Dec 7

Recently while exploring a dusty, long-forgotten wing of the Snubian archives, I came across two interesting pieces of memorabilia.

The first appears to be a printed receipt from an early form of Automatic Teller Machine, or “ATM”. Printed on a piece of cardboard approximately 6 x 8 cm in size, this relic from the late Pre-Internet Era is a quaint reminder of a more innocent time.

One can imagine a fledgling Snubian, face as yet unlined from the rigours of adult life, rushing to the bank to retrieve a few pennies from his trifling savings account, in anticipation of an evening of late night Christmas shopping (the 15th was a Thursday).

Note the archaic “dd/mm/yy” date format – the terror of Y2K was still twelve years in the future. Ominous instructions printed in bold on the rear of the card instruct the bearer to “remember to allow for this transaction on your balance of account record”. The consequences of forgetting this arcane command go unrecorded.

The second item I present here is what appears to be a pair of tickets, or passes, perhaps for a long-extinct form of public transport.  

A variety of cryptanalytic techniques were employed in an ultimately futile attempt to discover the meaning of the five-digit numeric codes. Nevertheless, it is my opinion that they represent encrypted Cartesian co-ordinates which when mapped onto the Earth’s three-dimensional surface indicate the ticket-holder’s destination.

Interestingly, the place names printed on the tickets appear to be in such a seemingly random order that no single trip could feasibly visit them all. (See also the Travelling Salesman Problem.) It has been suggested that these tickets may date from an era prior to the break-up of the Gondwanan landmass, before tectonic movements had significantly rearranged the local geography.