By Nuru Vittachi IANS | 2 months ago

Woohoo! The whole e-commerce thing is a brilliant development for guys like my son and myself, who HATE shopping with a passion.


When we absolutely HAVE to make a physical journey to a store, we create a "search and rescue" plan to minimise time spent. 1) Locate supermarket. 2) Access chilled food aisles. 3) Liberate peanut butter milkshakes. 4) Return to base. Mission accomplished. Well done, son.

Of course, some people are warning that as e-commerce spreads, couch potatoes like me will spend our whole lives rotting on sofas in front of bad movies. Like that's a bad thing!

Oh, believe me, there are many worse ways to spend your life than being a "sedentary hedonist", which my wife says is Latin for "married man".

These days, guys everywhere are using e-commerce to buy little masculine necessities, such as sports magazines, shaving gear, rash cream and family members.

Yes, I have a case in mind. A young man in the city of Foshan, south China, used the internet to get a wife and baby to distract people from the fact that he preferred to live with a gentleman friend.

A news report says he went online to order a fake marriage certificate and "everything he needed to look like a family man", which I presume means suit jackets with vomit-streaked shoulders, bags to hang under his eyes and a massive hole in his bank account.

After finding photos of a woman who looked "wife-like" (I think this means "with rolling eyes and a long-suffering expression"), he ordered a baby from a people-trafficker and gave it to his parents to raise. "Hi, mom, bought you a present - I mean, I got married and had a son and heir last Tuesday, forgot to mention it earlier."

Everything went fine - until police tracked the missing infant to a location which puzzled them: a baby-free apartment containing two guys, both sensitive aesthetes with no interest in children. The case finally broke when a detective visited the guy's parents and had a conversation which went something like this. COP: "Whose baby is that?" PARENTS: "My son's." COP: "But who gave birth to it?" PARENTS: "His partner." COP: "The 42-year-old male model?" PARENTS: "Ah."

The story was forwarded to me by a geeky friend who used it to argue that you can now use the internet to get anything, making "your wildest fantasies" come true. Really? To show how ridiculous this was, I gave him mine: 1) A date with Scarlett Johansson; 2) My own personal kingdom in which everyone wears silly hats and 3) A working time machine.

He found them all in minutes! Ms. Johansson's time can be booked by contacting her agent at number 2000, Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles. He located several islands for sale, and a book on writing legal constitutions (to force residents to wear silly hats). And a search for "Time Machine" led to an Apple product. It only takes gadgets back in time but he was "99 per cent sure" a version which worked on physical reality would be included with the next iPhone upgrade.

I need to finish here. It may be time to liberate another peanut butter milkshake.

(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)

(Posted on 15-08-2014)

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