With two young children I tend to wake up early in the morning, just as day is dawning. According to the theme tune of Postman Pat, the recently revived stop motion animated fly on the wall documentary series, at this point our postman will be picking up the postbags in his van.
As I begin typing it is 11.30 am. The post has not yet arrived. This is not unusual. I do not live in the middle of nowhere, but on the outskirts of a large town in central Scotland. Our post tends not to arrive until lunchtime. Or the middle of the afternoon. And sometimes when it does arrive, despite the presence of someone (or more than one person) in the house, and no knock or ring or letter through our door, instead a little card will be posted through the door saying, “Sorry, you were out when I called” and indicating that our mail can be uplifted from a central delivery office some miles away from our home.
In fact, the only time when the post arrives before lunchtime is when our normal postman is absent and holiday/sickness relief takes his place. On those days the mail can arrive around 10 am.
Many great minds have addressed the issue of the postal service in the UK. Among them is Adam Crozier, former head of the Football Association (a man with whom I once corresponded offering my services as England football manager following the resignation of Kevin Keegan). No-one though has addressed the true cause of the current ineptitude.
Postman Pat is the postman for Greendale – a rural village – and after his initial appearance on television over twenty years ago is likely to have had a pivotal role in attracting modern employees to the postal service. However, Pat is hardly an ideal role model for a modern efficient postal service. Recent viewing of “Postman Pat and the spotty situation” (a story also available in a novelisation) has revealed that Pat is an obsessive law-breaker, driving without due care and attention, and defrauding his employer through carrying out homers for local residents. I urge anyone reading to contact the Daily Mail (seems the sort of thing they would like) and demand that Pat be withdrawn from the airwaves. Such a reckless lawbreaker sets a poor example to our children. As Maud Flanders (RIP) used to say on The Simpsons, “Won’t somebody think of the children…” 😉
This adventure saw the Greendale children’s choir suffering from chickenpox. Slowly, the plague of chickenpox made its way through the village affecting Mr Pringle, the teacher, and Reverend Timms (one of the survivors from the original series) among others. Dr Gillespie, the local GP, had ordered calamine lotion to treat the residents. However, when the lotion arrived she asked Pat to deliver it to various people. Not only was Pat administering pharmaceuticals without any apparent licence (what other non-prescription substances Pat sells is not made clear) but he was delivering products using his post van without any indication that the Post Office received payment. Whether or not Pat took a backhander is not clear from the video evidence but his employer was clearly defrauded. This sordid activity was carried out with full collusion of Mrs Goggins, local postmistress. Video evidence also revealed that Pat drove on the right hand side of the road down rural lanes, potentially endangering Alf Thompson, a local farmer, and a handyman called Ted Glenn. Careless driving at best. Still, the gods conspired to punish Pat. Not only was he affected by chickenpox himself, but he was forced to listen to the children’s choir.
An apparent rural idyll, still served by its own steam train (the Greendale Rocket – still quicker than Virgin rail) is affected by a Pat inspired crime wave. Rid our youngsters of this freeloading role model, a man who drives allowing his black and white cat to roam freely over the front seats and to sit with its head out of the window. What sort of example is that to set? Let the Mail know what you think. It’s for the long term economic benefit of the country.