Zak Asgard

The despair of Deliveroo

Self-pity, direct to your door

  • From Spectator Life

Self-pity and Deliveroo go hand in hand. You can’t have the latter without the former. It’s impossible to watch a rain-drenched driver fight with his moped’s side stand – while you sit torpidly in your pants by the window – without the heavy feeling of self-loathing. There’s something shameful about it, something pathetic.

If Dante were alive now, he’d add another layer to hell: Deliveroo users. And I’m one of them. If using Deliveroo is a sin, call me Hester Prynne. I too have tasted the nectar. I too have dribbled over a box of tungsten nuggets and a semifluid dipping sauce.

I’m not anti-technology. I’m anti-technology that makes us a worse version of ourselves

We know it’s not a good idea. We know that we can’t afford it, that it makes us lazy, that it’s the culinary equivalent of a quickie with a halfhearted escort. We know that it’s one of the many modern inventions designed to make us dependent on technology. But still, we surrender to it like background characters in a Huxley novel.

And just like Uber, Amazon Prime, Pornhub, and YouTube shorts, these delivery apps are embedded into the fabric of modern life. Hang on. Don’t worry. I’m not about to go off on a Unabomber-inspired rant. All I’m saying is that we need to evaluate the world we’re creating for ourselves: an increasingly expensive and gluttonous one.

Takeaways used to be an occasion – a luxury. The whole concept of a takeaway rests on comfort. You can sit three feet from your bathroom and two feet from your television while the sweet aromas of the Akash Tandoori seep into your furniture. It’s a bi-monthly thing. Maybe a weekly occurrence if you’re the busy sort. That’s it. The rest of the time it’s a hardy attempt at navigating the stove or the treat of eating out.

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