Big Chuck

I did something last week that I never thought I would do. And I think I may be the last person to have done it.

I finally ordered from Amazon.

It just never dawned on me over these many years to open an Amazon account. I guess I never needed something so bad that I opted to get it sent to my door in 48 hours. I don’t like to shop in general. But Amazon? Nope, never thought I would do that.

Finally, last week my wife decided that it was time to drag these old bones into the 21st century. “Why don’t you open an Amazon account, Chuck, and just try it?” Warily, I said OK.

She walked me through the steps on how to open an account, we filled out the appropriate online account information for me and within five minutes I was ready to go.

“Now what?” I asked Trish. “Go ahead, silly. Order something,” she said, smiling.

Well, I didn’t want anything, but I played along and gave it a shot. I thumbed through pages of appliances, computer items, sporting equipment, health and beauty aids, auto accessories and more.

“Oh, stop will you? Just order a shirt for God’s sake,” my exasperated wife said.

I did.

I found the kind of shirt I like to wear, in the color I like and in my size. When it came to shirt size, I actually had a bit of a revelation. They had my size! Yes, I am a big guy and I can’t find stuff that will fit me in almost any local store. “Hmmm,” I thought. “This might be interesting.”

I clicked “add to my cart” and went to the virtual checkout. After paying Mr. Amazon (or is it Ms. Amazon?) I was shown the delivery details. It would arrive in like 10 minutes, it said. Not really, but it seemed like that. Actually, it was two days. “Amazing,” I said to Trish. “Yes, honey, we are Prime,” she said.

I have no idea what that even means but I like it. I am Prime! Who would have ever guessed?

The delivery time was specific, and you know what? The shirt, my first Amazon order, arrived within five minutes of the projected time they told me. Wow. No drones, yet. But it arrived safe and sound, and I am wearing the shirt with pride.

It was an easy experience, but honestly at my age I just don’t buy things anymore. And when I do, I like to go to a local store, touch it, feel it, examine it, try it on and then support the local economy. Trish does, too. But with her busy schedule she does buy a bunch on Amazon (but not books). A lot of it is little things for our grandchildren who are spread out all over the place.

But for me, well, I think my “add to carts” will probably be few and far between. Amazon is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. It was founded on July 5, 1994, by Jeff Bezos in Bellevue, Washington. It started very small by just selling books, and now it sells, I think, almost everything you can imagine. From a tube of lipstick to a real diamond and everything in between.

Form that small Washington book seller, Amazon has become the largest internet company in the world. Not wanting to get into all the controversies that have popped up, like poor working conditions, paying no income tax, and other messy things, the company is a marvel. Imagine. They ship 3.5 billion packages a year. That is billion with a “b.” How on earth do they keep that (for the most part) straight? I mean, I lose my keys in my house three times a week.

So now I have done it. My first Amazon order. It was fun, but I think I will still rather go into a store, ask around, chat with the clerk, and pay cash to some local merchant. Will I ever do it again, though? Probably.

I can only imagine the day of the delivery of my new shirt. The UPS guy pulls up front of my house, digs my brown cardboard delivery box out and walks up my driveway. He must have been shocked to see that this Amazon delivery was for me and not Trish.

“Well, well. Big Chuck is finally Prime,” he probably laughed as he placed the package in my doorway.

Yes, Prime. It does feel good!

I’ll catch you in two ….

“Big Chuck” D’Imperio’s morning radio show can be heard weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. on WDOS-AM 730 in Otsego County, WDLA-AM 1270 in Delaware County and WCHN-AM 970 in Chenango County. All of his columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/opinion/columns.