I like shopping online. I have chosen and paid for most of the new stuff in my life while either reclining in bed, reclining on the sofa or sitting bolt upright at my desk at work.
A small digression: I still buy all of my groceries in person. I believe, when one is selecting a tomato, it is far easier to do so when one is in the same room as the tomato. Besides, I love the supermarket experience.
One of my favourite jobs was as a grocery assistant in a big Glasgow supermarket, back in the 1850s. And, as a former shelf-stacker/mess-mopper/bag-packer, it's nice to go to my local Enormo-Mart to be near it again – you know… feel the vibe. Like an ex-footballer wistfully watching from the stands, I will linger and watch eager young uniformed fellows scooping up 342 broken eggs with their hands after some old wifey has backed into the display while blethering with Mrs Reilly from the church. But one can only stare at teenage grocery assistants for so long before the police are alerted, so I tend to keep it to a minimum.
Anyway, back to online shopping. The story goes thus: the other day the doorbell rang. My wife answered it. There was a man in a vaguely uniformy outfit, holding out a clipboard and a pen. He said: "You are Do-nald? Sign!"
Hearing my name (ish), I came out of the lounge and stood just behind my wife. By this time, she (who was late for a meeting) had started signing the offered document, while the delivery man, with a goofy smile, occupied himself by gazing at her pregnant tummy.
With a burgeoning frown, I leaned forward. "What are you delivering, mate? Who is it for?"
Without taking his eyes off my wife's (admittedly very attractive) baby belly, he replied with a sneer: "It is not for you. For Do-nald. Only Do-nald."
"That's me," I said. "What are you delivering?"
He shook his head. "No."
"What do you m –"
My wife stopped me with a Zen wave of her hand and handed the clipboard back to her admirer. I half turned away, muttering: "This guy's beginning to p*** me off."
He turned and strode back down the drive towards his van, which was branded with the livery of a plumbing supplies distributor.
I turned back to my wife. "Just so we're clear," I said, over the whine of the van's motorised tailgate, which was now descending, bearing our smiling new friend and a huge cardboard box, "you would remember if you had bought a new bath, wouldn't you?"
Mute, she pointed at the side of the box, which Captain Name-Wrong was struggling to manoeuvre up our drive.
"It's your new exercise bike, genius," she said, as he let it drop at our feet.
I slapped my head: "Of course! Thank –"
"Goodbye Do-nald!" the delivery man said.
To my wife.
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