WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward
One of the joys of shopping on internet is, or can be, the outcome of when you receive the item that has either eluded your search on foot around various trading and shopping outlets, and it makes you wonder if it’s all worthwhile, or when you note that about six months’ normal wear has been removed from the soles of your footwear in the process of finding that nobody has it/ or one in stock, the wrong colour or size, then, Plan B: you are not prepared to lose assorted kilos of weight in order for your body to fit the object of your quest.
I must admit I will not purchase anything in the way of clothing or footwear via mail order or the current saviour of the human race, the above internet, as nothing either fits, be it be either too big – perish the thought I hear you cry – or, incredibly, too small as it either crushes or smothers you, in my experience.
Best one so far was I once ordered a tie online and was asked to specify an “alternative size”.
When it comes down to clothing or footwear, I like to try it on in person and marvel at the fact it fits. I will admit I have tried stuff on in assorted shops that is marked my size but at times it’s like a straitjacket, as in the case of a jacket not too long (oddly the length was okay) ago I tried on. I would have needed to spend a day in a decompression chamber after it was cut off my body to get the blood re-circulating through my veins. Suggestions from the sales assistant as to the state of my elbows I ignored, as I pointed out I was not a professional snooker player.
In another instance, the Instant Gorilla effect was present, as the ends of the sleeves were close to dragging along the floor, carpeted it’s true, but still the floor. It seems odd that pounds and pence seem to relate well anywhere in the world but sadly, humble inches seem to get lost in translation when you try on anything from the Far East, and I don’t mean Norwich, as experience shows. Take a size 17 collar on a shirt, when laid out side by side with others from assorted manufacturers or panel beaters. The dear old tape measure either “grows” or, more usually, seems to have shrunk in the great and wonderful journey along the way to be with us here, when compared with each other, size by size, side by side.
Being of a certain size – please, it’s taken years to get this way – I often stare in wonderment, like quite a few others of my stature or similar, at assorted “sale bargains” that once viewed on a rail from a distance seem quite appealing but on looking at them over up close, you find that you need to have a 26-inch waist downwards in the trousers section, as anything beyond a size 32-inch waist and upwards is next to finding life on Mars.
Having said that, if you are possessed enough to buy this trouser bargain or similar, then invest in a length of plastic drainpipe and cut it down and insert a length in each leg, then cock a pair of old shoes on the bottom or the walking end and stand it in the corner – thus you have a fine umbrella stand that caters for “His ’n’ Hers” umbrellas. Quite why the Blue Peter lot on the telly have not come up with this idea so far is quite baffling – or perhaps I am ahead of the game, as time might tell.
The reason I have outlined the above is because I recently ordered a camera lens hood, for a camera lens unsurprisingly, via the internet, on the usual basis as in I can’t walk or crawl in anywhere within yodelling distance to obtain one as it’s slightly specialised and no, I didn’t want to order it and pop back on a specified day of the week within assorted miles locally to find “It’s not in yet” – but a delightful excuse it is – so it was the internet I turned to, based on the price plus I was not desperate for it as some of the delivery times amount to the changing of the seasons or in some cases, the magical next day.
Before you say anything silly to yourself, yes, I have often paid for “next day delivery” and it has taken over a week to arrive with assorted excuses such as the best one to date: “The driver says he couldn’t find you.” Although I must admit the Readers Digest of years back never had a problem finding me – I once went through to Round Three of their annual, used to be just after Christmas each year as I recall, “free competition” to win mega thousands, and I had never sent or even filled in the sections of Round One or Two, so that’s what I call delivery.
Back to the camera lens hood malarkey. As time was not of the essence, as they say in legal circles, I decided to save a few coins of the current realm and ordered one online, was given a confirm, then a delivery, date – so far, so finger clicking good. However, as the delivery date was looming – I do so like a good loom – and, sadly, passed with no sign of the said lens hood, by a number of days.
On contacting the folks in the Far East, still nothing to do with Norwich, the following message came back – brace yourselves – and read thus: “Hello Friend. We sent it out as planned by Hong Kong Post and it need 15–30 days to ship it. The long trip also has many accidents to delay the shipping. Could you please kindly wait for 7–17 days patiently? 7–17 days later, we are willing to refund you or reship to you if you get nothing. Hoping your full understanding.”Well, that told me, did it not?
I have believed, well I think I did once I stopped laughing, the railways statement of “Leaves on the line” was a cracking good excuse from some years ago now, as with the weather forecasters explaining it was “the wrong sort of rain”, but I think this goes up there among those, as “The long trip also has many accidents to delay the shipping” (to be fair they spelt shipping right – could have been shopping), but interestingly, they will, quote, “reship to you if you get nothing”. How will I know if I “get nothing”? Will it take the form of an empty box? Have the accidents been sorted out now? Is this Hong Kong Post operating a “lost in post” system in competition with our own?
Hopefully it will all sort itself out soon or at the very least, inspire Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber to turn it into a musical along the lines of “Accidents Happen, Too Many to Mention” and I wanna be in the film version ... assuming I get my lens hood by then.