You should have seen the eyes go wide on the employee I handed it to. OOPS!
So then, I’m carrying my groceries to Ford SpaceLord, walking past a series of empty shopping carts I see a wallet. Not just any wallet, but a PHAT wallet. OK, FINE! Without even looking inside it there’s clearly a wild evening for someone so inclined, but I’m just not that kind of guy. Other people have returned my lost wallet, contents intact, so I turn it in to a store employee. Yay me.
I had a good day at the winery, so turning that good feeling around for others makes me feel like we’re all Karma-Tastic and I reach into my breast pocket and find the five coupons for the returnables I churned through the sad machines that I forgot to redeem so I had to turn the car around and go shopping again. Derp!
So the part you missed… back at the winery I shucked and jived and entertained two fine young ladies until they made the wise decision to join our wine club.
So here’s the thing. Your author is a long term nerd, and is really stuck in his high-school identity of being terribly awkward and unattractive and I really can’t understand when women are nice to me. Sure, I know how to show a customer a good time, but these girls are shoving cash at me on their way out and they felt so bad about not having more cash to throw at me that they bought a $35 bottle of wine for me to take home…
Not that I find this a bad thing, but I wonder… is this what it’s like to be a stripper?