Vending machines are evolving and that’s no eggs-aggeration…

This week the world seems to have gone mad. Between a spate of toddler rapes in India alongside a convicted murderer, who then went through another trial only to be released, and has now ‘written’ a tell-all autobiography, the earth seems to have been turned upside down and shaken like a snow globe.

Perhaps I am just getting older or more jaded, but this week I am deciding to opt out of the horror and instead focus on the whimsical. In this instance  – an egg vending machine. You heard me right, across Ireland there are machines popping up, touting eggs with the frequency of Jedward in pantos.

Egg vending machine and hen

Seeing that vending machines have traditionally been used to sell over-priced Haribos and bottles of water, I wonder how someone made the leap to the humble but delicious egg. Was there a meeting at a farmers mart or a conference at a coop that brought this idea to the fore? Was there a conversation between a vendor salesman/woman and a farmer that went like this:

“You ever thought of trying to sell them in trays?”

“They are sold in trays.”

“Yeah, but I mean in a vending machine. Put a reasonable price on them, place them outside supermarkets and petrol stations and see what happens.”

Pause for a chew on a long piece of straw (because that’s what all farmers do don’t they?)

“So it would be a tray within a tray?”

“Exactly, 30 eggs on a tray delivered from a tray. It’s like slots of heaven for protein lovers.”

So the first one started and then it seems to have caught on; a virus for the egg world. Although saying that I have never seen one and am now going to go on a  hunt across Dublin to find one. It will be an egg hunt of a different kind without the bunnies and chocolate.

Egg vending machine

This strange new relationship between eggs and vending machines has got my mind a whirring – what other unlikely things should you ‘in a universe of anything is possible’ be able to find in a vending machine? These are my top 8:

1) Babies – Do all women really need to go through the pregnancy thing? Can fertile women not not have as many babies as they want and then put them up for sale? I mean its straight forward and transparent. They could come with certificates like the Cabbage Patch dolls did years ago with a brief synopsis of their interests such as badminton or caber tossing. I mean really its only the end result of  an egg so it has be be alright, right?

2) Drugs – I’m not talking the stick it in your arm and then remove yourself from the world type, but the milder more sedative type. Prescription drugs should also be in on that. No more disapproving looks from the chemist when all you want is a Neurofen to stop your tooth from shooting out of your mouth like a rocket. No more forced responses of “No I am not operating any heavy machinery this evening”. Marijuana would probably be the most popular choice and like the coffee shops in Amsterdam, you can choose the strength and get them already rolled in a spliff that rivals the Spire.

Marijuana

3) A Pedicure – When your feet are just aching from trekking around the place or a night out trying to walk in heels that “really don’t hurt” there is a machine with a pull out stool that you can stick you tired feet into. I don’t care if it’s fish down there, a pair of unknown hands or puppies caught out in a violent lick, I want it.

4) Politicians – As part of their contract, politicians should be obliged to spend one day a month in a vending machine. Based on a voting system some may be in there every month and others barely once a year. People should be able to pay for questions that are posed via a speaker and any political speak response will be punished with a sharp electric shock that makes the machine shudder. If that’s not democracy in action I don’t know what is.

Cartoon politician

5a) Falafels – for no other reason then I love them and would like to have access to the fabulous chickpea balls at all hours of the day. Along with the salad and garlic sauce of course.

5b) In line with the food idea the ingredients to a full Irish fry up in one handy pack would go a long way to making my mornings a veritable wonder.

5c) A picnic basket for those days when you just want to laze in the park and take in the sun. It should consist of deli products alongside a nice bottle of wine, blanket and all the necessary picnic utensils. A fly swatter could also be included for those time when midgies just won’t quit.

6)  Umbrellas – When you live in a country that only knows how to rain, a machine that spits out umbrellas would be a life saver. I cannot count how many umbrellas I have either lost, left on public transport or thrown into a bin in anger after a gust of wind turned the damn thing inside out. You can never have too many umbrellas.

7) Dinosaurs – Yes I know they are extinct, but how cool would it be to have a T-Rex displayed in a vending machine? His small hands waving and huge array of teeth gnashing. Of course I don’t actually know of any metal, plastic, glass or element known to man that could actually contain a dinosaur, but it’s still on my list.

T-Rex image

8)  Robots – this has be robots that do things, like a perfect replica of you that goes to work or to a meeting you really don’t have the energy or motivation to go to. Or ones that run around the house like fast electric turtles and clean while you put your feet up and watch TV.

There are probably many more, but I fear I am being driven to a silly place so will stop there. Now, off to find those wretched but intriguing machines that sell eggs.

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8 things that warrant a good old rant….

A number of things have irked me recently and I felt the need to put them into the digital ether for an airing! There is no real reason for 8, it just happened I ran out at that point or perhaps just got distracted by another irkable offence. As usual all comments are welcome, along with any rants that you are harbouring/would like to bring my attention to…

Irish weather

©Martin Parr

8 things that warrant a good old rant

1) The weather – Irish people are obsessed with the weather. It’s our favourite topic and often the first things addressed in a conversation. For small talk it is the perfect lubricant of ‘nice day out there’ if it just happens to not be raining or ‘Jesus it’s freezing’, which is the current favourite. Well I don’t want to talk about it anymore. It’s dark, cold, wet and the wind has picked up as if the Greek God Aeolus has realised that this small island does exist.

2) Buses – I seem to be either on one or waiting for one (due to cycling being unpleasant and dangerous due to the actions of point 1). Bus drivers are agitated over the new fares; feet are sprawled across seats and when they are moved leave a muddy or wet trace where you are expected to then sit on; people are smoking weed at the back so you end up stinking of it at work; real-time displays are conspiring so that the bus you think is coming is not, and the one you needed is missed as it wasn’t meant to be coming at all; and finally there’s music, played so loud the wearer has to be nearly deaf or so peed off with the world the screaming in their head is better.

3) The Pope – So he’s resigned. Get over it.

4) Cookery programmes – What has happened to TV? All that seems to be on is cookery shows. Every week a new one crops up. I mean how many ways can you cook a chicken? Even people who have nothing to do with cooking are getting in on the act – Gok who used to sew curtain rings into hats is now prancing around the kitchen with lemongrass and shitakes. And now they are growing into pseudo travel shows – in India looking at spices, road tripping in Italy sampling cheeses. I’m waiting for the seafood one that has a chef diving for its produce and cooking it underwater in a converted submarine. Now that I’d watch.

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It’s a Numbers Game

I wrote this piece about online dating when I was single and neck deep in the process. On re-reading I realise what a depressing experience it was for me. Others who love it may disagree (either way please feel free to share!). This is the first of a few experiences I wanted to share.

Image

I’ve opted for a café, midday on Sunday. It’s small and dark, the scent of coffee heavy in the air. This is the last one, no more after this. If he turns out to be a freak then I’m out of here. No pleasantries, no delay. It will mean my faith is finally spent, leaving me on the edge, the precipice of eternal singledom.

I’ve concluded that it’s a scam, a monthly subscription prised from your bank account. You are drawn in by an overzealous blurb; a website claiming to have hundreds of great people just waiting, ready and eager to make a connection. It’s heralded as the only way to meet someone now. We are living in barren realms, an island divided between the paired and undesirable. It’s like the counties Ireland cannot have. Attached but denied, a middle finger stuck up from across the border.

This scam is of course compounded by the stories. The tales of success from people you know to those that everyone else has heard of; the Chinese whispers of successful pairings. With dedication and hard work they found the love of their life in the maze of profiles. What follows is sun drenched holidays, co-habitation, the exchange of rings and birthing plans.

Now I can’t say there aren’t men, toting blurry photos and bland descriptions. But the real men, the fleshy ones that get past the shade of spell check are such a disappointment. A collection of thieves, frauds and opportunists that for the sake of all woman are better off staying behind that keyboard, chained to the very desk they type from.

At least that’s my story; the ones I’ve had the misfortune to pick.

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