I am an experienced Amazon shopper—like, if I tallied up the amount of orders I've placed since the mid-1990s I might have a sum that could have paid for one of the 1950s Chevy Apache trucks Matt longs to buy on the internet. (I do not recommend tallying one's lifetime Amazon purchases, especially if you are an experienced Amazon shopper). I do spread plenty of purchases around at brick and mortar stores, but I am an early adopter and big believer in the usually perfect shopping system that is Amazon Prime.
The past month, however, has been filled with Amazon Fails.
It all started (as so many good stories do) with the Ebay King, aka The Sunbeam of Knowledge, aka He Who Must Have the Right Tool for the Job.
Our ice cream scoop was shot—had been shot for more than a year, maybe even more than three. Once completely functional and serviceable, it had begun to store water underneath the rubber coating of the handle, which was suddenly all slippery-slidey. You might be scooping your ice cream when suddenly unidentified moisture might explode all over your hand, or even worse, your ice cream. So, Matt went to work to find the best ice cream scoop possible: The Zeroll (the 2.5 oz scoop one, as he estimated this was the best scoop size for our family). Incidentally, Martha Stewart came to this conclusion independently from Matt, as I recently spotted an article about the Zeroll in an old back issue of Everyday Food. Matt and Martha: more alike than different. Heh.
So we bought one. It wasn't really that expensive for being The Best Ice Cream Scoop Possible, and we loved it so much that I decided to get my sisters one as a very belated gift for their birthdays. For some reason Amazon did not allow me to choose gift options, but I ordered it anyway. It arrived quickly (yay Amazon Prime!) before I really had my act together to get a (belated) birthday card in the mail.
Katherine was understandably confused when The Best Ice Cream Scoop Possible showed up on her doorstep without explanation. She turned to the world's most useful private public investigator, Facebook, to solve the mystery. You can read about that here.
Fast forward a few weeks when Matt decided to replace our slippery-slidey gross-water-holding pizza cutter as well. It, too, was once completely functional and serviceable and then suddenly it was not, suffering the same disorder as the ice cream scoop. Research pointed to an inexpensive pizza cutting tool that resembles a handheld guillotine. He ordered it. I happened to be on the computer at the same time the confirmation email came in, so I noticed that somehow Marie's address had been saved as the default address and the handheld guillotine was headed to her instead of us—I can only assume because she was the last person that received an order through our account. I fixed the order and didn't give it any more thought. (The pizza cutter is great, by the way!) A narrowly averted Fail.
So this week... I had been putting a big Amazon order together that included some very random items:
+ three tins of Cafe du Monde chickory coffee
+ an egg cooker (don't judge, someone in this house dreams of perfectly cooked eggs)
+ an automatic ice cream maker (it's a very long story)
+ two books for Lily's (belated) birthday gift: The Island of the Aunts and The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
+ an embarrassingly belated birthday gift for Charlie: When Dinosaurs Came With Everything
and most importantly
+ a multi-pack of Cinnamon ACT rinse, because it is as rare as gold and unicorn horns and can only be found as an add-on order at Amazon. Also, it is the Ebay King's favorite.
I waited impatiently all day for UPS to arrive (the UPS schedule here is crazy, because sometimes he comes at 11:15 am and sometimes at 2:20 pm and sometimes at 8:34 pm). I wanted to get the package ready to send to Lily, Charlie, and Jack in time for my Wednesday trip to the post office in Shreveport. I noticed while speed scanning Facebook today that Marie was wondering who had sent her a random package, but I didn't really think much of it—especially when Katherine later claimed responsibility, having sent Lily a leather journal for her (belated) birthday gift.
Here's the ridiculous part: if you've ever ordered a bunch of stuff all at once from Amazon, you know that they send it box by box vs. finding one big box to put it all in, though they don't always put separate invoices in each and every box. So Marie received random boxes all day. Not just any boxes, though, but boxes that seemed very much meant for her (or a member of her family). An egg cooker? Perfect for Charlie the egg salad sandwich lover. The Hero's Guide? Island of the Aunts, which says right on the back "perfect for Harry Potter fans!!"... yes please, said Lily. Dinosaurs? Also perfect for Charlie. Coffee? Marie loves coffee. A beautiful leather-bound journal in yet another temporarily unclaimed mystery box? Again, perfect for the budding artist in residence, aka Lillian Taylor. Ice cream maker? WHO DOESN'T WANT TO BE GIFTED A RANDOM AUTOMATIC ICE CREAM MAKER, no?
But Cinnamon ACT rinse/mouthwash?
Suddenly this anonymous benefactor was getting really weird. And creepy. And quite frankly, RUDE.
So when Marie mentioned later that one of the random mystery items was an ice cream maker, I realized the disastrous Amazon Fail: all the stuff I ordered had been delivered to her house. AWESOME.
Once I realized what had happened, I called Marie where we cackle-stomped on the phone for a while, as our children eye-rolled at Crazy Aunt Marie and Crazy Mama (or Crazy Aunt Elizabeth and Crazy Mama, depending on the vantage point). I canNOT believe that this happened, and proceeded to angrily edit my Amazon address book and stupid One-Click settings while Marie cackle-stomped some more. (Never use One-Click Purchasing! Never! It messes up everything, even if you used it once and and never used it again!) My elaborate plans were quashed to put together a (belated) birthday box for my niece and nephews, and Marie has to drag the rest of our stuff to the post office tomorrow where they do not offer USPS Prime with free shipping guaranteed to arrive in two days.
She is, however, relieved that someone didn't really send her mouthwash as a gift.