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Said Mrs Crossley-Pepper to the department store sales assistant: "This Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic is faulty. I insist on seeing the manager!" Bang went the Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic as she slammed it down on the counter.

Said Mr Webster, the sales assistant, as he drew breath: "I'm so sorry to hear that, madam. What appears to be the trouble?"

Slam went Mrs Crossley-Pepper's palm upon the counter top. "How dare you speak to me in that fashion. Fetch me the manager at once!"

Puzzled was Mr Webster at this extraordinary behaviour. "Madam, I really don't - "

Furious became Mrs Crossly-Pepper at his obstinance. "At once, I say! At once!"

Said Mr Webster: "I'm merely trying to ascertain the problem, Madam. The Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic is usually such a reliable item. Is there a particular difficulty with the whirling, or is it the chopping that is causing the problem?"

Said Mrs Crossley-Pepper, all puffed up and agitated: "How dare you doubt me! You insolent young dolt. Service! Service! I want service, I say! "

At this juncture, alerted by the confusion and kerfuffle, Mr Arnold glided onto the scene in the blink of a wotsit and took charge.

Said Mr Arnold: "Now whatever appears to be the problem?"

Said Mrs Crossly-Pepper: "This rude and ignorant member of staff has a serious attitude problem. And he has a fat chin. Why do you employ people with fat chins?"

Nonplussed Mr Arnold most assuredly was. "I'm afraid I have little to do with the firm's recruitment policy, madam."

Protested Mr Webster: "I don't have a fat chin."

Replied Mrs Crossley-Pepper: "I wasn't talking to you, chinny. Now you - are you the manager?"

Said Mr Arnold: "I'm the senior sales assistant, madam."

Wailed Mrs Crossley-Pepper: "Then you're no help to me either you squint-eyed fool. Good grief, chinny and squint-eye, what is this place?"

Said Mr Webster: "I really don't have a fat chin."

Rap rap rap went Mrs Crossley-Pepper's knuckles on the counter top. "I've heard quite enough from you. Now, I want to complain about this Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic. Is it really so difficult to get some service around here?"

Said Mr Arnold: "The Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic is usually such a reliable item. What appears to be the trouble?"

Growled Mrs Crossley-Pepper: "The whirling is all out of cock and the chopping is a joke. And the special attachment for shaving my cat appears of have seized up."

Rattle rattle rattle went the Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic as Mr Arnold experimentally manipulated its flange. "Oh dear. Did you remember to disengage the bell housing and align the outflow manifold?"

Quick was Mrs Crossley-Pepper's response. "I hardly think that's any of your concern, you googly-eyed prick. Now am I going to get to see the manager, because if this company's idea of customer service is you two paraplegic cretins, you can kiss goodbye to any further business?"

And at this point, cognisant that some disturbance was ensuing, Mr Septimus appeared to lend a hand.

Said Mr Septimus: "Madam, is there a problem?"

Asserted Mrs Crossley-Pepper: "There most certainly is. I have been subjected to the most horrific abuse by these two disfigured underlings. I want them sacked. Are you the manager?"

Said Mr Septimus: "No madam. I am the Assistant Manager. How can I be of help?"

Crack crack crack went Mrs Crossley-Pepper's knuckles. "You can help me by fetching the manager, you bald-headed buffoon. Why does this seem to be so much of a problem?"

Explained Mr Webster: "The lady has an issue with a Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic."

Elaborated Mr Arnold: "It appears it is not as whirly and choppy as it could be."

Added Mrs Crossley-Pepper: "Not only that, but last Tuesday the attachment for unblocking sinks went rogue and attacked my godson."

Sympathised Mr Septimus: "Oh dear, oh dear. And The Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic is usually such a reliable item. Tell me, have you disengaged the bell housing, and aligned the outflow manifold?"

Shocked was Mrs Crossley-Pepper at this insolent response. "I most certainly have not, and I'm frankly appalled that you should ask me such a question!"

It was then that Mr Brodsky-Zodiac felt it wise to put in an appearance.

Said Mr Brodsky-Zodiac: "Hello, hello, hello - now what seems to be the matter here?"

Said Mrs Crossley-Pepper: "The matter here is that I continue to be subjected to the most horrific abuse by various unhelpful and grotesque retards. Between them this fat-faced cretin - "

Interjected Mr Webster as he withdrew to collect his coat. "That's it, I've had enough of this. I'm gone."

Remarked Mrs Crossley-Pepper with no displeasure: "And good riddance! As I say, between them this fat-faced cretin, boggle-eyed simpleton and perverted acne-riddled slaphead have pushed me to the absolute limit. I suppose it is your intention to add insult to injury? Well I will tolerate no more - I want the manager here this instant!"

Said Mr Brodsky-Zodiac: "I am the manager madam. Now, how may I be of assistance?"

Apologised Mrs Crossley-Pepper, her manner at once becoming more civil. "Oh, I'm sorry to be nuisance. I'm sure you're a busy man, but I have a problem with my Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic. There seems to be some question over both its choppiness and whirliness, and the attachment for scraping the barnacles from the undersides of tug boats appears to have developed an annoying squeak. Although it's probably nothing, I don't want to waste your time..."

Effused Mr Brodsky-Zodiac: "Nonsense, nonsense! I am here to help. Now then, I am assuming that you disengaged the bell housing and aligned the outflow manifold?"

Slap went the flat of Mrs Crossley-Pepper's palm upon her forehead. "Do you know what, I haven't done that! I haven't disengaged the... what you said. Well that will be the problem them. I'm so sorry to have wasted your time."

Said Mr Brodsky-Zodiac: "Not at all madam."

Said Mr Webster as he stomped past on his way to the exit: "And you can stuff your job!"

Continued Mr Brodsky-Zodiac as he bundled up the Norton-Silbury Multi-Chop Whirlomatic and restored it to its owner: "After all, we're here to help."

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