Thursday, December 01, 2005

Three more cheers for Amazon!

From Ananova:

Ozzy: Xmas shopping would drive me to drink

Ozzy Osbourne says Christmas shopping with his wife Sharon would drive him back to drink and drugs.

According to Heat magazine he said: "I hate shopping. Especially with my wife! If anything was to drive me back to drink and drugs it would be going to Harrods with Sharon for the day."

You get the impression that Ozzy is probably always on the verge of falling off the wagon, but I know what he means.

I remember reading something that said some men get the same levels of stress from High Street shopping that you’d expect to see in fighter pilots going into combat.


Duck said...

I think that it has something to do with the interminable duration of these shopping safaris. Women never give any useful estimate of how long the trip will be. As with project estimates, always multiply by a factor of 10. "Just a moment" means 1 hour, "five minutes" means two hours, "awhile" means until the security guard wrestles you out the door at closing time.

I also think it has something to do with their nasty habit of looking at every friggin piece of merchandise in every friggin store in the mall, even if they are only looking for one thing.

martpol said...

To be a little more specific: the problem in Cardiff isn't the shopping or the shoppers, it's the shops themselves. Contractors have been tirelessly smashing up perfectly good shop fronts for about three years now, all in the search for the ultimate uniform, steel-and-glass high street of the future. The problem with going shopping in Cardiff is not walking into (or being pushed into) scaffolding poles, JCBs, open manholes and cement mixers.

Brit said...

Being an analytical sort of person, I have often tried to pinpoint exactly why shopping trips with Mrs Think of England, which start off in a perfectly amiable fashion, always seem to end up in acrimony and argument.

After all, she is quite happy when shopping with other females, and I’m quite capable of going shopping by myself without disaster, and no other shared activity seems to create these problems.

I’ve narrowed it down to these factors:

1) I dislike crowds to a disproportionate degree
2) I need hunger and caffeine breaks, and she doesn’t.
3) I decide quickly whether I want to buy something, and she doesn’t.
4) Once I’ve seen something I wish to buy, I don’t then need to see every other bloody thing in every bloody shop before going back to buy it anyway.
5) I am required to offer an opinion on things, usually items of clothing, about which I have absolutely no opinion one way or the other. If I finally do offer a preference, it is ignored anyway. This begins to grate after a few hours.
6) And this is the killer, I like to have a carefully worked-out shopping strategy of almost military precision. My idea of shopping is to be in town absurdly early, just as the shops are opening, armed with a list and with a clear plan of which shops to hit in which order, to execute this plan with minimum deviation, and to get the hell out before the crowds descend.

Mrs TofE, on the other hand, is quite happy to turn up at the shops at any old time and wander around them in any old order without even having a clear idea of what she wants to buy! Well, I ask you.

Of course, it has also occurred to me that being an analytical sort of person who writes a numbered list of the reasons why he doesn’t like shopping may also be part of the problem...

creeper said...

I know this is off topic to the post at hand, but Brit, what happened on Orrin's recent "Witches Fight Back" thread? Your last comment simply says "Cool." and then the comments are closed off. That sounds an awful lot like he may have edited your comment and then done a runner. Did he delete or edit any of your comments?

Hey Skipper said...

Speaking as a fighter pilot who has been in combat, I think the comparison is entirely imbalanced.

I'd much rather be in combat.

Duck said...

2) I need hunger and caffeine breaks, and she doesn’t.

Shopping is their caffeine. Actually it is stronger than that, it is their crack cocaine.

Skipper, I thought of you when I read the post, and thought you might say something like that. At least in combat you have an identifiable enemy that you can engage and either be victorious or blown out of the sky.

Hey Skipper said...

All the evidence you might need to completely determine women have different brains than we do is in the shopping act.

For women it is a sensory/social experience -- they have to touch and consider everything, and the interaction with the sales staff is indispensable.

(Heck, women even interact with catalogs differently. Have you ever noticed that when women point something out in a catalog, they never just point? Instead they actually trace the item with their finger as they talk about it.)

I predict internet shopping will never replace brick & mortar for these reasons. Just like with "issues," where women don't want a solution so much as to mull the problem into submission, women get at least as much pleasure out of shopping as buying.


You are basically right, although I might add that in combat, you are more likely to get out uninjured.

Brit said...


No, I did actually write only 'Cool' this time. Nothing else seemed necessary.

There comes a point where argument ceases to be rational and just becomes silly - how can you argue with something like OJ's last statement in that thread? It would be like arguing against a nursery rhyme.

Brit said...


Yes, that's an interesting point about women and their interaction with the sales staff.

When in a shop I have an irrational dread of being approached by assistants enquiring as to whether I 'need any help'. Yet I'm quite personable and not remotely shy in normal social interaction.

Any idea what's going on?

Peter Burnet said...

A good list, Brit, but might you not also have added the stress that comes from repeated futile attempts to convey the basic mathematical concept that things on sale still cost money?


It's because you have a sublimated fear that if you say yes, you'll succumb to her wiles and charms, buy something to make her happy and before you know it you'll be meeting the parents and discussing colour schemes for the family room. Then, she'll break your heart.

Seriously, I'll bet if you think about it, you have no such problem with male assistants.


My goodness, man, are you now crossing the ocean to track down the evil Judd? The Mounties could use a man like you.

Brit said...


Yes, that is a good one.

Women have one version of money illogic, and men have another.

Women think that if they buy two things they didn't want at half-price, they've saved money.

Men think that if they don't spend money on something they were considering buying, or if they somehow avoid a bill or expense, then they've gained that as 'bonus money', and can spend it on any old junk. For example, I was going to put a bet on a recent football match, forgot to do it, and the result went against me anyway. So I then 'reasoned' that I had somehow gained the money I was going to wager, and could spend it on a bottle of wine with a clear conscience.

There's a character in Austen, I think it's Northanger Abbey, who is always at that game


I think your point about the assistants should have been aimed at me, rather than Skipper. No doubt Skipper is perfectly suave with the pretty counter-girls.

I'm not sure it's a gender thing. I just seem to feel guilty if I don't buy anything when they're so polite.