Gregor infuses a nice analogical brew for asynchronous messaging - Starbucks.
The real world is full of great examples of asynchronous messaging, pipelining, and transformations. Three key ingredients in Service Oriented Architectures in my book.
Now that I come to think of it, before lunch I tend to use revolving Sushi bars and restaurent order processing as examples of real world SOA ideas.
In the afternoons, when talk turns to the business side of SOAs, I tend to use Joseph Bazalgette's incredible implementation of a sewerage system in london in the second half of the Nineteeth century.
Hmmmm. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?