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Tuesday 12th December 2006

I finally got round to sending off the competition prizes today, after having got the script as far as I could in the time available to me. The prize winners can look forward to some prime junk arriving through their doors very soon. One of you got my copy of the Mr Methane DVD which the man himself had been kind enough to send me after I mentioned him in the blog. That is the kind of standard of prize that I give out. I like to reward my readers!
The Post Office was jam-packed, no doubt due to the pre-Christmas rush and I joined the end of a long queue. I sighed with annoyance at the delay, but I wasn’t the only one feeling the pressure of the inconvenience. A slight contretemps was occurring just in front of me. Two men in their late middle age were getting snippy with each other. One was in the queue and gap toothed and the other looking at stationery and had a shock of grey-hair. It became apparent that Grey-hair had accidentally kicked Gap-tooth’s foot as he squeezed his way through the shop. Gap-tooth was quite annoyed by this, whilst Grey-hair, though obviously initially reticent about the incident, was now getting aggravated by his victim’s refusal to accept his apology or shut up about it.
“You want to be more careful,” chided Gap-tooth.
“I said sorry,” insisted Grey-hair as he looked more intently at the printer cartridges than he might otherwise be doing if he wasn’t in the middle of a spat. He mumbled something under his breath.
“Don’t start cussing me, my friend” said the man with the slighted foot, “I can’t believe what that you are so clumsy. You don’t want to make something of this.”
“It wasn’t my fault. I was just trying to get by, but you had your big duck-feet sticking out.”
I looked at Gap-tooth’s feet. They were not particularly duck-like. Grey hair was clutching at straws a bit, but was embarrassed that this was turning into something less trivial than was perhaps warranted. Gap-tooth was now commenting aside to the people around him in the queue and laughing at the ridiculousness of Grey-hair’s protests.
“Just leave it,” whimpered Grey-hair.
Gap-tooth sucked his gap teeth and muttered about how Grey-hair would be at a disadvantage if this quarrel escalated into violence. Yet Grey-hair was aggravating matters by himself refusing to just ignore the other old man’s heckles.
To the casual observer this pointless stand-off between two weak men who were attempting to ascertain who was the least weak, was fairly amusing. Not least because there is little more amusing than old men acting like children. And when unjustified anger is added into the mix you have a potent cauldron of comedy. There was also a parity between the men in the sense that both of them were on equally thin ice in terms of their position. Neither of them was justified in being cross. Both of them were as wrong as each other.
Though I would have quite enjoyed seeing these two facing off in a fight to the death (which given their age, might not have taken too long), the situation was diffused as the line slowly moved on and Gap-tooth got too far away from Grey-hair who could now stop pretending to be looking at the merchandise on offer and actually go some way to making a choice about what he was going to purchase
It was fun to be watching the petty indignation of others for once, rather than being in the middle of it, as recounted so many times over the last four years. Because most things we get angry about are ultimately ridiculous to the impassive observer and probably in most cases when two people are trying to take the moral high ground and prove they are right and have been slighted, in actual fact they are both wrong.

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