(This is a letter I wrote in August 1988)
My kitchen sink was leaking.
My cupboard, it was wet.
I went to Great Mills superstore,
A simple thing to get.
The problem was a washer -
Rubber, round and black -
I wanted a brand new one,
'ere I put the "U" bend back.
I took along a sample.
The plumbing shelves I scanned,
Saw lots of tubes and other bits -
But no black rubber band.
Assistants couldn't help me.
I asked what should I do.
They shrugged and looked bewildered,
Then muttered, "B & Q".
Now my house, it is quite modern -
Standard fitments, standard functions -
And the pipework underneath the sink
Has normal types of junctions.
My mission wasn't complex,
Nor obscure the dream I cherished:
Just a little piece of rubber
To replace that which had perished.
I spend a lot of money
In that Great Mills superstore,
On paints and tools and varnishes,
On garden goods and more.
But, in my direst hour of need,
Despite the range of things,
I felt they'd failed me badly
'cause they don't sell rubber rings.
I find all this astonishng.
"Why not?" I'm asking you.
(And, just in case you're wondering,
Texas Homecare DO!)
Neither Great Mills, nor Texas Homecare, exist now. I received a reply from a Complaints Manager, saying that it was "not commercially viable" to stock individual washers. She added that my letter had been framed and was now on her office wall.