Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Amazon.com is a marvel of virtual shopping. I love it. They love me. I type in my, sometimes strange, criteria—goat de-wormer, dog dandruff shampoo, owl pellets, size five kitten heels—and bam! Elves bring me my every heart’s desire—for free. I have a Prime account. 

The day that the grid finally does collapse, and my keyboard goes still and silent, will be a dark, dark shopping day indeed.

People ask me, “Where did you get that Steampunk skull head walking stick?”

“Amazon, of course,” I chirp. “ No shipping. I’m prime.”

My husband, Sherwood the Stoic Shopper, does not often order online, but when he does . . .

He buys shoe polish. That’s it. Or so I thought.

In the jumble of boxes, packages, and envelopes, I noticed a small manila envelope that looked as if it had circumnavigated the globe in the wheel well of a UPS jet with engine trouble. I opened the envelope. Shoe polish wrapped in bubble wrap and . . . a rag . . . fell out. Weird. I tossed the garbage and kept the shoe polish.

Sherwood the Stoic Shopper called me, from some foreign land—I think in this case it was Detroit, and asked, “Did my package come?”

“Sure. Sure. Your exotic shoe polish from the Himalayas arrived.”

“How about the rag?”

The word garbage shot into my mind like a bullet. “Rag? What rag?”

“The seven dollar buffing rag that came with the polish. I’ve been tracking it.”

It’s in moments like this that knowing what nuttiness to address first can be a challenge.

“You’ve been tracking a rag.”

“Yeah, I’ve been pretty pumped about getting my buffing rag—seven dollars.”

“Sherwood, did I know that you were waiting on a rag? A rag that not only looked like a rag but looked like a hunk of stuff someone had cut off of a moth eaten curtain? A hunk of stuff that you paid seven dollars for? Did I know?”

“Linda, where’s my rag?”

“You might want to start tracking the garbage.”

His broken hearted moan echoed. “I was so looking forward to getting it,” he whispered. 

“Babe, it was a rag. I thought it was a junky kind of packing material. What the heck?”

My husband is a computer systems senior analyst, meaning he speaks software. Human communication is not his best thing. He seemed to believe that I should have magically 1) known the rag was more than a rag 2) known he’d ordered a rag 3) known he’s paid more for the rag than the polish 4) known his heart was set on getting his ‘buffing rag . . . and so forth.


Don’t worry, he got his revenge; he hid my brand new travel blow dryer in the closet so that I would 1) think I was going crazy 2) unable to dry my hair, forcing me to wear it in a ridiculous ponytail for a work meeting 3) wandering around the house crying my eyes out 4) pretty sure the grandboys had stolen it to use for a “gun” . . . and so forth.

There’s a great line in “Mad Max – Beyond Thunderdome.” At the end of the movie, Aunty says to Max, “Ain’t we a pair, Raggedy Man?”

Yeah. What she said.

I’m ordering myself a t-shirt with that line printed on it. From Amazon. No shipping. I’m prime.

Linda (Thunderdome) Zern 

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