We have a strange relationship with convenience. For instance, we've gone from counting out bills and change to simply tapping our phones on a card reader in order to make a purchase. We have self-checkout at several major retail stores. We're obsessed with making the experience of making a purchase as simple and fast as possible.

Recently I saw something that made me ask if we have finally put a card reader on absolutely everything in our quest for convenience.

Mix 94.1  logo
Get our free mobile app

I was at Westgate Mall recently, and I noticed the massive gumball machine in the center court. Immediately I felt a nostalgic need to go and peer at the gumballs inside and maybe snag one for old-time's sake.

Then I noticed something that stopped me from enjoying my little trip down memory lane, and instead made me wonder how crazy our quest for a conveniently cashless existence has become.

The gumball machine had a card reader. It was even equipped to allow you to tap to pay. No need to even swipe your card to make a purchase.

Charlie Hardin
Charlie Hardin

Suddenly, this hallmark of my childhood seemed to take on a futuristic high-tech look that was a bit jarring.

It wound up inspiring some interesting conversations in the office regarding a cashless life, and the quarter-machines we all grew up with. One of the good points brought up was that no one really carries a lot of change with them anymore. The gumball machine had a slot where you could feed it a dollar to get gumballs, along with the card reader.

Others thought it was a bit over-the-top. We went down an imaginary path that wound up with all of the classic quarter-machines having card readers and you taking forever to swipe to get fake tattoos, finger puppets, and a handful of candy.

Imagine a world where a mechanical horse ride costs a dollar and you pull out your phone to pay for it. It just feels weird.

I suppose we should be glad for the convenience and the march into the future. I just wish it didn't make me feel so old.

Things We Would Put In Our Version of Cadillac Ranch

Gallery Credit: Sarah Clark

LOOK: The Enigmatic Art Oddity of Cookie Time

This quirky and whimsical place is tucked away behind a fence off US-287N and Cherry Street. While it may seem like a head-scratcher at first, you'll soon find yourself drawn to the unique and memorable displays at Cookie Time.

Gallery Credit: Sarah Clark

Say You're From Amarillo Without Saying You're From Amarillo

Amarillo is a pretty quirky place. We've got the Big Texan, the weird signs, and (obviously) the famed Cadillac Ranch. But more than that, there's a distinct culture of close-knit community, eccentrics, a thriving arts scene, and much more.

The point is, living in Amarillo is a unique experience. Because of that, it's really pretty easy to tell who's a native or a long-time resident. And I can prove it.

Here's a couple of ways you can say you're from Amarillo.....without saying you're from Amarillo.

Gallery Credit: Sarah Clark

More From Mix 94.1