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Did you know you can buy just about anything on Amazon.com?

 

It doesn't matter if you actually need it or not, the lure is always present. You may not have ever thought of that particular item. You may have never seen one before. But suddenly there it is on your screen and before you know it-- you've hit that BUY button.

 

For example, long long ago I read a graphic novel (long comic book). It was a particularly good one but I hadn't thought of it in years... nay, decades. Then one day the Amazon website, having read my mind (or alternately, having dug up every nuance of history from the day of my conception), presents this photo on their website:

 

THANOS & DEATH

Ah, Thanos, one of my favorite comic characters ever. Universal evil despot and genocidal-maniac-turned- repentant due to his falling in love with beautiful Death (shown here in her less-beautiful appearance). Beauty and the Beast. Well, kinda.

So, there it is at a massive 10" tall, $21 (with free shipping!) suddenly gone from my account. But that's not all, because ya only get the free shipping when ordering $25 or more worth of goodies... and I'm $4 short. So although I don't really need anything, the sudden necessity of meeting $25 becomes paramount in my life. You know how it is. This is where the insanity starts to set in.

 

I'm wondering what I could possibly need that I can find on Amazon to accompany this order. NOT TO FEAR! There is never any shortage of items-at-easy-access to add to your order, some of them at amazingly low cost.

 

For example, if one happens to be a fan of Lilo and Stitch you can find this little goodie just a few clicks away:

 

This lovely little Stitch iPhone case is part of what is commonly referred to as "cute overload"... and is irresistible to collectors of such things. Add the fact that it's less than $4.oo (with free shipping!) and one realizes this is a must-have. The only drawback is that I don't actually own an iPhone... but when has that ever stopped an avid Amazon shopper?

 

Wait though, that still doesn't quite equal $25; I'm about 16 cents short. But lo and behold looking down further on the page I find this neat listing enticingly titled: "Customers who bought this also bought..." showing an entire truckload of items that their astute marketing has determined I will likely buy because I just added this item to my shopping cart. And guess what is in among those items?

 

PINK STITCHETTE

Now that I had Stitch, I couldn't let him be by himself, now could I? He'd get lonely. So adding this lovely companion to the order brings it up to about $28... well over the $25 requirement to get free shipping on all three pieces! Woohooo!

 

Now gratified, I prepare to hit the CHECKOUT button when it suddenly occurs to me, hey... I'm at the $25 free shipping level. That means things that I further order will also have free shipping! With subdued maniacal laughter I check on the "what else can we sucke.. uh... interest you in" list. Surely there is something else that I can no longer live without, especially for FREE SHIPPING!

 

Sure as Amazon restocks hourly, I quickly discover...

 

What? Seriously? An L-shaped USB to USB-micro adapter for $1.47... and FREE SHIPPING??? Do they jest? How can I pass up such an incredible bargain?! And after all, I'm still under $30. Why, this is an amazing investment. I don't really have an immediate use for an L-shaped USB to USB-micro adapter... but one can never tell when such a device will come in handy. Why, it would be almost irresponsible for me to not take advantage of this offer, especially while I have free shipping available!

 

However, that's not really a FUN item. This was supposed to be a shopping excursion for the fun of it. Well, in truth it wasn't supposed to be a shopping excursion at all. I just got sucked into it as surely as a mouse gets sucked into a Kirby. But now that I'm here I might as well get down to some serious shopping. Besides, only four items in the shopping cart seems like such an incomplete number. If you don't have FIVE items, you're not an Amazon expert. So what else, what else...?

 

What? A Wheatley keychain from PORTAL 2? My favorite computer game of all time??? I can't pass this up! I know it will add $15 to my order, but who knows how many of these they have before they run out. This will surely become a collectors item. And the handles even move! This is nothing short of awesome and will be the envy of everyone who sees it. That is... if they've ever played Portal 2. If not they'll just see a wierd looking sphere on the end of my keychain and, knowing me, figure it has some obscure and weird meaning. Little do they know the true nuance of universal geekdom.

 

 

 

Click. Carted. Surely I'm ready to check out now. But just as I get ready to hit that button, my eyes happen to glimpse something that simply cannot be ignored...

 

Okay look, not only is Chell the main charcter from the same game, and not only does she happen to be carrying a light up LED Portal Gun-- which is one of the most awesome devices to ever hit the computer gaming industry... I also happen to be male. Trying to pass up a highly-detailed Chell figurine for 25 bucks is like Godzilla trying to pass up Tokyo. It's just not going to happen.

 

Okay, so it almost doubles the cost of my order. What is money though in the face of absolute awesome? Seriously, ladies, could you pass up a life-like Brad Pitt figurine? It's like that. Or so I suppose.

 

So I gladly add this to my order. Convinced that I now have everything that I really need and cannot possibly do without, I prepare to click that fateful BUY NOW button that will seal my fate and bring about several days of anxiety waiting for delivery. But before I do, out of the corner of my right eye I see the edge of the screen, where they have thoughtfully listed other items that I might be interested in if I were to actually see them on the screen. And surely enough, based on the fact that I've just ordered a Thanos figurine, Wheatley memory core, Stitch and Stitchette iPhone covers to use as wall decorations*, and a Chell action figure, Amazon has cleverly deduced my next major weakness. Finding that weakness, they have breached the chink in my non-armor and demanded my next wallet-sacrifice...

 

 

What can I say? It's a Dalek. It's 8.5" tall. It has glowing lights and a motion sensor that causes it to say EXTEEERMINATE! whenever someone passes by. And I had the perfect place to set it: on top of the short bookcase in my hallway, right where my sister passes by when she visits. Yes... this would be a masterpiece of true Amazon shopping genius, an expensive but essential part of any science fiction fan's collection.

 

Doctor Who is without doubt one of the best modern science fiction series to hit the screen. The lack of quality in its production, the ludicrous scripts, the gaudy sets, somewhat B-class special-effects and over-the-top anything-goes acting... work together somehow to make this one of the most enjoyable series I have ever watched. So who can resist having an actual copy of his greatest nemesis sitting on a shelf... just waiting for an innocent passerby to unsuspectingly trigger into active mode?

 

(Yes, when the Dalek screeched at her my sister actually stopped in her spot, turned around and saw the Dalek, took one look at me-- sighed in resignation-- and admitted that was one of my better moments.)

 

But... with a DALEK sitting on the shelf, who is now going to protect Thanos, Stitch, Stitchette and Chell from this extremely dangerous cyborg? Fortunately Amazon came to the rescue, for I found the perfect answer to my dilemna!

 

YES OF COURSE! THE PAPO CROCODILE WARRIOR! WHAT BETTER CHOICE COULD THERE BE???

 

This fine specimen of reptilian strength, speed, agility and fearlessness is the perfect combatant for an out-of-control DALEK. With his sharp sword and teeth as well as his trusty croco-hammer, not to mention his lethal tail and protective armor, surely this is a match for any Dalek in the universe! Why, just look at the detail! Any Dalek would be envious!

 

KACHING! Amazon makes another sale... and my bank account dwindles. Now up to about $80 I'm wondering if checking to see what's on Amazon was all that great an idea. Still, considering the number of pieces in the order, plus the fact that I'm getting FREE SHIPPING on the entire lot... well, it would be almost foolish of me not to take advantage of such a fine offer!

 

Lest you think I only shop Amazon for oddball figurines or trinkets, let me assure you I do serious shopping there as well. I purchase some of my computer equipment, audio equipment, and anything-I-can't-find-locally items there as well. But this trip I will be content with the above toys fine-art-quality decorations. Quickly, before I change my mind, I hit the BUY button, my card is dutifully charged, and the agonizingly-long wait for 5-8 day delivery begins. In the meantime I will keep myself entertained with Inworldz and DVDs, waiting in anticipation until the essential packages arrive.

 

The next day I wake up, make a double-size cup of coffee because I was up until 1 a.m. ordering the above items, and sit down to read my email. There at the top of the list of new mail, sits ominously the expected follow-up:

 

"Your order has been shipped! While you're waiting for delivery, perhaps some of the following suggestions-- based on your current order-- may be of interest to you."

 

To my credit, I did check my bank account balance before clicking the link.

 

 

--o--

 

* For the record yes, seeing as how I'd already purchased two models from the "Stitch iPhone Cover" collection, Amazon did actually present to me yet another model of Stitch iPhone cover (apparently there's a whole set )... but I do have some dignity. It's not like I'm impulsive or anything.

 

Views: 529

Comment by eekee eebus on November 15, 2013 at 5:45pm

Hahahahaha! Had me laughing all the way through. I make all the same mistakes to the point where I've had to develop something like mental discipline techniques to resist. Unfortunately the most effective of these techniques is not calm meditation on the teachings of Surak, but a cultivated disdain for all forms of marketing. This gets depressing when I think about it too hard. If there's one thing that just plain annoys me about this world, it's how effective marketing has become.

Fortunately there is another technique which is almost as good: the ever-present knowledge that I really don't have anywhere to put anything..... buuut now i've typed that out I'm looking at the nice cabinet-top where I keep my best laptop and a few shiny things I don't want to hide away. This is why this is not the best technique: I have now realised there are a few square inches in which a little something could reside. Now I need to avoid Amazon until I forget about it. ;)

My InWorldz life has far more generous spacial constraints, and everything costs a lot less in real money. Both of these are problems. I ought not to be spending anything at the present, but... but but... well, it's my spending season. I somehow managed to burn my way through $20 worth of I'z in about 2 weeks when I wanted it to last at least a month. I think it mostly went on clothes. That's my weakness, things to dress my avatar in.

*sigh* There was this black leather mesh dress I simply had to have, so I had to buy some more. This was not an impulse purchase, I got a demo of the mesh parts some days before, ummed and ah'd over it, and when I finally decided I had to have it, I found I'd spent all my money. Couldn't resist buying more there and then, and *then* I found the dress wasn't worth as much as it appeared to be. The mesh parts in the demo are all right, but the flexy skirt is no mod, (argh,) no copy, (meep-argh-meep,) the resizer doesn't even work yet, (double argh,) and it has some stray points; cone prims at strange enough angles that the tops may be hard to hide in the avatar.

Now on the one hand I don't want to make another bad purchase, but on the other I want cheering up, so I avoided all shops for a few days, but when I went to explore I promptly stumbled into into a nice shop specializing in things i didn't really need, but which would in fact improve my home. I... well... I had a little look inside, then went to explore all around the sim. Then I went back to the shop. Twice. At some point I'd made up my mind to get a bed. My home point and the place I adjust most of my clothes is my bedroom, as might be logical, but it's somehow not a very relaxing place. I'm looking for a bed in more relaxing colours. I don't really like any of the beds in the shop: not bright enough. I keep looking, trying to think if one might work, and then I see this lovely shade of green in a corner. I go closer, it's a bed with plants climbing up the posts. Lovely! Proper pixie stuff. I look closer and see the flowers are lov... oh... oh oh oh... I remember the name of this plant... and I recall the bed's maker is well known as a kinky kitty... and I put the two together and I can't stop laughing: the plant's called "bindweed!" I'm not even into that, but it was so funny I had to buy the bed anyway. I IMd the maker afterwards and we had a little giggle about it, but she tells me it's actually Morning Glory, but imported morning glory went wild in Britain, and now some species fully deserve the name bindweed. Either way it's a lovely flower whether you call it morning glory or bindweed, and I'm still giggling about it a little bit! (I hope no-one minds too much that I posted that, I'll try not to do it too often. ^^;;)

You know the sad thing? I got home, rezzed the bed, cleared some stuff and moved some out of the way, but realised I'd have to move everything and redecorate the whole bedroom to fit the new bed. I put the old one back and realised that with a bit less junk the room was restful again. I didn't need to spend money on that bed. Between this and the dress I think there's a lesson here, but I'm not sure what it is. Oh well... *wanders into wardrobe full of pretty things and stops thinking.*

Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on November 15, 2013 at 7:18pm

"...the ever-present knowledge that I really don't have anywhere to put anything."

LOL that is sooo collector-centric.  There's a sign on that in the Hall of Funny.  "Collectors:  how do they procreate?  They have no room."

Ask Snoots how many real-life guitars he has now, all because of Amazon.  It's alarming.  And... he's got the makings for another home-grown one on the way.

Comment by eekee eebus on November 15, 2013 at 8:46pm

HAHAHAhahahahahaha I didn't even think of myself as a collector! Looking around, the term "pack-rat" comes more readily to mind, but thinking back I realise it's a very closely related condition. :)

Comment by eekee eebus on November 15, 2013 at 8:52pm

Oh I almost didn't see, you make guitars? I love to see anything hand-made; I'm quite into steampunk IRL because they love to make and customize things. One of my steampunk friends is cleaning up a battered old guitar now, making a custom finger plate, modifying the head, and I think he's de-fretted it.

Comment by Snoots Dwagon on November 18, 2013 at 9:54am

Yup that's kind of what I does. I buys cheap guitars and heavily modifies them. On a recent one I took a neck from a half-size classical guitar and put it on a quality ukulele body, replaced the uke bridge and nut, and added internal electronics. The result: a beautiful-tone "guitalele"-- an instrument that is becoming increasingly popular. Also has put electronics in 2 other guitars. The new one coming in will have installed a new type of electric system that will hopefully create a wonderful tone when plugged into an amp.

 

The prize though, is the recently-purchased "bantar"... a 6-string banjo that is converted to nylon strings. Played like a guitar but with a banjo sound, found a real-steal buy on Amazon ($450 instrument for $150). It's beautiful.

 

Most proud of the guitalele though. Unique and unusual instrument:

(Dat's me in da photo. Yeah, I not really a dwagon in RL.)

Comment by MoondancerDuAlvonia on November 25, 2013 at 6:40am

I really enjoyed this article a lot. It made me laugh and I learned a few things. But...Now I KNOW you is really not a Dwagon you is a mandolin playing Mogwai from da Gremlins!! hee hee 

Comment by Doc Looming on December 13, 2013 at 12:11pm

Here sumpin' else fer you to buy, Snoots. It you of da puppet world!  I hope ya likes it!!  

http://www.amazon.com/Folkmanis-2886-Dragon-Stage-Puppet/dp/B003ZW5...

Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on December 13, 2013 at 12:33pm

Yeah Snoots... and it for sure meets the new $35 minimum order...

Comment by Doc Looming on December 13, 2013 at 2:44pm

:-D

Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on February 26, 2014 at 7:19pm

BTW for the record, the above photo with the guitalele is a STITCH doll from Lilo & Stitch.  Notice a pattern there?...

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