Thursday, October 17, 2013 5:52 PM
Aaah! What a difference a day makes. The happy couple, off in Cancun, are not here anymore and, while we miss them, it sure is quiet around here with just Spencer and the Wonder Dog (and Bear and I). Politically, the fiscal disaster has been averted but perhaps more importantly, the Tea Partiers’ disastrous tactics have been roundly condemned in poll after poll. You won’t be able to tell from listening to them because one of their hallmarks is to talk ‘through’ realities and ‘preach’ their crazy gospel at the same time. Then there’s the great time I had recording videos yesterday (please feel free to give’em a listen on YouTube) and the fact that I thought I was out of tobacco, but then found a whole tin I’d forgotten about—so my ‘next day rush’ order for more will not be a marathon nic-fit. Add a hot cup of coffee and the day couldn’t be better.
The greatest new thing (as Rachel Maddow would say) is Peapod. It may not be available in your area, but they have me for a new customer. Peapod is a website that lets you shop in the Shop&Go online and have your groceries delivered the next day! I’ve just tried it out, I ordered cookies and cheese and cereal and lots of other stuff and the next day, Poof!, there it was at the door. This may seem silly to a lot of people, but I no longer have a car. And even if I had a car, it’s difficult for me to go and drive and shop and bag and lift and load and carry and put away.
Up until now I’ve been relying on Claire to do all the shopping—but now I can have anything I want, no muss, no fuss. It’s so luxurious I haven’t gone on Peapod a second time yet—I’m still enjoying the pleasure of having stuff delivered. It always bothered me—I mean, a lot of places deliver stuff—pizza, Chinese food, UPS, Amazon-dot-com—but nobody ever delivers what I want most—food and drinks, fresh produce, bread, and sundries.
And they used to. I remember our old house in Katonah had a boarded up rectangle in the kitchen wall—and the same on the outside wall of the house. Someone explained that that was once the ‘grocer’s pantry’. The delivery boy would deliver groceries to this over-sized cupboard without having to ring the bell or be let inside. Likewise, the cook could then unload the grocer’s pantry from inside the kitchen. Back before the Model T, delivery boys and messenger boys were everywhere—better for them to run back and forth than the customers.
But it’s been decades now since the internet first started casting about for a cost-effective technique for online grocery shopping and delivery—and Peapod is the first successful prototype of this concept. I’m very excited.
When I was a boy, one of my favorite books was “My Big Ball Of String”, written and illustrated by Marion Holland, 1958. A boy gets a cold and has to stay in bed. To satisfy his needs without getting out of bed, he begins to tie a string to the light switch, and then the doorknob, and pretty soon he’s got zip-lines and pulleys and his room looks like a giant spider web. I was enchanted by this vision of remote control.
Ever since the Internet arrived, I’ve been searching for new ways to do anything I want from inside my home. And Peapod is my newest ‘string’.
p.s. check out my movie reviews at StreetArticles.com