Column | Lost in the Amazon, the retailer we hate to love

President Trump and I disagree on several important issues, including the disrespectful and insulting nicknames he has given his opponents. I mean, there’s Little Marco, Little Jeff Zucker, Little Adam Schiff, “Liddle’” Bob Corker, and Little Rocket Man (now his potential little buddy, apparently). Where is his creativity and imagination? Hasn’t the president ever heard of a thesaurus? How about Miniscule Marco, Shrimpy Adam Schiff or Bitsy Bob Corker?

One thing we do agree on, though, is our frustration with Amazon.

Besides the fact that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is one facial scar and miniature clone in a baby carrier away from qualifying as Dr. Evil’s body double, I received an email last week indicating that my Amazon Prime membership fee is going up – AGAIN! Now that they have us hooked on express shipping, they know good and well that we can’t bear to wait more than two days for our Vine-Shaped Bedroom Fairy Lights or our Millennium Falcon Two-Man Pool Floats to arrive. What kind of monsters are these people?

But the impact of Amazon doesn’t end with my coughing up $119 per year to have my Original Squatty Potty Bathroom Toilet Stool delivered before my next trip to the thunder box. Thanks to online retailers like Amazon, iconic American stores like Toys R US and Radio Shack are closing (and Sears is currently on a continual Diehard defibrillator), not to mention the countless mom and pop businesses that Amazon has pushed to the brink of bankruptcy. Why, I have a good mind to stay offline, get on the “Buy Local” bandwagon and travel three whole miles to Walmart the next time I need a Pink Faux Fur Rolling Task Chair!

Amazon has even taken the sport out of gift giving. There was a time when I would drive for hours throughout East Texas and beyond, risking life and limb (of fellow drivers), and doing my part to melt Antarctica with fossil fuel emissions while searching obsessively for a Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood “You Are Special” T-Shirt in just the right size. It was as if I was Tom Cruise on an impossible mission to make another action movie without rupturing my one remaining un-ruptured body part, and it gave me real purpose. Nowadays, I just pick up my iPhone, click a couple of buttons, and buy exactly what my kids tell me to – and I don’t even have to put on pants. In fact, in certain moments of stunning irony (to the dismay of family members), I’ve risked tearing a hole in the space-time continuum by purchasing pants while not wearing any!

Heck, my three daughters don’t even let me surprise them on birthdays and holidays anymore. They simply load up the “Saved for Later” section of my Amazon shopping cart with household necessities like Wireless Bluetooth Sport Earbuds, Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffusers, and Pullover Pocket Cat-Ear Hoodies. (Yes, these are from my actual Amazon order history.)

Gone are the Christmases full of mystery gifts received with anticipation and opened with feigned gratitude – disguising utter disappointment. These days, if I try to buy my girls something without consulting them first, I get the inevitable, “Daddy, I was looking at our Amazon shopping cart, and it’s not that I wouldn’t love some Wonder Woman Plush Boot House Slippers With Attached Cape, but could we swap them for a Mini Portable Wireless Photo Printer Compatible with Android and iOS? I went ahead and added it to our shopping cart, just in case!”

Sure, I could change our Amazon password, but since I can’t remember my wife’s name most days … What was I saying?

Anyway, after careful consideration of the alterations to American life caused by the ostentatious convenience of Amazon, I’ve decided that Little Jeffrey Bezos can take his Prime membership with two-day shipping and … Oh, who am I kidding? I know I’ll pony up the increased fee, but I don’t have to like it.

Now excuse me while I order some pants.