Big Eye, December 30, 2014

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This Christmas has proved to be the first one where computers have become critical to our lives and have taken over as being the most important feature of our existence.

I sat in my pub and watched groups of friends and couples huddled round their little screens in reply to some gobsmacking titbit that had just landed on the device.

We don’t seem to be able to function without them and it was sad to watch grown men at the bar constantly checking to see if anyone had pinged them rather than discuss the weather or the football.

My hatred of internet tyranny reached new levels of Luddite rage after my pre-Christmas foray into ‘e’ commerce and the seductive inducements of one-click ordering proved to be such fiasco. It’s so easy to be sucked in by stunningly cheap prices and the fact that you can accumulate new stuff without lifting a finger and I have to admit I let my guard down and gave The Web the benefit of the doubt. Big mistake!

Cheap trestles arrived partially broken and were unglued and although I requested replacements, these arrived and were also split and distorted.

Three dinky plastic Christmas cake decorations were all damaged thanks to poor packaging and what looked like postal abuse. A new jumper had a hole, an order for internet flowers never materialised, a toolbox arrived with a bent lid which was speedily followed by a new lid ... but in a different colour and best of all, our entire grocery shopping order for Christmas was lost after the supermarket website failed and destroyed our order. I could not have been more savage. Not with the thieving lying cheating world of the internet but with me for allowing my stupid self to be conned into believing the hyperbolic drivel (adverts).

Invariably these internet orders are accompanied by snivelling little demands for ‘good’ feedback and requests that only positive comments are entered to keep these little crooks in business.

The other thing these internet businesses usually want is a contact number to flog to some call centre located in the southern hemisphere where a chap called ‘Roger’ will call to try and sell me windows or doors or ask impertinent questions about my sex and age or income. I find it hard to accept that I have been so unbelievably gullible.

Luckily, all this tat was repairable and my local shops carried everything needed to make Christmas and I felt extremely guilty that I strayed away from them and into the satanic world of online shopping.

Outside my little world the US is now engaged in electronic warfare with North Korea and the internet gaming nerds are almost out of their minds with worry that their violent, sexist, warmongering second lives have been put on hold by hackers. I think the only hacking I’ll be doing will involve hacking through the telephone line to the Big Eye household and pulling up the drawbridge before these sinister internet controllers take over something important ... Happy New Year!

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