On living without private automotive transportation:

While cars are of dubious value as commuter transportation given short walking/cycling distances or reliable public transport and local shops and facilities, there are times when you really need one. Such as when transporting bulky items that cannot be carried easily on a bicycle, bus or train.

A particularly painful example of this is when purchasing consumer electronics goods. Without a car to transport them, there's no good way to get them back home. How else is one supposed to, say, replace one's television then?

Well, there's always the option of having it delivered. But this itself is far from ideal. First it implies some delay. I may be a child of the eighties, but when I buy a new television, I want it in my home now, dammit. Now now now!

Delivery times are awkward too. You normally have to stay home for at least half of a useful day; usually a week day (which may involve taking a valuable day of holiday from work). Sure they can be delivered and left somewhere like a hallway or something, but that puts the package at risk from thieves. A large, unmarked,widescreen-TV-shaped box left outside someone's appartment only ever means one thing: valuable consumer durables. Not something worthless, not something dangerous. Never, say, a box of ninjas.

Sleep-deprived noders somewhere in Balham,
early Saturday morning.

As I was waking up this morning, I heard a knock on my door. I was not for getting up. Feeling ill, tired, and cold despite the mild weather and two duvets, I remained exactly where I was for a good while more. When at last I had arranged to be warm enough to get out of bed, I peered out my appartment door, to find a very supsicious looking package in the hallway.

I brought it inside. US postmark. Anthrax? Trademark 'Columbian padded mailer'. Drugs? I shook it. It rattled a little, but didn't explode.

I let it sit there for a while... silently waiting for me to open it. I approached, dagger in hand. Opening it carefully, to my horror, I discovered...

A box of ninjas!

Thank you :)