A local shop for local people

…we’ll have no trouble here.

Well the League of Gentlemen may be officially over but it’s spirit lives on in our (not so) local sub post office. Our post has been somewhat erratic recently, with what our lad has described as the scary man doing our delivery at around 6pm every day. Our kid might only be 4 years old but I like to think he’s a fairly good judge of character, so who am I to disagree?

In this instance the card through the door wasn’t from our nocturnal postman however, it was from Parcel Force. The back of the card had a helpful map and contact details of the local Parcel Force depot in Welwyn Garden City. The front of the card in a somewhat more cryptic scrawl, just said “This Here Road.” I was informed by my wife that This Here Road has somewhere on it’s several mile long length a sub post office and newsagent so it was to this establishment I took myself on Saturday morning after a trip to the dump round the corner. I arrived their just as my Al Qaeda endorsed digital watch clicked through to 9am.

The helpful chap on the newsagent counter told me I had to wait until 9am for the post office desk to open, even his clock said it was now cheerfully gone nine but I waited like a good boy. This was one of those old fashioned newsagents with a top shelf creaking under the weight of about 9 tonnes of pornography, which seemed to be interesting at least one of the paperboys who were waiting to get paid. The other paperboy was one of those comedians that think if they behave out-there and loud, adults wont know what to do. He’s obviously never met me before…

Paperboy (with cheeky grin): My, you’re very tall aren’t you?

Me (looking down over top of specs): Yes. But you’re not are you? Quite short in fact.

Paperboy: Ummmm…

Me: And why are you wearing your cycle helmet in doors? Dangerous is it?

Paperboy (turns red and shuffles off to look sideways at pornography)

Me: You’re not old enough to buy any of that porn are you?

I know I can be a complete shit at times but at least it helped pass the time until the sub post office eventually opened. It was manned (and I use that word advisedly) by some sort of witch woman. Grey of hair and bearded of chin, she was unapologetic of opening late. I gave her the card, she demanded ID, and not just a quick flash of it either, I had to pass it through the bullet proof counter to her.

Once she’d satisfied herself I was the genuine owner of the sorry we missed you card and not in fact a burglar who had eschewed the TV, Blu Ray player and games consoles in favour of the lucky dip of a parcel, she shuffled off to get it for me. It was then I made my mistake. I innocently asked, “So how come my parcels ended up here then?” I was curious more than anything how in ten years of living in this fair city I’d not had a trip to this hive of villainy before. The reply I got was, “Well we can send it to Welwyn Garden City instead if you’d prefer.” Suitable chastened and vowing never to engage anyone in conversation ever again, I left the shop, with my parcel and my life still intact.


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