The above title must be up there with the weirdest of the odd blog post titles of the week.

The title comes from a question posed in our last blog post about Belfast denizens’ folie à plusieurs addiction to buying books and other items from Amazon, despite this impacting negatively on local independent booksellers and retailers, and possibly facilitating a diminution in worker’s rights at Amazon warehouses.

Have we really reached such a somniferous state of co-dependence that our first thought is, “Amcorp will have it, and it’ll be cheaper than buying it locally” or “I can’t be bothered looking locally, as I’m so pressured for time, so I’ll just get it delivered from Amcorp or TreeBay” (if they deliver to N.I. at all or are looking an extortionate shipping price).

Have we seriously thought where all this Amcorping may lead us? To a retail wilderness, and a dystopian and wholly avoidable death, that’s where.

We’re already heading in the direction of a local retail wasteland, as our city centre and inner city retail grimly testify.

But let’s say you didn’t get the unicorn ballon locally...

Your Bezos Balloon arrives from Amcorp after a trip to Tomb St to get it from the Royal Mail Sorting Office, as apparently, there was no one in to sign for it, despite you being at home all day waiting in for the parcel to arrive. You pick up a £90 fine (or £45 if paid within 14 days) for parking illegally. Disappointingly, there isn’t a ground of appeal that states that the queue of like minded Bezosian money savers was longer than you thought it would be, and thus you have no case to answer.

You then head to your very local party shop to get your Bezosian Balloon filled with helium.

Your first rage is when you notice they have the very same balloon - and it’s cheaper.

Your second burn comes when the shop owner impolitely and publicly suggests that you take the balloon to where you bought it from to get it filled.

Customers in the shop laugh at your obvious discomfort, and you shake with self righteous rage, get straight onto Bakebook and TripeService to share what you view as a horrendous and humiliating experience.

However, by and large, commenters agree with the shop owner that you’d a brass neck to expect him to fill someone else’s dirigible.

You’re running out of time, and we’re 90 mins from the start of the party where the Bezosian Balloon was to be the visual centrepiece at.

After getting short shrift from a fast food joint that ordinarily has a thing for filling balloons, you admit defeat, and reserve and pay £19.99 at a national catalogue store for a helium canister to inflate Bezos’s Balloon.

As you didn’t fill the ballon the recommended two hours before the event to maximise the rigidity of your Bezos Balloon, it sorely disappoints, and your social media feeds are replete with flaccid foil images, mostly reflecting your tear streaked face.

If this weren’t bad enough, your Bakebook Live feed goes viral due to barbed comments from your OH’s ex that your listless, floppy Bezos Balloon reminds her a lot of your current OH in the bedroom department. The video rapidly becomes a meme and self actuates as a GIF.

Belfast Live ring you at your lowest point, and a recording of you swearing like a docker cross bred with a builder trend worldwide.

You delete, unfriend and soft block every mofo at that party, every commenter, and all who liked and shared. You retreat into a self-imposed, semi-agoraphobic exile.

As there’s a lot of helium left in the helium canister, you decide to chance your arm and take it back to the catalogue shop for a refund. Only, the attentive shop assistant notices that the valve seal has been broken: so you’re sent on your way, not knowing that your name and photograph are now on a UK & Ireland wide list of assorted fraudsters, panhandlers and reprobates.

You then have another brainwave, and decide to list the canister on E-tree as new. Unfortunately, all you get are offers under a pound, a short course in txt spk, various levels of unwelcome sexual propositioning, and an unmet desire to think of a collective noun for tyre kickers.

After your unsuccessful attempts to cash out, the helium canister sits unused and unwanted in your utility room. Until one night with drink taken, and with none of your remaining dozen broken followers fave-ing your attention seeking subtweets, you decide to ride the Bantmobile, and use the helium canister you originally bought to inflate your Bezos Balloon, and do that squeaky voice thing.

As you become hypoxic in the 0.22 seconds it takes to fatally overpressure your lungs, your life flashes by you, and ends at the frame where you could have shopped locally, but didn’t.

*Tales of the Unexpected theme music plays*

February 16, 2018 — Cara Junk

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