(Indianapolis, IN) About 2 years ago, as more and more places began to switch to chip readers from traditional swipers, local man and kayaking enthusiast John Gorbach encountered his first chip reader. He had just been buying his groceries (toothpaste, detergent, loose teeth), but when he swiped his card to pay for them, the cashier gave him that shy grin and said, “Actually it’s a chip reader.” John smiled and flipped his card around, inserting it into the proper slot and followed the instructions. Little did John know that chip readers would soon become the bane of his existence.
A few months after that, John was traveling abroad in Oxford and stopped into a Tesco for an orange. John loved then oranges. They reminded him of his mother and the War for Florida. So much blood was lost, and for what cost? At least the oranges were never tainted, that would be the real tragedy.
As John went to check out his orange at the Tesco, he stuck his card into the machine and waited for a prompt to enter his pin number. After a few seconds, he realized that he had put his card in upside down and the machine could not process it. He flipped his card around and put it in correctly, only slightly embarrassed by his inability, but it was a self-service line so no one saw.
The true embarrassment would come later.
Just a few months ago, John again was heading to the store for something or another. Still having yet to use a chip reader correctly on his first attempt, John was starting to become very self conscious about the checkout process. So much so that he started carrying cash around with him to pay for things instead of relying on his card. He also had purchased a tremendous amount of gold and assault rifles which he was keeping in his basement, but that was unrelated.
John enter the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and as soon as he saw the crowds of people waiting in line his palms began to sweat. He took a deep gulp and crossed his fingers that the lines would die down while he was doing his shopping, but he had only come in for a few things so he doubted it. After walking around the store and collecting his purchases (baseball bat, spaghetti, toenail clippings), John approached aisle 7 and waited for his chance to prove to himself that he could do this. He was a full grown man, for Pete’s sake, he should be able to use a chip reader.
“Hi, how are you today?” the cashier asked John as he set down his basket full of goodies. John was too nervous to respond and tried to put all mental effort into using the damned machine correctly. The cashier didn’t say anything else while they bagged his groceries, other than telling him his total. “That will be $63.49.”
John inserted his card into the chip reader and was prompted to enter his pin. First step, no problem. He entered his pin (CHANGLING), and was then asked by the machine if he wanted cash back. Sweat fell from John’s brow as he hit the button that said “No” and he knew he was on his way down the home stretch.
Feeling confident, John smiled at the cashier and went to pull his card out of the machine, thinking the transaction had been completed. However, as soon as he had done this, he realized he had made a mistake. The card had not been in the machine long enough and the transaction failed. Now John was really sweating. He looked back at the line forming behind him and, overcome by anxiety, ran for the exit, leaving behind his groceries and a perplexed cashier.
Today, John lives in his underground bunker in the woods, away from chip readers and the vague fear of deadly disease. When asked why he has chosen this lifestyle, John simply shook his head and kept repeating over and over to himself, “Do not remove your card, do not remove your card.”
Other than this, he seems happier. We wish him all the best.
This article was written by Nathan Ellwood, who pays for everything with his Slime Card™ – Slime Card: Give us Your Soul. Follow him for more on Twitter, @NPEllwood.