Billboards around town are heralding a new Amazon service: They will deliver things to your house in an hour. Makes you want to order a 12-pack of Charmin then stand out on the boulevard hopping up and down when the truck pulls up. I suppose it’s useful for people who don’t want to go the store, but I like going to the store. You go for milk and come back with Green-and-Red Holiday Eggos and Sriracha Yogurt and a shoehorn and a can of Bison chunks for the dog. Delivery cannot provide that sense of random discovery.
On the other hand, the service will allow you to be robbed faster than before. Neighborhood message boards abound with tales of purloined packages, snatched from the stoop by criminals who follow the delivery vans like sharks following a cruise ship, waiting for someone to fall overboard. On the scale of perfidy, it’s not up there with carjacking or armed robbery, but these are low, miserable people. We’re not talking about some downtrodden Les Miserables types who hope the box they steal has bread and Pampers, and maybe a book on nuclear physics so they could learn a trade and leave this shameful life behind.
With Christmas approaching, it’ll only get worse. What to do? It’s obvious: Amazon needs to sell exploding dye packs. If you’re walking the dog, see a car idling, hear POOMPH! and see windows suddenly spattered with pink ink, call the cops. Someone tries to sell the pawnshop a coffee maker that’s dripping with paint and the seller’s face looks like he stuck his mug in the Spin-Art booth at the State Fair, you call the cops.
If half the stolen boxes showered the crook with skunky-smelling iridescent Crime Sauce, crooks would be confused. They might check Amazon to see what was going on, and look for “Theft prevention,” and learn which packages had dye packs.
But then they’d see the section of the page that says “Customers who shopped for stench-tastic detonating paint-sacks also shopped for,” and there would be things like: Box of Bees. Plutonium Swabs. Lice-o-Roni, the San Francisco Treat.
And they’d think twice about doing that again.