Culture Magazine

The Obedient Credit-card Machine

By Sedulia @Sedulia

There were lots of beautiful flowers to welcome me back to Paris, but there was nothing to eat in the house because everyone is on a diet. No ice cream, no nuts, no whole milk! which I like in my coffee.
So off I went to the supermarché to stock up and have my five boxes of groceries delivered. (The delivery man told me that once he had delivered thirty boxes to a single apartment and that I didn't need to feel guilty.)

At the cash register, there is a little machine that looks a bit like a black version of R2-D2, above. You stick in your credit card and tap in your code. This Europe-wide system is so much more sensible than the American method of signing for your bill (does anyone ever check the signature?) that I don't understand why it isn't universal.

However, this time the machine was recalcitrant. The clerk shook it, set it back down, and it still didn't work. She took out and reinserted my card-- still no luck.

Then she waved her hands in front of it and intoned, "Je suis ton maître!"* This time the machine obediently asked for my code!


*I am your master

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