As I walked to work this morning, I encountered two German men attempting to retrieve their change from a parking machine with a rubber mallet. I watched them taking turns in striking the sides of the machine and then vigorously shaking it, and several things occurred to me.
Firstly, The age old principle of tuning a machine through physical coercion is thriving, in spite of the fact that the majority of the machines are no longer mechanical. Perhaps these two fellows were correct in their diagnoses, that the subzero temperatures had merely frozen together the mechanical parts responsible for returning the change. However, my suspicion is that their rubber mallet comes out of the trunk of their car regardless of the problem that needs to be solved.
As the two fellows merrily bashed the side of the machine, a third individual watched them from the side of the street. He lent on his shovel, taking a break from his efforts to clear the snow from the footpath. After a while he called out to them, ‘wieviel schulde es ihr?’, and he laughed heartily.
In spite of the irrationality of this behavior, we seem to take joy in watching these random acts of violence against machines. I imagine that it will be for this exact reason that we will be annihilated by an army of sentient parking machines.
Better grab your rubber mallets, the machines are coming.