Editor's Column: An experience with shopping on the Internet

No bumper-to-bumper driving, no elbow-to-elbow walking, no standing at the “Line Starts Here” sign near the checkout counter and watching in disbelief as the line of people holding packages wends its way from the men’s department all the way past big & tall to ladies’ garments. In short, online Christmas shopping on the Internet seemed like a smart alternative. It wasn’t exactly a new idea; millions of people do it every year.

We had no trouble finding amazon.com, and from there amazon.co.uk, because we were shopping for someone in Merry Old England, where riots are taking place and the street rabble almost broke into Prince Charles’ car, scaring his once-scandalized wife almost to death as she looked the common person eye-to-eye and didn’t like what she saw. Images of guillotines were suddenly dancing through the royals’ heads at Christmas time.

We had no worries of losing our heads back home on the computer, but we were slowly losing our minds. We had a warm coat in mind, as global warming is burying the United Kingdom in snow and ice. We fondly recalled the threat of global cooling some years ago when Britain was basking in the sunshine. But it wasn’t easy finding a proper coat. First, we used the computer to convert pound to dollars. The spouse found a place that suggested one pound was worth 60 cents. No wonder the British were rioting, as one pound used to be worth $2.50. But we figured out that was incorrect, probably a lie being spread by Ben Bernanke. In fact, the pound is worth $1.57 and the dollar is worth 60 cents. It was Americans who should have been rioting, but who wants to be seen running naked on the streets thanks to Homeland Security’s full body scanners? Rioters will have to come up with lead-lined riot underwear that not even Superman can see through. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find lead-lined clothing at amazon.co.uk.

Instead there were thousands of different styles of coats costing anywhere from 15 pounds to 300 pounds, and they all looked very small on the screen, no matter which angle we viewed them at. Some were being worn by tiny Lilliputian models. Unfortunately, we were looking for something to fit a comparative Brobdingnag and large items don’t fit on the computer screen. The Internet is a good place to outfit a circus mouse, but not much else.

We never actually got to the point of trying to buy something, which is good because we dreaded the thought of telling amazon.co.uk who we were and all our intimate details, such as from where they could grab out money. After a couple of hours, Internet shopping lost its luster and we were ready to buck the traffic and crowds to do some real Christmas shopping. It was good to be back in America, where our dollar is still worth an honest 60 cents and people will take it in cash, no questions asked.

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