Friday, August 27, 2010

Loose

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.


38 comments:

Heather said...

"Alphabetized? Alphabetized? How does that work? Just tell me where the Goddamn “Search” button is!"

I am still laughing at that now! Brilliant, and I whole heartedly agree. Besides which, shopping for porn when you're out with your kids is often frowned upon in modern society.

The Dotterel said...

Here's a radical solution... download the entire thing from iTunes. Oh hang on, they don't do porn do they...

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Hilarious, obviously if you will choose such dubious titles then you have to expect that disgruntled post office workers (who get paid a lot more than you think for doing very little according to an ex postie boyfriend of mine) will be playing football with your amazon 'bit of blue f' dads' range parcel.

the fly in the web said...

The French post office specialises in delivering envelopes from banks which have been opened then stuck up again with sellotape.
Someone somewhere wants to know how I'm spending my money....

Steve said...

Heather: I tend to lock them to a lamppost with a dog lead when I'm browsing for "jazz media"... ;-)

TheDotterel: I can confirm that they don't. I've looked.

Very Bored in Catalunya: 'bit of blue f' dads' range - I like it! Is that an actual department at Amazon.com? To be honest, the DVD I ordered was Kath & Kim series 4. I don't buy adult DVDs; not when I have a perfectly good broadband connection I can make use of.

The fly in the web: the post office here can't afford sellotape. They either use bogies or just leave the envelopes open.

the fly in the web said...

Ah, so the French are more subtle...

Steve said...

The fly in the web: no, they can just afford sellotape.

;-)

Keith said...

Good luck with that wish !

That DVD rattle is one of the most soul draining sounds of modern life, because it means you know something is less than 100% pristine, BEFORE you have even had the chance to have the pleasure of it new.

And have you heard of ' Entertainment Debt ' ?

All the DVDs and books, and music, and theatre you INTEND to watch/read/listen/go to, but haven't yet managed.

Steve said...

Keith: something is less than 100% pristine, BEFORE you have even had the chance to have the pleasure of it new... Yes, yes, yes! That's it right there in a nutshell! And as for Entertainment Debt... Interpol are chasing me even as I type.

LöstJimmy said...

I'm with you on the notorious 'loose' DVD syndrome, a pet hate. Enjoy Debbie, ahem, cough

Steve said...

LöstJimmy: I'm just sad they didn't film the follow up - Barbara Bonks Birmingham.

Kelloggsville said...

I thought "debbie does dallas" was just a local term around here to describe porn. Having now googled it, I know now it is a real film and I will have sex popups coming through my pc for months on end - cheers m'dear! I feel your pain in the real shop thing. I went to sainsburys last night, first time in a supermarket in nearly a year - OMG it's complicated. So online yes always and I have never once had one come loose from Amazon - your postie hates you clearly!!! Have you seen the first few minutes of ace venture pet detective? You should!

femminismo said...

Debbie? Dallas? Is this one of those tourism films? haha Just kidding! Our postmen/women are great. They must get paid a bit more. I have got to use the words "bloody sod" tomorrow. the more I read you the more I want to change nations.

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: I suspect my postman models himself on Jim Carrey. Dumb and Dumberer rather than Ace Ventura though...!

Femminismo: how easy is it for you to get a plumber to come round? Maybe we could do a house swap? ;-)

Being Me said...

I need to introduce you to a couple of friends of mine. They're known as Bit and Torrent.

vegemitevix said...

Oh I can add to the dvd posting woes..I sent my Dad a DVD of songs for his birthday. He lives in Australia. When he received it and excitedly opened the package he discovered it was empty. Had someone opened it and swiped the 'Songs from the War'? Or did I forget to actually put the disk in the package?

Steve said...

Being Me: I feel ashamed of myself. I consider myself a bit of a tech head and I had to Google Bittorrent...!

Steve said...

Vegemitevix: I don't want to point the finger of suspicion but our postie was whistling Colonel Bogie this morning...

Selina Kingston said...

I'm intrigued ... what extras does the 2nd disc of Debbie Does Dallas offer ??

Steve said...

Selina: the director's cut, outtakes, deleted scenes, commentary, blooper reel (which is hilarious, as you can imagine) and alternative endings. ;-)

misssy m said...

Yeah and a another good thing is that when you buy a CD online you don't have an emo record shop Saturday boy snorting with disgust at what shit taste you've got.

That's worth risking the scratches for.

Steve said...

Misssy M: aaargh! Emo's! Yet another reason to shop online and have no interaction whatsoever with another human being! I love my computer and it loves me.

Wanderlust said...

Trying not to make a bad joke about Debbie being loose. So I'll just ask why is it not possible for the post office to join the 21st century like the rest of the world. I had to mail a parcel the other day and I thought I was going to stab someone with a letter opener waiting for the postal clerk to instruct someone to fill out a 12 page form. Or maybe it was half a page, I don't know, but seriously, I feel like I've entered a time warp whenever I walk in there.

Steve said...

Wanderlust: I'm not sure why the PO persist in generating all this excess paperwork, especialy when the rest of the world is moving towards "paperless offices". I think the PO workers have a bit of a fetish for wood pulp...

-eve- said...

*nods* never thought about it, but I do see your point. 2 ways I see it - the one doing the packaging needs to keep in mind that it's gonna be a rough journey (and yes, the one delivering should try to do better)

Barry Coidan said...

"Debbie Does Holloywood" was well and truly f***** : what else did you expect Steve.

Steve said...

Eve: you've put it far nicer than I did!

Barry: ha ha! Did you mean to write Hollywood - or Hollyoaks? 'Cos I'd love to see the latter.

The Crow said...

Then there are the films for women, such as "Horatio Does Hole-in-the-Wall."

:)

(I was trying to be good and stay out of this one, but my bad self pushed me aside.)

French Fancy said...

Oh I know what you mean about losing the ability to shop in person. After seven years in France it is a real novelty going to a shop. It's going to be a long time until online shopping calls to me - and it does eliminate the 'damaged in transit' scenario.

What DVD did you order - nosy old me

Steve said...

The Crow: is that the adult re-telling of the boy who plugs the hole in the dyke with his most prominent digit?

FF: it was actually Kath & Kim Series 3. You obviously guessed I was only joking about Debbie Does Dallas...?!

Alienne said...

The PO used to open quite a few of my parcels; they (the parcels) would arrive badly taped up (in Kent they can afford selotape) with a label saying 'damaged in transit' stuck on them. This finally stopped after the nosy buggers opened a particularly strangely shaped parcel only to discover a pair of old and slightly smelly shoes that I had left at my sisters.

The Crow said...

No, I was trying to be funny, and bombed.

:)

Owen said...

So, given that everything else has been said here... how was Debby ???

Steve said...

Alienne: hmm. I wonder if I send a badly wrapped turd to myself in the post it'll teach the postie to handle it with more care when it explodes all over him? Just a thought.

The Crow: not at all, it reminded me of the movie "Glory Hole Gary"...!

Owen: not sure, all you get to see of her is a close up of her ear bobbing up and down. The director's cut wasn't as hard hitting as I thought it would be.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Until I moved where I am now, any and all packages I received in the mail looked as it someone has purposefully stomped on them and then used the remains as toilet paper. But for some reason, I now have a wonderful postman who not only takes good care of all my packages but hand delivers them to my doorstep with a smile. I worship the guy, for reals.

Steve said...

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip: now that's a rare thing indeed: a postman who actually loves his job well. I daresay his comrades will soon beat that out of him.

TimeWarden said...

Many of the discs come loose in the stores too, so you can't win whichever way you choose to buy DVDs!

Why not download avi files instead? Even handier if shows are yet to be broadcast in the UK!

You're right about never having the time to watch so much stuff!

By the way, how was Debbie?!!

Steve said...

TimeWarden: so basically there is no escape and the real source of the problem is either the DVD cases themselves or the people who pack the DVDs into them. I feel a letter to The Guardian might be on its way! As for Debbie, well, what can I say? You can't teach an old dog new tricks.