Reasons why I should just have bought the hardback

So, I keep getting emails from Amazon telling me that the publication of a book I've ordered in paperback is delayed.  They're trying to recommend that I buy the hardback, and this is the incentive they've come up with.

Differences between your original item and our recommendations are typically minor but some things, such as the item's cost, may be different.

Oh, the cost!  That silly little thing!  Well, if you'd said before!

Hm.  Neither do I like that phrase 'some things may be different'.  Very vague.  What could this mean?  What 'things'?.....

A short play, set in Fran's house. [This saves on costs.  Shooting this stuff in Hollywood is beyond my purse.]


Muffled postman
A mystery parcel

Act 1

[The doorbell goes.] Ding dong, ding dong.
[Fran opens the door.]  Oh, good morn ... What. The. Hell. Is. THAT?
[Postman, from behind a large parcel.  Muffled.]  Are you Fran Hill?
[Fran] Say again?
[Muffled postman] I said, are you Fran Hill?
[Fran] Yes, that's me.  And that's the first time I've ever heard a parcel talk.  Does the Russian State Circus know about you?
[Muffled postman] It's not the parcel talking.  It's me, behind it.  
[Fran] For goodness' sake, put it down, and come out from behind it, then.  Talking to an acre of brown paper is socially awkward.
[Postman rests parcel on floor and comes out from behind it.]  Oh, that's better.  That was well heavy.
[Fran]  Where's the parcel from?
[Postman] Says [looks at parcel] from Amazon.
[Fran eyes parcel]  Er .. when you say 'Amazon' do you mean, Amazon as in 'rainforest'?  Because I have a feeling that parcel may contain the last few remaining members of the Nukak tribe.  I don't remember ordering them, but then, last week was a busy one.
[Postman] No, it's definitely Amazon as in 'books'.
[Fran]  Oh.  It's just as well it's not the tribe.  I don't have the beds made up.  But it's definitely not a book, which is a shame, because I did order a paperback I've been waiting for. 
[Postman] Do you want me to bring it in, then you can open it and see?
[Fran]  Okay, thanks.  But we need to get it over the doorstep.  Shall I call a removal firm?  Two removal firms?  Atlas?
[Postman]  No, I'll be fine.  [Pushes and pulls and struggles, but eventually, with Fran's help, gets the parcel into the hall.]
[Fran]  Okay.  Let's do this.  [They start tearing the paper off.]

10 minutes later.

[Fran]  It's a washing machine.
[Postman]  No wonder it was so heavy.  Hang on, there was a note inside the parcel.  Here you are.
[Fran]  Thanks.  [Reads.]  Dear Fran. We hope you will find the goods you ordered to your satisfaction.  We apologise for the minor differences between what you ordered and the product we have sent you.  For a start, this costs £393.50 and the book would have cost £7.99.  Secondly, instead of being made of paper and card, your product is made of metal and rubber.  Thirdly, instead of being something you read, your product is something you wash clothes in.  Fourthly, instead of being something you can carry around in your handbag, your product is something you install in a utility room.  We hope these minor changes will not affect your enjoyment of the product.  Thank you for your custom.  We enclose a voucher for £2.50 which you can use in our online store next time you buy goods totalling more than £15,000.  Best wishes. Amazon.

[Postman]  I'm loving this adventure.  I'm having the best day ever.  I've never delivered a washing machine before.  Normally it's just pizza leaflets and redundancy notices these days. 


I will leave the cast on the stage, mainly because I haven't a gnat's eyebrow of a clue what to do with this alarming triad of Fran, a postman and a washing machine.  If you have any inventive suggestions, do let me know.   For now, I'm off to the bar for an interval drink.  

The audience members were all in the theatre bar, discussing excitedly
what might happen in Act 2.  'Waiting for Godot' has nothing on this,
said one.  

PS  The book I've ordered is Crocodile on the Carousel by a Leamington Spa author called Sally Tissington who's a friend.  I've heard her read from it at the book launch and have seen other work of hers.  The story sounds fabulous, and even though I'm too much of a skinflint to get the hardback (and I find them unwieldy), I can't wait to read it.  If you like Angela Carter/Susan Hill/Anita Shreve/Jeanette Winterson, you'll like Sally.  I can see elements of all their writing in hers.  And she's funny.  A*.   


  1. I'd have thought that Act 2 might include a bit of "Fifty Shades of Grey" type stuff between you and the postman. In top of the washing machine. "Fifty Shades of Scarlet", maybe, if your postmen, like ours, wear tomato-soup coloured tops.

    Not - I hasten to add - that I've read the book to which I allude.

  2. "In top"????? Not sure what I meant there. ON top. (Inside might be a bit tricky. I imagine.

  3. And I omitted the second bracket. Gah.


    I'm going away now.

    1. 'Fifty Shades of Grey' starring a washing machine. Hm. Presumably, one not working very well ....

  4. Postmen seem to have a different job description north of the Border .

    1. What, do you actually GET your Amazon orders?

  5. One of your FUNNIEST posts--& that says a lot!!

  6. I loved this! I had a "credit" thingy from Amazon about 5 minutes ago. But I have to buy a lot of clothes or jewellery in order to redeem it. Hmmm.

    Oh - and they keep recommending to me books written by me or already reviewed by me for their Vine thing. Which means their left hand doesn't know...oh, never mind.

    1. That made me laugh. 'I have to buy a lot of clothes or jewellery in order to redeem it.' This is what they call a 'bargain' these days, Frances.

  7. Tissington sounds like an interesting writer. I'll be sure to check this out.

    1. At this rate, you'll get there before me!

  8. Very witty indeed! :-)

    I keep getting Amazon 'recommendations', which presumably means stuff they think I might want to buy. Trouble is, most of them are either things I don't want, even as presents, and the rest are variations on things I bought ages ago!

    E.g. I bought a Samsung 32'' TV a while ago. Now they wonder if I might want to buy a Panasonic 32'' TV...or a Samsung 40'' TV, or a Toshiba 22'' TV....or....etc.

    Same applies to books. I've got the collected works of Wallace Stevens and Michael Donaghy, which includes pretty much evey poem they ever wrote. So why, Mr Amazon, would I want to buy the same poems in half a dozen or more separate collections?

    And why, having bought a ladder, would I want to buy a slightly bigger ladder, or a slightly smaller one?

    Tissington is a small village in Dorset by the way.....Amazon recommends 'Holidays In Dorset'...the book, the DVD and the musical on CD. All by J.R. Hartley (deceased).

    1. Start a blog of your own, chum. You're funny.

  9. A washing machine eh? So it's true, some postmen do still deliver on a cycle?

    1. You are SO reliable for the Pun of the Day Award.

  10. Well at least it's a clean delivery.

  11. I recommend making love to the postman on top of the washing machine. Film your escapades. Sell the film. You will earn enough money to pay for the substitute book.


    1. I'll just go and check that out with my husband and let you know ...

  12. What a giggle.
    A talking parcel reminds me of going to a sing-a-long "The Sound of Music" My friend went as "brown paper packages tied up with string" which was hilarious seeing singing along. I went as a Nun - of course.

    My kids order so much from Amazon that people will begin to think I have a thing going with the postman ( he is tiny and couldn't possibly carry a washing machine ! )

    1. That's funny! That must win the prize for the Most Uncomfortable Fancy Dress Costume Ever.

  13. If you'd got in on Kindle you could have downloaded it wirelessly in nanoseconds. Just sayin'.

    1. I know, I know, and I do have a kindle. But I ordered it ages ago from Amazon before I did.

  14. I have to say Fran, I think that was one of the funniest posts you have ever written .... and you are bloody good at writing funny posts. I actually laughed out loud (on my own)!

    The bit where the text went small because the postman was behind the parcel .... well funny! I need to use that brilliant idea on my own blog. Thanks for the laughs ;-)

  15. Thanks, Annie, for your kind comments. My favourite features on here are the little fonts and the crossing-out thing. A gift. (By the way, laughing while on your own is perfectly acceptable. I find, when in front of the mirror, that the same happens to me.)

  16. Hilarious post, Fran. And reminded me of the time I ordered panty liners from Tesco in my on-line shop and because they were out of stock they substituted them with what they said was the closest item to my original order - barbeque skewers!!!????
    Anna May x

    1. Ha ha! We once got large oranges instead of cotton wool balls. Online shopping is just the best entertainment. Thanks for comment.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Reasons why Fran is desperately in search of earbuds

Evidence that we don't always have the right words to say at the right time

Evidence of Fran's near-death experience