Some things in life we just do and don’t really question. Like shaking hands, what’s up with that? Why do we connect our hands with strangers upon meeting? And speaking of hands, why do we pay for stuff with our hands?
What if things were different? What if we lived in a wild upside-down world where left was right, Ryan Reynolds had talent, and we paid for things with our feet??
Truly wild right? Well, unfortunately, we can’t just switch up reality like that. Left is left, Ryan Reynolds is trash, and oh my, what’s this? It seems ME Bank and Volley have come up with a shoe that lets you pay for things with your hooves — cool and normal!
Apparently, with ‘VolleyPay’ you can hop, skip, and dance your way to the cashier. What a wonderfully silly idea. What kind of idiot would do this?
The answer is me; I’m the idiot, because I was sent a prototype to try out. What I received doesn’t exactly look as ‘high-tech’ as the pic above, but it does the same thing. Basically, I got the Aldi version and took it out for a spin.
Time to happy feet my way to a day of cringe. Lesssgooooo.
I figured if there’s any place that will be somewhat accepting of insufferable weirdos trying desperately to be different in any way imaginable, it would be Collingwood, so to Collingwood I went.
I started the day at a cafe, internally grimacing the whole time as I gave my order, dreading the moment the friendly guy at the counter asked for payment.
The moment of truth.
Surprisingly, the guy was super chill. Maybe this won’t be so bad? Buoyed by newfound confidence and a lovely peanut butter and choc chip cookie, I headed to my next destination.
I love supermarkets, usually they’re my happy place, but as I approached the self-serve I felt the same kind of minor dread I used to feel as a 16-year-old paying for an apple while a bag full of contraband from the junk food isles sat heavily on my back. Only now I was an adult, and I wasn’t stealing anything, I was just about to look really dumb.
It took a couple of goes for the payment to go through, which prompted the security guard to come hovering over to inspect just what the hell I was up to. Eventually, I paid for my things and scuttled off onto Smith Street, vowing to never show my face at that Coles again.
I needed to get some film developed, so my next stop was a camera store down the road. The guy at the counter was cooler than Snoop Dogg in a freezer; he didn’t budge an inch when I lifted my shoe to pay. He just kept vaping, unfazed, unbothered. The ultimate human manifestation of chill.
As the afternoon sun began to wane, it felt like the perfect time to stop and recharge with a beer. I felt like upping the ante; setting the bar a little higher, if you will. So I headed to Naked For Satan, because their bar is literally quite high.
I had to really work for this one, but the payment went through without a hitch and the guy at the bar was super chill, he even reached out the EFTPOS machine to help me out. What the hell was going on? Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?
Thankfully the guy working at my next destination, a tobacco store, confirmed that I wasn’t insane, via a disapproving look, the likes of which I haven’t seen since I was in high school (sorry Mr Coleman!)
All this foot raising was making me hungry, so I headed to my new favourite gyoza bar, Chotto Motto. I had such a lovely time that I had completely forgotten about the fact I would eventually have to look like a tool again. Ah well, inner peace, like all things, is transient.
I headed to the counter to pay for my meal.
Look, by this point, I’d had a few plum wines, I won’t lie to you, and that combined with the fact I’d been stretching like Bruce Lee all day meant I had to physically lift my leg to the counter.
Almostttttt thereeeeee. Oh god, cramping, CRAMPING.
Got them in round 2.
“Sorry if this is weird,” I told the guy taking the payment after I was done making a fool of myself in front of about 30 patrons and staff.
“Dude, this whole place is weird,” he responded. “There’s a phone over there where you can talk to a dog.”
So what did I learn from a day of paying with my feet? Well, part of me is inclined to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the loveliness and accommodation of strangers, and it was kind of fun to play around with what is and isn’t a socially acceptable way of paying for goods and services.
And yet, a bigger part of me wanted to never put on those shoes again and excommunicate whoever dreamed such a cursed product up. Truly, if this is allowed to become a ‘thing’, then it will be humanity’s revenge against God for the crime of being.
Thankfully, it won’t be a thing, because this product is not real.
Lol April Fool’s, losers. Of course this isn’t a real product. Paying for stuff with your feet is dumb. What’s next? Eating a sandwich with your elbows???? Pffft. Get out of town.
And while the shoes may be fake, I really did spend the day paying with my feet. Wild what a bit of sticky tape, a bank card, and human ingenuity can accomplish.
All images by Cal Foster.
Image at the Coles checkout has been photoshopped to show a bank card on the shoe’s sole.