I’ll be the first to admit that this doesn’t crank my temper up to atomic proportions but it does annoy the bejasus out of me.
You know what it’s like.
You order a DVD from an online shop. Amazon or Play, whatever. You go for the 2 disc version. The one with the extra disk that contains 48 hour’s worth of extras that you’ll ever have enough time or the inclination to watch. But you order it anyway. Just in case. The joy is in the having not the watching.
And a couple of days later (or a couple of weeks later depending on the dedication of your regular postman) it arrives through the post. A familiar tell-tale sized parcel plops down through your letterbox.
Ah, you think, my new Debbie Does Dallas DVD has arrived.
You bend down and pick it up.
And the bloody thing rattles. It rattles a lot.
Your heart sinks. Because you know what has happened. The DVDs have come loose in transit and have spent at least half of their journey to you sliding around inside the case like a very large pinball inside a very small pinball machine. Some scrote at the post office, seeing that it’s a DVD, has thought to himself: why bother to take any care over this package? It’s bound to be a Debbie Does Dallas DVD that I’d like to own myself but can’t afford due to the crap wages the post office pays so I’ll just hoof it around the delivery warehouse and use it as a Frisbee for a bit and sod the rich git with money to burn who has ordered it.
And thus Debbie Does Dallas arrives scratched to feck, won’t play properly and you have to send it back through the post only to risk damage to the replacement when they send it back to you using the same delivery system.
Now, most of the time, I admit, they play fine. DVDs can take a little bit of punishment. But it is still irritating to have paid good money for a brand new sealed product only to have it arrive in a state that can only be described as tarnished. And then you have to live with that paranoia that as you watch it for the first time... is this the moment that it is going to jump / freeze frame / fall over?
Now I know the answer is to bypass the butterfingered third party by shopping directly from a store in town and carrying your purchase home with you yourself but to be honest, (a) the goods are genuinely cheaper from a lot of the online stores and (b) I have now been addicted to online shopping for so long that I no longer know how to navigate my way around a real life shop. Alphabetized? Alphabetized? How does that work? Just tell me where the Goddamn “Search” button is!
So. My demands are simple. The post office needs to treat its charges – i.e. our goods and chattels – with a lot more respect and the people who make and supply the DVD cases to the film industry need to come up with a new design that holds the DVDs as tightly in the case as a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay tied to his water-boarding chair.
You got that? Good. I’ll leave it with you, then. I’ve got a date with Debbie.