It’s a plastic world we live in, isn’t it? Not least the rectangular pieces of plastic that so often seem to dominate our commercial activities. Activity? Well, sometimes I wonder, when watching the queue of people in front of me at a shop checkout, seeing how everybody pushes their chosen plastic into a little machine, and then enter some sort of nirvana while waiting for something to happen. Eventually, the machine starts working, and buttons can be pressed. More waiting. More sleeping, or is it just a trance? Strange, as I always thought card readers worked on electricity, than which, nothing is faster. Possibly they actually work by means of of a little goblin inside the machine, and whose reading and number skills are not of the highest. (Correct me if I’m wrong). Funny how a good old-fashioned cash transaction is so much quicker. Having a loyalty bonus card of my own, which I have been known to use occasionally, albeit under pressure, I have been in a position to compare. I find that handing over cash, especially if counted out beforehand, is at least two minutes faster than the equivalent card transaction. What anyone would do with all those minutes saved is quite another question of course. Maybe teaching advanced skills to the goblin would be a useful application of the time.