The website acknowledged my order for a bookcase and then displayed on the screen a recommendation for something I might wish to buy, based, in their words, on my selection. My selection, let me remind you, was a bookcase. [OK, we get the picture: Ed]
The item actually recommended for me, based on my order of ... well, you know what it was ... was a CD entitled If I can dream: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Let us leave aside the fact that Mr. Presley never performed with this orchestra (he never even bothered to perform in the UK) for this hot waxing consists of a mix of old recordings of him singing and some more recent ones of them playing the accompaniment, or so I gather from the description since I have not bothered to listen to it. Why on earth anyone would concoct such a musical abortion is beyond even my fervid imagination.
What is really boggling my mind is how these two items, the ordinary piece of furniture, and the utterly pointless remix, go together in such a way that having bought one, the algorithms used by the retailer should suggest the other. Perhaps the fact that there is an 'E' in both descriptions? Did the King, as I am told some of his adherents describe him, own a really important bookcase that fans are keen to emulate? Anyway, here are some more sensible ideas:
- Some paint or varnish to brighten up the shelves
- Some books to place decoratively upon them
- A late Victorian-style carriage clock
- A vase or other ornament
- A book entitled "50 cheap books to buy and put on your newly acquired bookcase so as to impress your friends"
Or is it me? The next time I buy a sofa must I also get The Sex Pistols Greatest Hits performed by the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain? Does a tin of beans qualify me for Bach B Minor Mass with special guest stars Madonna, Adele, Rihanna, Dido and Lady Gaga? Should I be going "Yes, yes, I want to buy a table lamp, now rush me my 50 popular football chants by Coldplay and the massed bands of the RAF? Oh well, at least I can stack them all on my new bookcase.