Donald MacInnes: As an arachnophobe, this delivery is driving me bananas

In The Red

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The Independent Online

Ordering goodies from the exciting, electronic internet is a modern joy. There's just so much to choose from! DVDs, books, beef jerky, leggings, marmalade, earplugs.

Well, let me tell you: it might be fun for the buyer, but not always for those who are orbiting his or her universe.

To wit: there's a box of bananas in the hallway in my building. Someone obviously ordered them, but has yet to pick them up from where the, uh… banana man left them.

Fair enough – we all have busy lives. My concerns are that A) our monkey, whose name, rather unimaginatively, is Monkey MacInnes, is becoming increasingly distracted and refuses to just sit quietly and watch the telly and B) the box might contain something unpleasant and omni-limbed; something black; multi-eyed; one of those creatures which hitch a ride from Ecuador and celebrate their arrival in your local Tesco by sinking their fangs into the bingo wings of checkout ladies.

You getting my drift? I'm afraid you'll have to, because I can't even say the word.

Mind you, now that I think about it, the type of sp**ers you find in banana boxes tend to be the big, furry buggers. They don't bother me. I could probably hold a tarantula and not be too fussed. It's the UK-based rapid scuttlers that have me reaching for my adult Pampers.

Only the other day, the imminent Mrs MacInnes and I were watching some film and she tapped me on the arm. I looked around. She was motioning behind me to the wall.

Now, to the arachnophobe, such surreptitious behaviour is unsettling as, unless the actual wall had spontaneously disappeared, her nodding must mean there is something ON the wall, so I pretty much knew what I was going to see. Sure enough, there he was – an eight-legged inhabitant of the worldwide web, all of his many eyes looking at me. He smiled darkly. My soul wept.

But, having spent the summer cursing houseflies, my revulsion soon dissipated and I was able to view this interloper with some karmic balance. I would rather have his Lordship crawling up my wall than a house full of bluebottles.

I nodded to him respectfully. He arched one eyebrow, clearly surprised at my karmic balance. I turned back to the film and he trotted off towards the cornicing.

As with everything, you take the bad with the good.

It's like the trade-off you make when it comes to buying stuff online. It's such a lovely way to shop, that if it means you occasionally have to put up with a box of someone else's random bananas on your doorstep, so be it.

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