We ran out of milk at around 9.30pm tonight. Tomorrow being Sunday, I thought it prudent to get some in immediately rather than attempting it on The Lord's day. Who knows how far we'd have to venture to find somewhere open and the thought of a day without proper tea fills both my mother and me with dread.
As it was raining, we took the car to the late night garage at the other end of town, only to find the shutters coming down at 10 o'clock. Taipei or London this may not be, but it ain't the Outer Hebrides either.
I swear I remember many occasions in the distant past when, after catching the last train from Brighton and before finally heading home, my friends and I sat on the wall outside the garage eating pasties and smoking cigarettes with only the alcohol in our blood to protect us from the cold and rain. Halcyon days.
It took another 3 miles to find somewhere open. I placed the milk on the counter and was asked by the cashier if I wanted anything else. "No thanks," I said cheerfully.
She pointed to the chocolates lined up by the till and said "Mars bar, only 66 pence?" as if reading from a script.
"No means no," I replied as politely as I could. What really irritated me was being put in a position where I had to force myself not to be rude to someone who was only doing as her employer insisted.
I want the convenience of the 24 hour garage but given that my reaction to her patter was probably comparatively civil, I wouldn't want to man it.