Coffee heat rising

Thank you, Amazon…

Shopping at Amazon can be pricey. But if you attach a dollar value to your time (something I could justify a lot better when I was getting paid for more of my time…), it is very much worth it. Especially, I imagine, if you live in a city like Phoenix, where you put your life on the line every time you venture out into the homicidal traffic.

My venerable kitchen-sink scrub brush broke apart the last time the Cleaning Lady from Heaven was here. I need one of those…all the time. But hafta say…trudging off to a grocery store that carries them has NOT been what I want to do. AJ’s, my favorite venue for fresh produce and incidental groceries, does not carry hardware-store types of products. This is largely true of Sprouts, too. Costco has some of that kind of stuff, but decidedly not kitchen scrub-brushes. Albertson’s no doubt has them, but risking life and limb to walk across that store’s parking lot is counterproductive. Do I really want to make a special trip to a Safeway, a Fry’s, or an Albertson’s in a better part of town to buy…what? A plastic brush?

Well. No.

So I’ve put it off, largely because I tend to forget about it when I’m not standing at the sink. And of course because I feel uninclined to schlep all over the city for the sake of one, count it (1) cheesy item.

But lo! Have no fear! Amazon carries the things, in gay profusion.

Got two of those gadgets in the picture for seven bucks. I kinda doubt that Albertson’s will be selling them for much less than three or four bucks apiece.

Nay verily! At Albertson’s an identical model is $4.59 apiece!!

Between Amazon and Instacart, delivery services have saved me so much mileage that the monthly cost of gasoline here at the Funny Farm has gone way down. I hardly ever buy gas anymore — maybe once every two or three months. The only trips that consume much gas anymore are the endless jaunts to doctors, of which I am mightily sick&tired. If I didn’t have to run to a doctor or a dentist every time I turn around, I would hardly be buying any gasoline at all.

And that savings more than makes up for the extra cost of ordering something online and paying to have someone deliver it to your door.

Interestingly, too…the change of habits occasioned by the Plague and its lockdowns has cut back my driving habits to the point that it probably would make some sense to buy an electric vehicle. Before this, it would have made no sense at all…because I was driving hither, thither, and yon constantly through traffic and over roads that demand the vigor of a six-banger. I went out in the car almost every day. Now, though, I hardly ever drive. If I didn’t have to run to these damn doctors every time I turn around — and traipse to the physical therapist three times a week — I might not be taking that car out of the garage more than two or three times a month. If it were safe to walk down Conduit of Blight to the Sprouts and the Albertson’s (it decidedly is not!), the truth is that I could get by comfortably without a car.

The trick would be to rent a vehicle when one is necessary. Or use Uber, if one were so inclined.

DXH and I had neighbors who liked to visit Las Vegas with another couple. Two or three times a year they’d all pile into a car and drive up there. But to our initial amazement, they didn’t pile into one of their cars. They always rented a vehicle to drive across the desert.

This made a great deal of sense. For one thing, if you got in an accident, you didn’t crash your own car, thereby eliciting the enormous hassles and expenses so entailed. For another, they weren’t racking up mileage gratuitously on their own vehicles…and that, you no doubt have noticed, helps to keep your car insurance rates down. And for the third: our houses had carports, not garages equipped with doors that closed behind your car. So if you drove off in your car for a weekend in Nevada, that would be spectacularly obvious to the local burglars, who would quickly understand that you weren’t home and weren’t likely to be home anytime soon.

Whaddaya think? Do we really need these expensive gas-guzzlers anymore?

2 thoughts on “Thank you, Amazon…”

  1. Where I live it is absolutely necessary to own a vehicle. We are 30 miles from the closest grocery store and they do not deliver if you aren’t in town. Medical care is about 50 miles away. We have been doing curbside pickup for our groceries and even though we are both fully vaccinated we will continue that because they do an excellent job picking produce and meat and everything else on our list. They certainly do better than my husband lol! When we stayed in an Airbnb in Scottsdale there was a decent grocery store within walking distance (Bashas) but I would hate to have to walk a few blocks in over 100° temperature. When we did live in a city, the neighborhood senior center had a bus that would transport door to door for medical/dental appointments and grocery store outings. I have no idea if they charged for that. Is there anything like that available in Phoenix?

    • I think Phoenix’s reply to the transport issue would be Uber or taxicabs. The state has some kind of cab fare discount program for the elderly, but no…standing out in the heat waiting for a bus is not practical for anyone, to say nothing of people whose aging systems can be stressed unto death by temps in the 90s and 100s. And even though there are a fair number of grocery stores here, I’d venture that few people live within reasonable walking distance of one. And we have the crime issue: yes, I could walk to the Albertson’s, the Sprouts, the Ranch Market, a Walgreen’s, and a CVS, But doing so would guarantee that I would be hassled by panhandlers and stoned drug addicts, and it would put me at risk of being mugged or shot at.

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