Credit card debt? What credit card debt? Oh, pour yourself another drink. The latest fun — and healthy! — thing we’re all doing under the influence of a little boozin’ is…shopping on our own personal computers, from home, at night, after a hard day’s work, with the jug of wine next to us. In a fascinating “trend” piece from the New York Times, it seems that not only are we shopping drunk — the online retailers actually want us to shop drunk. As long as we don’t return things the next day, of course.
Some things people have purchased while intoxicated, according to the article:
• a cat-shaped phone cover
• a $10,000 motorcycle tour of New Zealand
• A pair of $3 sunglasses from eBay
• Heart’s Greatest Hits, on CD
While a comparison shopping site surveying British online shoppers said that almost half fit the category of shopping-under-the-influence, it’s hard to say whether those stats apply in the same way to American shoppers. And until there is a computer breathalyzer (or a very difficult CAPTCHA) your chosen shopping entity will likely never know whether, or what, you’ve imbibed before buying that cat-shaped thing. (Except, obviously you have.)
No shame in that. Further, according to the article, shopping drunk can add to the fun and exciting emotional journey provided by your credit card. Best case scenario, you will react this way to your purchase upon its sudden, surprising arrival:
“I was drunk and I bought it, and I forgot about it, and it showed up in the mail, and I was really excited.”
This is like the “Set it, and forget it” of drunken, online shopping. Worst case, you’ll pretend it all never happened when you wake up in the morning next to the proverbial chicken carcass. Which is good practice for life, really. Still. Beware of online sales that start at 9 p.m. If you’re feeling unsure of yourself, tweet something instead!
Online shopping under the influence seems, at least, better — or, less prone to police involvement — than actual shopping under the influence, according to these instances:
On Thanksgiving night around 11 p.m., a shopper at a Walmart in Florence, Ala., was stumbling in the aisles and grabbing onto items; police officers shot him with a stun gun and charged him with public intoxication. At a Best Buy in Lufkin, Tex., a drunken man disappeared into a bathroom around 4 a.m. on Black Friday and tried to flush a cable down the toilet, apparently to avoid being caught shoplifting.
Cheers to online progress, which means the only cable you flush will be your own.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 28, 2011