Friday, 19 April 2013

31: Lady on the roadside

Just like you can live a life in Apps in Germany, you can also purchase almost everything you need without ever talking to a human being.

The British started recruiting machines to perform designated sales tasks instead of humans in the late 19th Century. At first the iron beasts sold postcards and stamps. But it wasn't long before they evolved into the child-friendly glass pimps of today, spawning across the globe thereafter selling mainly chewing gum, cigarettes and hot and cold drinks. But then the 80s came, the wall came down and glass pimps diversified. 

The fact is I've witnessed a post-modern vending machine that threatens to derail the stability of the universe. Outside the male toilets at a petrol station in Nuremberg, the word pussy etched in logos all over a distributor lurking tall like a seasoned pusher. Enthralled by this electronic purveyor of cats or vaginae, I stopped.

"Travel Pussy. €3."

 What looked like a pink jelly bag wrestled around a sausage advertised the bizarre product: TP. I tried to buy one but was out of coins - all I could do was stare with a mixture of contempt and awe for the marketeer who gave birth to a rubber, liquid-filled vagina.

For those who are already familiar with the brothel in a container, forgive my musings. I feel like the child who just got told Santa is his Uncle Pete only to walk outside and find a sleigh and seven giant reindeer.

False advertising?

If, on the other hand, you're reading this thinking you've just found the perfect distraction for those long drives through Latvia, then you can get your own Travel Pussy here.

Beware though: the TP haunts. The thought of it haunts me still. I can't look at a bin at a motorway stop now without thinking of it. I can't drive by a lorry without being suspicious. I feel I should write to customs and alert them but until I find out more, let's keep the plague on the hush hush. If it's already found its way to motorways, there's no guessing where it could end up next.

The fact is Germany has first some class retail robots and this Travel Pussy could soon be in all of them. Women watch your backs; men beware.

Other vending machines selling pregnancy tests could strike as sperm, abundant enough to refuel several galaxies, is lost time-after-time in lorries beside refueling stations across Europe.

That vending machines are trying to do away with the institutions of gender and matrimony should come as no surprise. The very art of condensing life's necessaries into one secure container is über-teutonic and makes using German vending machines a pleasure. Barring children and guns, you're likely to find most things you'll want to buy in a vending machine somewhere.

Vending machines, like in other countries, are often situated  on platforms in Germany. You can scour the mini shopping malls while reading the latest bestseller, drinking some flavoured water or checking if you're about to give birth - all while nibbling on Tuscan olive oil-drenched nachos at three-times their normal price.

German vending machines always have that one random item. It might be an umbrella. Or panties. A cushion. A bathroom kit. Everything that can sit quietly in public places and isn't claustrophobic behind glass has found its way into electric distributors somewhere.

And things are evolving. Don't be surprised if in a few years you find a square glass Santa talking like your mobile's answer machine and telling you he can only give your kids Coke or TP.

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