“Psst, Have I Got A Deal For You!”

It’s late at night, you’ve had one hell of a kick-ass day, and you are nursing a glass of wine and scrolling the Internet looking for god-knows what. And then you see it. An ad for this amazingly handy and versatile “doohickey” that will not only save you time and energy, but it slices, it dices, it shreds, it cooks your meal, and it helps you handle your mother-in-law! All this for the amazingly low price of $19.99 (that magic under $20 price point that makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy all over). But hurry, supplies are limited. While you’ve been reading and thinking about purchasing, 1,348 people have made the decision to buy. If you order within 10 minutes, we will throw in, absolutely free of charge, this handy gadget that people all over the world are raving about. You’re just one click away from all this being yours for just $19.99 (plus shipping, handling, applicable taxes, third party liability, insurance, staff perks, and other stuff we haven’t made up yet!). I am almost certain that whoever is reading this is shaking their heads in agreement, only to then think: “Yes, but it’s a bit different than you described it, I mean I just don’t think you can lump everyone…sorry, where was I?” We have all been there, and done that, even if you would never admit it to anyone, except maybe your shrink. And so, you choose your preferred payment method, hover over the purchase button for a brief moment, and then: Click. Almost immediately this shows up on your screen: “You’ve just paid $48.79 to 陽誠款蓮!

And you might think this is the end of it, but hey, not so fast. If you are a conscientious shopper, a “nobody-is-going-to-pull-the-wool-over-my-eyes” astute type of consumer, then you inevitably check the box that says: Track your delivery, and that’s when the real fun begins. I am writing from experience here, because I have received upwards of ten or more delivery update emails for one item. They start like this: “Hi! We have received your order and are working our asses off to send it to you.” “Hi! Your order is being packaged for delivery.” “Hi! Your order has shipped.” Then it kicks into overdrive. “Hi! Your package is in transit; it is clearing customs in Shandong Province.” “Hi! Your package is in transit; it is clearing customs in Bangladesh.” “Hi, your package status has changed; it is now in transit in Ireland.” “Hi, your package status has changed; it has cleared U.S. customs and is on route.” By the fourth or fifth email, you not only do not remember what it is you ordered, you just really don’t care anymore. “Hi, your package has been delivered. Please feel free to reach out if there are any problems…Hahaha, that was just a little in joke!” You open the package, use the doohickey twice, it breaks, and you vow never, ever to do this again. Right. Nice try, because you know as well as I do that not that long after this disaster is fading from your memory, you’ll be having another glass of wine and scrolling away and…well, I probably don’t have to tell you what will happen next!

Los Angeles 2023

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