This lunchtime I went to the Post Office to buy some stamps. The Post Office seemed like a logical first point of call for such goods; one might almost have thought that stamps were the prime sales product of an establishment calling itself a Post Office.
Except that if you have visited a Post Office recently you might have noticed that they now sell a variety of other habadashery, ranging from tasteless glittery cards depicting the Queen Mother, cheap videos of films nobody likes such as Hudson Hawk and The Postman, those little snowstorm globes containing plastic scenes of the Houses of Parliament next to the Eifel Tower, and a myriad of Postman Pat merchandise.
And not, it appears, stamps.
“Could I have a book of first class stamps?” I asked the spotty kid at the counter.
“Sorry, we’ve run out,” he replied.
Run out? Of first class stamps? The Post Office?
“Very well, good Sir,” I hissed through my teeth, “I’ll have a book of second class stamps then.”
“We’ve run out of them as well,” the spotty kid responded.
I was forced to buy my stamps in Sainsbury’s, which is ironic really because I kicked up a bit of a fuss there a while ago because they’d run out of macaroons. Perhaps I should have tried the Post Office.