Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sheetz and Star Trek

I love Sheetz. It's not the cheap gas prices or the standard perks of a modern convenience store. No, I go there for one thing: the food. It's cheap gas station food taken to the level of science fiction.

Just like Captain Picard calling up his cup of Earl Grey, I step up to the flatscreen computer terminal and touch my way through the food menu:

"Hot dog," I request.
Cheese? it asks, and presents me with two options.
"American," I reply.
"Ketchup, mustard, onions, jalapenos, and chili"
How many would you like prepared this way?
", wait, belay that request. Jalepeno and cheddar-filled soft pretzel!"

A quick touch of the "Place Order" button and I wait just a few moments as all of the molecules are coalesced and assembled via transporter technology. I grab a drink, pay the cashier for my order, and then my food materializes on the counter. Just like Star Trek!

Now, yes, between you and me, I understand that there are people behind that counter preparing my food. I can see them. I talk to them. But as I stand there tapping my way through the order, I'm taken away, in my mind, to my own little starship in that clean, utopian vision of the future. Hey, it's my lunch hour, I'll spend it in whatever fantasy I choose.

But no, this is just normal, modern technology in our daily, very human lives. The food is prepped by people just like you and me. It's not like they are holograms to satisfy our mundane expectations. Or are they?

Playing on XM: some crappy CCR.

1 comment:

  1. jeckles2:07 PM

    i say just give me a simple hotdog w/ slaw. don't like pretzels.