I have a thing I do when I get home from the pub and that thing is not ‘vomit in the sink’. What I do is slump on my bed, locate my laptop and bring up (I mean “load” – again, not vomits) the Aladdin’s cave of websites: Amazon.co.uk. Then I buy a bunch of stuff. Maybe it will be one thing, perhaps possibly it will be three: I cannot say for certain because I never remember doing it. This is an activity I have only deduced from the evidence of browser history and my bank statement triangulated with the date of excessive imbibement, if that is a word, which I’ve decided it is.
I call this game “Drunk Amazon” because it is descriptive of the rules and this particular player. It’s a one-player game, this, though the relatively simple rules do not stipulate you must be a chunky lady over six feet tall to ride. Having confirmed your intoxicated purchase and swiftly passed out face down with your shoes on, all knowledge of the transaction evaporates faster than the drool on your pillow. In a week’s time you receive a parcel. You literally have no idea what’s in it but you’ve given it a shake and it’s definitely i. a DVD or ii. a book, probably purchased for the hefty sum of: one penny. Opening it is like receiving a gift from someone who knows you better than yourself. You find yourself sending love back through the mists of time to You Circa A Week Ago – that squinty-eyed, pink-cheeked thing that rolled in the front door still shaking dry roasted peanut crumbs out of her hair. The same one who had delusions of mental grandeur and ordered the entire literary output of Albert Camus.
I am totally unable to stop playing this game because I never consciously started it.
I’m assuming I’m not alone when I try to fool myself into thinking I’m significantly more interesting than I actually am. This is evident in the inebriated highbrow purchases I forget I make, and also the mild thrill I get when I open an Amazon recommends… e-mail to find that they are totally wrong. I am so interesting that not even their maths and science and wizards of extrapolation can predict where I will go next. I’m some sort of maverick, I’m outside their rules. I’m the one who fucks up the averages.
What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho?
0.02% buy The George Formby Songbook for £9.41.
Amazon is an upgrade from my previous drink problem, being the purchase of real life things, in real life, as I stumbled happily home. Notable purchases include a trilby hat I (mistakenly) wore for an entire summer, and ukulele I played for a whole afternoon (during which time I notified everybody I knew that they should be changing my name to Uku-Hayley in their address books and to some prehistoric mobile phones I am still Uku-Hayley to this day). Having moved house four times since that purchase I only ever see the instrument when it is the last forgotten thing in a corner of the van and I have to be given a leg up to fetch it. “You play the Zippy Zither?” asked one burly van-man, eyeing the almost triangular box with such an earnest look of nostalgic wonder that I lied to him and said I did.
Perhaps there’s one in the post.