Press the wrong button at your peril
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Our lives are dominated by pressing buttons - but beware a trigger happy keyboard finger
Buying online should be foolproof... so what kind of fool does that make me.
I shop with a well-known internet supermarket and, normally, the goods I order give me no surprises. From time to time, I might get a complimentary teabag to try, or the latest magazine to redirect immediately to the recycling bin.
But last week, I extracted my big container of screen wash liquid from its sealed package (the recent snow and slush played havoc with my reservoir levels) and noticed there was something else in there. It was a small, flat packet of – and there is no way of putting this politely – nipple covers, “for a smoother look”.
This wasn’t like the other free gifts so I checked my printed order sheet to find that it wasn’t a freebie, it was indeed something I had chosen to buy. No wonder the delivery driver didn’t hang about for my returned plastic bags. No wonder he left the front door wide open as I invited him to bring the shopping indoors.
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He need not have worried. The truth is, dear reader, I have no use for nipple covers, however reliable, self-adhesive and “made from natural-feeling silicone”. My brassiere, thermal vest, cotton top and jumper are sufficient to cover these universal mammalian features. I don’t possess any garments that would require their use. And before my husband’s eyes light up as he has one of his good ideas, I don’t want any figure-hugging clothes thank you. I just have too much to hug and all in the wrong places.
You can, I read on the unopened packet, use them up to 10 times so I suppose they’re good value and it looks as if I am (no pun intended) stuck with them. I am far too craven to phone up the customer service line and explain I have unwanted nipple covers. For a start, I would feel it necessary to explain how come I was looking at them in the first place... even though I don’t remember looking at them in the first place, let alone pressing the “buy” button.
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Perhaps I have been algorithmically targeted as the sort of person who needs them. I did recently buy a duvet cover online.
This was not the first time I have come, as it were, undone. The first and only time I went into an Ann Summers store it was to buy a £5 voucher for our friends with whom we exchange jokey Christmas gifts. (Are we supposed to believe that, Lynne? ED) I moved a little too close to the counter and knocked down a display of nipple tassels.
A hasty scramble to gather them up ensued as I apologised profusely while depositing piles of tassels on the counter. It’s was fine though. The vicar didn’t happen to glance in and see me and there was no one I knew browsing the inflatables.
If I had been contemplating a new career in pole dancing, perchance my unexpected purchase of thingy covers would have come in handy. Sadly, I have no pole and I’m not sure the pergola in the back garden is up to the job. Nor would the neighbours be very impressed were I to suddenly start swinging around the lamppost outside our house. I don’t think the local council would approve, either. I expect you need a permit for that.
I have mistakenly ordered other items I don’t want. The giant kitchen towel roll was a challenge. It sat on the kitchen worktop for a month until its girth was reduced sufficiently to fit inside the dispenser.
I understand Nutella is a popular spread but our surprise delivery has been in the food cupboard, untouched, for more than six months. I have a plan for it. In January, there was near-rioting in French supermarkets during a Nutella promotion so, while we are still in the free market, I might nip over and flog it half price to a Parisian.
A wobbly finger is definitely a drawback when online shopping. When real life shopping, nothing goes in my basket that I don’t know about (unless I’m shopping with the grandsons, that is) but, in such circumstances, you have a second chance to look at your selection when it passes through the checkout. I am confident this would have filtered out random nipple covers.
? I doff a metaphorical cap to my husband. Spending a morning with three-year-old Wil, he helped the little lad make paper flowers for his mummy for Mothering Sunday. My husband remembered how to make them from seeing Patricia Driscoll demonstrate on Picture Book – a lunchtime programme for small children in the 1950s and 60s. All I remember from those days is “Little Weeeeeeed” and “the biggest Spotty dog you ever did see” (Bill and Ben; The Woodentops)
Grandpa and Wil also went on the trampoline together... they both came indoors with wet socks but only one of them got told off because he should have known better.