THE WARMER weather has meant people are stocking up on pool accessories and toys, but one mum got a little more than she bargained for.
Debbie Campbell was thrilled when she spotted a bargain £2 lilo on eBay – but she wasn't quite expecting what turned up.
The mum-of-three first spotted the inflatable lounger in French Connection but discovered it had sold out in all stores.
After searching in her usual shopping haunts, the mum-of-three turned to eBay and was delighted to find one available for the bargain price of £2 plus £3 posting and packaging.
As the sole bidder, carer Debbie won the auction and waited eagerly for it to land so she could try it out in her swimming pool.
But when the parcel arrived and she opened the package, the 45-year-old who has a 'phobia of pants' was stunned to discover the semi-nude model staring back at her.
You see, Debbie did notice the image of the man but she thought it was just the advertising on the packaging, and she wasn't expecting it to be blown up on her lilo.
Already red-faced by her innocent blunder, Debbie noticed something much worse.
She was left gobsmacked when she noticed the cheeky air valves were positioned over his mouth and his flesh-coloured pants – making it appear very rude.
Debbie, from Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, said: "When I saw the picture of the lilo online I noticed it said 'FCUK' so I thought it was going to have that on it.
"I thought the picture of the man was a model lying on the lilo that I would get, I didn't think the man would be on my lilo.
"When I told my friend she said 'oh my god you've ordered one with a man on it' and I said 'oh don't be silly it's just a picture'.
"When I first opened it the lilo was folded in a way that when you took it out of the packet you could see his face and the first blow hole.
"I did the video for my friend and said 'oh my god it gets even worse, look where I have to blow it up' then I opened the rest of it and then I saw where you had to blow the other half up from.
"When I realised there was a bloke on the lilo I thought it couldn't get any worse.
"To blow it up from the mouth was another level but when I saw the other blow hole I just couldn't believe it.
"The model is wearing flesh-coloured pants. I've got a phobia of pants as well, I don't like them at all, that's probably the worst thing you could have put on the lilo.
"As they're flesh coloured, if you have a quick glance he actually looks naked."
Debbie claims the plugs kept popping open meaning the lilo would deflate and she was forced to gaffer tape them shut.
But by doing this, the model looking like he's been gagged – and it left her in hysterics.
"With the gaffer tape on it looks like he's been gagged," she said.
"I was just in hysterics looking at it. I couldn't believe I'd had to gaffer tape a lilo.
"I couldn't think of any other way [of keeping it inflated].
"I wanted to hold the plugs down and I thought that if I used glue then I wouldn't be able to pump it up when it naturally deflates.
"The only other thing I could find in the cupboard was really strong gaffer tape. It worked though and it's still up."
The bemused family now only uses the lilo face down in the pool as they can't face seeing him peering up at them while swim.
Debbie said the situation has given her and pals online a good laugh – and she conceded it's the best fiver she's ever spent.
She said: "I think it's hilarious. I ordered another one and gave it to my dad for father's day – my dad has a really good sense of humour.
"It turned out to be my best online purchase ever, it's given all of us such a good laugh.
"It's well worth the money I spent on it, I would never want my money back."
Sharing her online shopping fail on social media, the post went viral racking up more than 9,000 likes, shares and comments.
Debbie, who's mum to Mitchell Campbell, 19, Taylah-Ivy Campbell, 11, and five-year-old Albie Campbell, shared her lilo dilemma on Facebook, writing: "Just thought I'd give everyone a tip for future purchases, check the eBay listing and photos properly when buying a lilo!
"I thought the photo was a model lying on the lilo, but no he is actually printed on it. But hold on it gets worse.
"I removed [it] from [the] packaging and saw I had to blow it up where his mouth is and thought that was shocking, then after further unravelling I realised where the other half had to be blown up from!
"At that point I thought that was as bad as it could possibly get, but oh no the plugs kept popping out and deflating meaning the only choice was to gaffer tape them shut.
"So please don't buy things in haste and read the small print."
Facebook users found the online shopping fail hilarious.
One person wrote: "This is the sort of muddle I would get into, gave me a real giggle."
Another commented: "This is genuinely the funniest thing I've ever seen."
Someone else wrote: "This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long while … makes my duff purchases pale into insignificance now."
Kennedy News and Media contacted French Connection and eBay for comment.
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