19 February 2007

hominus ex machina

Today I was walking through one of those underground shopping malls on the way to the train station at about 5.30 pm, and remembered as I passed the bank of cash machines that I needed some money. So I picked the one for the bank that looks after my moolah, to avoid the fees of course. I inserted my card straight to the slot, just like a robot, with not all my cognitive senses switched on and completely failed to register the "out of service" screen. But I did notice when I didn't feel the usual resistance then tug on the card after inserting the first couple centimetres. Instead, it felt kind of loose and floppy. Glancing down to about elbow height I couldn't see anything abnormal with the slot.

So, being a naturally inquisitive type, I bent at the waist to have a look at the slot at eye level (is this sounding like a Douglas Adams joke or what?). On doing so, I saw that the whole ATM had been removed from its connecting wall interface, and could also quite clearly see the guy working on it clad in blue overalls. Having a flash of what it must have looked like from the other side, I just guffawed out loud, and took my place behind two girls using the other machine, which apparently had its back part still. Or perhaps the little man who sits there dispensing cash wasn't on his tea break.

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