The Top 10: Things Too Boring To Buy

From laundry baskets to cars via ink cartridges and light bulbs 

John Rentoul@JohnRentoul
Saturday 21 January 2017 12:17
Quite uninteresting
Quite uninteresting

Sathnam Sanghera, a columnist for The Times, confided a while ago that he found some things “literally too boring to buy”. He said he had needed a laundry basket for nine years, but he couldn’t physically withstand the tedium of getting one. Ian Leslie added ironing boards and (irresponsibly) life insurance. Here are 10 more.

‏1. It’s curtains for me, said Africa Gómez.

2. Light bulbs. Della Mirandola said they “manage to be both boring and ridiculously complicated”. Fluorescent, LED, halogen, bayonet, screw and how many Watts is that in pounds, shillings and pence?

3. Computers. Simon Wilder said he finds them, “including, maybe especially, phones, tedious to buy”.

4. Hoover bags. Ink cartridges. “Anything dull but requires you to get the exact model or they are useless,” said David.

5. Occasional tables. Simon Landau said “life is too short for them”. Buy permanent tables only.

6. Haircuts. Nominated by Stephen Eadon. We are beginning to differentiate the sexes here, but I disagree with him. I like being forced to sit still and think, with no phone.

7. Clothes. Dan Brusca, probably a male person, said: “So boring I could cry.” Gary Weightman agreed: “I often give up looking within minutes of walking into a shop.” Adam Johns nominated shoes. Hear you, brothers.

8. Petrol. Sharon Taylor said she hates having to go and fill up. Phil Lee agreed.

9. Cars. Mark Bassett realised this only after moving to Vienna, a city with great public transport. “And I don’t have to buy car magazines every few years.”

10. Razors. Nominated by No Ordinary Cat, who may be a female person, and who may resent having to pay more for pink ones than blue or orange.

Next week: Monarchs who Reigned Twice (Henry IV parts I and II doesn’t count)

Coming soon: Turncoats – multiple defectors such as Winston Churchill and Oswald Mosley

The e-book of Listellany: A Miscellany of Very British Top Tens, From Politics to Pop is just £3.79. Your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, in the comments please, or to me on Twitter, or by email to

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