It’s 3:15am and Outlook bings. That’ll be Ted Turner, I think – before remembering that Outlook isn’t a fax machine and I’m not Hunter S. Thompson. In any event, it’s Waitrose.

This email is a gentle reminder that you could be running out of groceries and therefore may need to place another order with Ocado.

Shit, they’re right. I am running out of groceries. We’re all running out of groceries. And it’s a situation that Waitrose is really concerned about. They sent me a postcard yesterday, saying much the same thing, personalised with my street name. Thank God someone invented the future or we’d never have any of this shit.

Another thing we wouldn’t have is speed dating – truly, honestly the most reliable indicator we have that humanity, as a species, has jumped the shark; the carnal equivalent of the conveyor-belt round on the Generation Game, with human meat in place of blenders and cuddly bears. List all the people you can remember and win their Hotmail addresses. Good game.

Incidentally a useful first question to ask when you meet someone for the first time – male or female – is whether they’ve ever tried speed dating. If they have, and they’re not a features hack from the Guardian or Grazia, simply turn on your heel and walk away.…

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