The Perils of Online Shopping

It was my mum’s birthday this week, and she was given a card with a cartoon on it about online shopping going wrong. It showed a delivery van bringing a box of Corn Flakes about the size of a small car.

“I don’t get it,” my mum said.

She doesn’t shop online, so she hasn’t had the experience most of us have had, of ordering the wrong size or quantity of something without realising.

It is, for example, very difficult accidentally to put 30 bananas in your shopping trolley. But it’s very easy if you’re choosing them on a computer screen to select five bags of bananas instead of five individual ones, meaning you end up with 30… as I found to my cost a couple of years ago.

Faced with this unmanageable glut of bananas, I decided that the most expedient thing to do was to knock on a few neighbours’ doors and see if anyone would like some. I asked my then eight-year-old whether he’d like to be the one to do that.

He would, it turned out. And being a child who likes to exploit all opportunities to the maximum degree, he made a banana box to hang round his neck (cinema usherette-style) with a banner saying ‘Would you like some free bananas?’, and set off to sing the Banana Split song each time someone answered the door.

Our then next-door neighbours, who had their house on the market, mentioned to me later that they had people round at the time of his arrival, viewing the property. I’m sure that the small, banana-laden boy singing ‘One banana, two banana, three banana four…’ on the doorstep wouldn’t have done anything to impede the sale. So, um, there was no problem there.

On another occasion, my dad was house-sitting for us while we were on holiday. He accidentally bought a pizza with ham on it. We don’t eat ham, so he went outside to throw it away, choosing a handy bin bag that was sitting at the bottom of a neighbour’s drive.

Moments later, said neighbour emerged from his house, picked up the bag (which was clearly not a bin bag at all but an ordinary shopping bag) and walked off down the street with it. My dad just stood and watched, pondering what the man was going to think when he opened up the bag and discovered the ham pizza.

So as you can see, online shopping can be very dangerous – especially for the neighbours.

Or maybe that’s just if you’re a member of my family.


Have you ever had any bizarre online shopping problems? If so, please tell me about them in the comments section.

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6 thoughts on “The Perils of Online Shopping

  1. Alex

    Your blogs never fail to make me smile – usually in recognition. I ended up with four BOXES of chilli peppers last week instead of 4 individual chillies. Even for my curry-loving husband that would have made it a bit hot.

    I’ve never put my discarded takeaway in someone else’s shopping bag though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon

    I’ve had it the other way round. Ordered 2 packets of fresh peas for a large gathering and found I’d accidently ordered 2 packs of speciality peas – each containing about a tablespoon!

    Often get packs that aren’t the size I expect

    Liked by 1 person

  3. NJB

    A certain person in my immediate family once bought 8kg of fish before yom tov instead of 8 pieces … though this might have been a miscommunication from the mother-in-law, nothing to do with online shopping. How we laughed…


    1. feellikeagrownup Post author

      Yes, you must have found that hilaaarious! Something of the opposite happened to my mum a few years ago, because she filled the spare freezer with gefilte fish in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, then my dad accidentally unplugged it and no one noticed for several days… Amazingly, my parents are still married!



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