Chris van Schaick: I don’t want a relationship with McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits

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Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Chris is becoming afraid to log-on after several of his online purchase companies want to take the relationship to the next level

I have to report that a new breed of bunny boiler is on the march. For those not paying attention in the 1980s, the term comes from the film Fatal Attraction. The family man played by Michael Douglas has an extra marital fling with the Glenn Close character. When he ends the relationship, she stalks him menacingly and the whole mess culminates with her simmering the family pet atop a designer stove. So it is that b.b. has come to mean an emotionally unstable spurned lover who turns dangerously vengeful.

The feminist in me needs to point out that although the term has acquired some unfortunately sexist connotations, men are just as capable as women of doing the boiling. Also, we should be clear that the specified mindset is not confined to the heterosexuals portrayed in the film. Those of all sexual orientations are capable of post-coital pet slaughter – except possibly the celibate... I digress.

The new bunny boilers are not individuals. They’re the e-commerce companies who won’t let me buy as much as a low energy light bulb online without wanting to have a long term relationship and possibly babies. It’s well-nigh impossible to buy anything from the internet now without the selling company wanting to be a lot more than just good friends. Whenever I hope the purchase will be a simple one night stand between consenting adults, I get pleading notes on email the next morning wanting to take it to the next level.

I might only be buying a new bike mudguard or a few cupboard handles. But from the tone of their messages, the e-commerce bunny boilers seem to think having my way and proceeding to basket creates a moral obligation to arrange candle-lit dinners and romantic walks.

Marketing types often say that nowadays “brands are a relationship.” But I don’t want a relationship with McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits. I just want to dunk one slyly in my tea while Mrs. v.S. is out of the room and then think no more about it.

My friends say “just click on unsubscribe”. But that brings forth more emotional blackmail. Tear stained drop down menus appear asking why I want to end it, desperately adding that they’ll always be there to re-kindle the relationship if I change my mind in the future. So I am beginning to feel more and more like Michael Douglas. I’m getting as scared to log on as he was to pick up the phone.

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Perhaps the moral is that I should never have dallied in the first place. I should have realised what I had in my 20-year relationship with the local hardware store. I shouldn’t have started satisfying my houseware needs online. That woody smelling, long term partner was a bit unglamorous. Unexciting sometimes. But dependable and loyal and certainly not the type to serve me up unwanted rabbit stew.

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