It is 2013. We are in the the deepest recession in peacetime. Everyone is bankrupt, the banks are being bailed and not even Mr Bingley can get a mortgage.
This is because you can’t actually buy anything anymore. Internet shopping is a maze of stupid forms and pointless security questions. I have 35,000 variations of the same password for everything because each website you have to have at least one letter/number/symbol in it. I will never understand why a company needs to know that my mother’s maiden name is Stevenson before I can buy a t-shirt.
I mean, I tend to shop in supermarkets a lot and that’s great. You scoop up your packet sandwich and bag of crisps, give them to a fat lady who breathes through her mouth, she waves them at a laser, give her some money and go. Petrol stations are the same. Run in, throw a twenty pound note and the Indian man behind the counter, and run out. Easy. The mistake is when you assume buying something with a plug on it will be equally as simple.
A few months ago, I went with my girlfriend to buy a tablet (not because she was pregnant, an electronic tablet!), she had narrowed the endless library of options to just two. The Amazon Kindle and the Google Nexus 7. We went to our local Curry’s and, with a greased credit card, started looking at the two examples chained to the wall. After twelve seconds a man with a facial disease appeared and asked us if we needed any help. Of course, because my girlfriend is female, she told him she did. The man with the face fungus proceeded to say a lot of words i’m sure did not exist, and, as a result of which, my girlfriend decided to buy the Samsung Tab 2. Great. Here’s £160 bye. No. He walked us over to the other end of the shop and passed us to his friend who had lots of teeth and solid hair. Upon hearing we wanted to buy something, he turned to a computer and started writing a novel. After a week of him madly typing I did a sort of cough. He explained to us that he had to update the company’s data base in Middlesborough that he was in the process of selling a tablet. Once he had finished he started asking my girlfriend a lot of silly questions; her address, date of birth, dental records, iris scans… Presumably they do this so they can sell your details to a spammer that will ask my girlfriend if she wants a bigger penis or any PPI claimings? My girlfriend almost made him cry when she told him her current address wasn’t the same as her billing address. He had to re-program the entire company’s mainframe! Eventually he stuck the credit card into the machine and gave us a receipt.
We walked outside in a similar fashion to that of the release of the Chilean Miners.