All I want for Christmas is...
Ah the joy of the internet. No fuss; find the best deal; deliverey to your door.
Well to the devil with Christmas I say. Parties that no-one enjoys, food that no-one wants to eat in that quantity, presents given and presents received that the giver resents and the receiver loathes.
The food is the worst. It’s so stodgy and indigestible. We all need 5 toilets in our house just for the 3 days after Christmas to prevent bloodshed.
So this time I wanted to be prepared. I’m going to get constipated. I know it. It happens every year like clockwork. If you actually piled up what you eat between midnight on December 23rd and 2am in the night of the 27th in front of you it would be completely obvious it wasn’t all going to fit.
So there’s only one brand I turn to every year. But this year instead of running from chemist to chemist in the snow, instead of realising that I didn’t get my supply and it’s now December 27th and the chemists round here are shut… I do the intelligent thing. I go to the internet.
My default purchase option for everything in life is Amazon. I’m delighted with my 3 pairs of bright red thermal winter socks for £10. I saved a fortune over PC World prices by bying an HDMI lead for £2. I found exactly the right style of wooly hat with built in buffalo horns for my son in his hat size for £19.99 with free super saver delivery. But for some reason they don’t seem to have my brand of constipation remedy. Curious.
I then crawl around researching the manufacturer to check the brand name. I could have gone up the road and bought them by now but I’m committed.
Ah not to worry. Here they are. www.chemistdirect.co.uk … as I type this I see the letters 666 appear on the screen and I hear the disonance of a B minor flat 12... A chill still runs through my body and this all happened nearly a week ago. Actually that’s not correct. It’s still happening.
Here is how it begins. Think Stephen King meets Whitehall Farce. I place an order for 4 boxes of my preferred brand of relief-giving substance. Immediately a large bold warning message “the pharmacist has seen that you have ordered more than the maximum dosage of a drug”. Blimey! I’m waiting for the door to be axed in by Special Branch. “please explain your purchase.”
Well what is one supposed to do? Go into the physiognomy of peristalsis and digestion? In words of one syllable or of 4 syllables? Do I say I’m just too lazy to think about going out again for them this year? No. I think they will refuse to serve me and I’ll be on some kind of chemist black list. So I lie. “I’m buying them for the whole family”.
That seems to do the trick and I hit ‘place order.’
In the great scheme of simple quick wrong decisions I have made in my life this one makes the top 3 along with signing to Charisma Records in 1977 and saying to my friends “I don’t care where I go on my honeymoon. You choose.”
This simple click has unleashed the insatiable beast that is Chemistdirect after-sales. At first it was just the usual ‘how satisfied are you with your purchase?’ Simple. They haven’t bloody arrived yet.
Next ‘We see from your customer profile that you may be interested in….’
After 8 of these I conclude that my customer profile is fat, constipated, anaemic, suffering from poor skin tone, insomnia, halitosis, premature ageing and a sinister fungus which may have been living inside me for years.
So I try to ignore them all but find I am not sleeping well, tire easily, am scratching at my neck and torso and have a spot coming up in front of my ear.
But by this time Chemistdirect have moved seamlessly on to remind me that it’s now time for me to replace my washing machine … how on earth did they know that? Apparently someone can be round before Christmas with a new one. I’m not clear I have any choice in this. It may well have flowed out of the original purchase. I don’t absolutely remember checking a box “I accept that Chemistdirect can supply me with any and all goods and services that in the opinion of Chemistdirect is in my best interests” but on the other hand I don’t specifically remember not ticking such a box.
I feel like running away…. Chemistdirect are well ahead of me here and have already done a deal with Eurostar for the sole purpose of sending me to Bruges for 5 days in January… and I swear I have told no-one but no-one of my idle fancy to see Bruges in winter but there it is. Oh and I can have a giant stuffed panda, a hamper of food and a kindle fire to keep me company and amused….when I say can have, once again I’m not sure I can get out of any of this.
I don’t dare go near my laptop now. The persecution is running 24/7 and the stakes are rising by the day. I’m in for a new VW Schirrocco – to replace the one we have now - and repointing the house…. house…
Oh by the way…have the bloody remedies arrived in all this? Not that I’ve noticed.
But what IS certain is that at least 3 members of Chemistdirect staff have now moved into my building. They appear to know my every move, they monitor my shopping, they intercept and read my mail, they clearly have infiltrated my laptop and are monitoring my internet activity… I got an email shot from Adultdating.com and within half an hour Chemistdirect were on the case with rainbow condoms, half price champagne tea at the Hilton Park Lane and yes, you guessed it, more remedies for constipation.
They have obviously got to my girlfriend who isn’t speaking to me. The next door neighbour keeps putting out his garbage every time he hears my door open or close and the porter is asking pointedly “is everything all right Mr Millar, you seem out of sorts.”
I give up.