People look at me strangely when they hear or see me yelling at computer interfaces at gas pumps and grocery stores.  It’s been happening a lot, lately.

I’ve been yelling at and occasionally punching computers that say things that both they and I know are bullshit. It’s something that’s been pissing me off for well over a decade now. It started with the enforced polite kindness written into negative responses in the credit card swiper/computer at the gas pump. You slide your card (I know that 10 years from now if anybody is reading this, they will think it extremely dated because “remember when people used to slide cards?”), and the machine asks you some sort of rude question, usually a blatant attempt at upselling or credit card acquisition, an enrollment attempt for some unnecessary service, or an offer to donate to some charity that the business happens to endorse. Which, okay, fine, I guess, whatever, do what you’ve got to do. This issue I have is with the options you are given. It’s either, “Yes!” or “No, thank you.” While my response will of course be an enthusiastic “No,” I have no interest in thanking these assholes for wasting my time with some bullshit patronizing offer that, because I didn’t solicit it, should be obvious I have no interest in. No, I don’t want your stupid offer, But I sure as hell don’t want to thank you for it. But I’m left with no choice: either accept their dumbass offer, or thank them politely for offering. That is fascist. I decide to buy my gas elsewhere. But guess what…elsewhere has similar offers, with the same stupid preprogrammed gratitude. So I decide since I’m no longer going to buy gas, I might as well head to the grocery store to stock up on food.

I go to the self-checkout aisle and scan my first item. “Have you scanned your Club Card?” the idiot computer with the female voice asks. Bish, you know damn well I haven’t scanned my fucking Club Card. If I had scanned it, I’m confident you’d be the first to know. I don’t appreciate your patronizing attempt at cheap, unilateral Socratic banter. Don’t ask me questions if you don’t have ears or the ability to hear my answer. I say at least some of this out loud, as I notice that people are looking at me. Not all of them with condemnation, however…there are a few sympathetic souls who, now that I’ve said it, seem to be thinking, “Yeah, you know…he’s got a point.”

N.P.: “You Keep On Buying It” – Son of Dave

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