The lone protestor who stood in the way of the tanks in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago has now found a smarter way to do his weekly shop, thanks to the online delivery firm Ocado. Sung Xiao-Ping, 59 and definitely not lying dead at the bottom of a well, his skull crushed by the butt of a communist rifle, tears up when recalling his earlier foolishness in attempting to do all his shopping on foot, a thankless task in a country of more than one billion subjects where Lidl can get pretty crowded.
The former IT graduate is one of millions of survivors of that pretty uneventful day who have benefited from the country’s hi-tech boom and shared in the spoils of its economic miracle, a consequence of which is a thriving middle class who like their provisions delivered direct to the door. ‘Ocado is a home delivery service like no other and it doesn’t cost the earth – or indeed your life and those of your extended family and friends,’ he said.
‘If only it had been around in 1989, all of those ugly rumours about students being mown down in their thousands by trigger-happy army recruits, loyal to the party, could have been avoided. Anyway fake news aside, all of their stuff comes in cute, environmentally-friendly packaging, which is ironic when you think of how much fucking shit our glorious motherland pumps into the atmosphere. You won’t print that last bit will you?’
According to Sung, one of the great things about Ocado – aside from the delicious food – is that you never run the risk of finding your way home blocked by 300 People’s Liberation Army tanks trying to restore order in a peaceful, level-headed manner with minimal loss of life.
‘On that fateful day, I had some prawns in my bag and the thought of them defrosting caused me to lose my shit and take it out on the nearest tank commander,’ he said. As I scarpered away, I managed to drop an aubergine, but thankfully the authorities carried out thorough door-to-door searches in order to return it to me … well, all right, I did spend some time in a re-education camp. However, this was a valuable experience and I made a lot of friends there – around half a million Uighur Muslims for starters.’