Prime Now, the Amazon service that promises one- and two-hour delivery of a certain subset of items from Amazon.com to certain geographical locations, rolled out to my area a few months ago. I wasn’t sure this was a service I actually required (what can’t wait a day or two?), but an offer of free money to spend on trying the service out for the first time ultimately enticed me.
It worked well. In fact, it felt a little magical. I ordered some peppermint tea, black licorice, and Sharpie markers, and they were dropped on my doorstep less than two hours later by a friendly driver whose trip from the fulfillment center I could track on an interactive map in real time. For two-hour delivery, there was no charge. There was a suggested tip, which seemed reasonable.
Of course, in the time I spent repeatedly refreshing the map to see how close the driver was getting and where else his little dot was stopping, I could have walked to a store and bought some peppermint tea, black licorice, and Sharpie markers. But this was easier and, also, free money.
As I browsed the Prime Now store to put my order together, two reactions jockeyed for position inside my head. One was “How cool that you can get ________ on such short notice!” The other was “Why would anyone possibly need ________ on such short notice? Don’t people plan for anything these days?”
Here are some of the items I saw, along with what I imagine to be the thought processes of people needing them delivered so quickly:
Clothesline and 100-pack of clothespins
I have all these wet clothes in my arms and I don’t know what to do with them.
Dumb me, ordering spinach salad on a date. Now if I can just keep him here another hour, without smiling, until the Amazon guy comes…
101 Dog Tricks (book)
People are coming over this afternoon and my dog isn’t nearly entertaining enough.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (book)
People will be here in 90 minutes and this house is a mess.
Candyland board game
This party may be dull now, but JUST WAIT.
The board game didn’t work. These people are awful. If I disguise myself, maybe I can get out of here without anyone noticing.
3 lb bag of grass seed
Friends will be here in two hours and I bragged to them about all the fun we’d have on my lush lawn. Which I haven’t technically grown yet.
Vacuum-sealing food storage device with accessories
THESE CHIPS ARE GETTING STALER BY THE MINUTE.
20-piece set of stainless steel flatware
Eating this pasta with my fingers is proving surprisingly difficult.
WHERE DO I SET THE BABY DOWN? Nine months of pregnancy left me little time to consider this. Quick, my arms are getting tired.
It just occurred to me that there’s an alternative to leaving the baby home alone every time I go out jogging. I leave in an hour.
85-piece first aid kit
Sure, you’re bleeding a lot from that gaping head wound NOW, but it’s bound to slow down over the next hour or so. Hold tight awhile. There’s no way I’m taking you to an emergency room for this.
AAA 42-piece emergency road assistance kit
My car’s dead on the side of I-80 and there’s no way I’m using one of my AAA road service calls for this.
The frame of my car appears to have cracked in half and these items in the emergency road assistance kit aren’t helping.
Snowmobile balaclava (mask)
My days are so unpredictable that I didn’t even know I’d be RIDING A SNOWMOBILE until this very moment.
The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer (book)
Literally just remembered that my wedding is today.
This toddler is entirely too quiet.
They come 200 to a bottle. I’ve watched their count dwindle over the past six months but couldn’t have predicted they’d run out today, nor am I willing to skip a day.
Rapid egg cooker
I need to cook an egg and I only have one hour plus five minutes.
The Eagles’ Greatest Hits (CD)
Got a girl coming over at 6 and she likes easy listening.
Casio keyboard with stand
Maybe I can learn to play “Desperado” by then and she’ll be really impressed.
Humane, no-kill chipmunk trap
Not another hour shall pass without something being done about this infernal chipmunk problem.
It’s 9 PM on April 15. If possible, I’d like to maximize my deductions.
Waist-trimming abdomen belt
I’m tired of feeling chunky and have set aside an hour to do something about it once and for all.
Oh no, all these other people are wearing tutus and I look like an idiot.
Megaphone with 800-yard range
I’m in a situation that requires speaking to people spread out over 800 yards and did not foresee that achieving sufficient volume to be heard by all of them at the same time might present a problem.
Holding my pants up manually has been fine so far, but the people currently walking toward me look like they’ll want to shake hands.
I’m tired of scorching my skin every time I grab a cookie sheet with my bare hand and I still have 200 cookies to bake tonight.
I invited a person over but did not anticipate that he might want to sit.
Nitrile gloves, FDA-approved for medical use
Who knew this home spleen removal would prove such a messy ordeal?