This week’s photochallenge set by the chaps at WordPress, asks for numbers.
Looking about for ideas I thought of barcodes (an optical, machine readable representation of data, doncha know) and found many examples just by unpacking the shopping.
“The very first scanning of the now ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode was on a pack of Wrigley Company chewing gum in June 1974.” (Wiki, I thank you)
A few evenings ago we were reminiscing about the old-fashioned grocer, green grocer, fish monger, butcher and hardware stores that every town had and I remember from the 60’s. In particular I remembered the specific smells each of them had.
Ask most UK children today about those types of shops and they don’t know about them. They have no need to know about them, in fact, as many supermarkets actually sell the lot, all under one roof.
When I was small Ma used to go out most days to the shops as she couldn’t store much in the under the counter fridge with it’s small icebox, which just about had room for an ice-cube tray and a cardboard block of ice-cream. By the time I was in my teens she had a chest freezer and big fridge and she worked, full-time: so shopping was reduced to once a week. By then she also had the labour saving devices we all expect today: an automatic washing machine being the one that springs to mind, instead of that awful twin tub.
So I give you the bar code as a representation of society’s change in the last few decades.
This code was on the back of a packet of apples.
I was really pleased to find that scientists have now discovered how to identify individual zebras using bar code technology. Which gives me an excuse for my favourite zebra joke –
Zelda the zebra who had lived her entire life in a zoo and was getting on a bit so the zoo keeper decided as a treat that she could spend her final years in bliss on a farm. Zelda was so excited, she got out of the horse trailer to see a huge space with green grass and hill and trees and all these strange animals. She saw a big fat weird looking brown thing and ran up to it all excited,
“Hi! I’m a zebra, what are you?”
“I’m a cow” said the cow.
“Right, and what do you do?” asked the zebra.
“I make milk for the farmer” said the cow.
The zebra then saw this funny looking little white thing and ran over to it. “Hi, I’m a zebra, what are you?”
“I’m a chicken,” said the chicken.
“Oh, right, what do you do?” asked the zebra.
“I make eggs for the farmer.” said the chicken.
“Right – o, great, see ya round.”
Then the zebra saw this very handsome beast that looked almost exactly like her without the stripes. She ran over to it and said,
“Hi, I’m a zebra, what are you?”
“I am a Stallion,” said the stallion.
“Wow,” said the zebra. “What do you do?”
“Take off your pajamas darling, and I’ll show you.”