My friend Harry is one of the most affable and avuncular men you could ever hope to meet. Many has been the evening when we have shared a bottle of Marston's Pedigree as we watched the tropical sun set over the poop deck and you could not have asked for a more amusing and convivial companion. But when riled, Harry can bite back like a Rottweiler : one would expect nothing less from a former Guardsman and Police Sargent. And Harry - like most of us - gets riled by those people who knock on his door trying to sell him such things as double-glazing, loft insulation, roof reconstruction and drive resurfacing. In such situations Harry is a tad short on patience : in just the kind of way we would all want to be if we only had the courage.
Recently someone called on Harry uninvited and tried to persuade him to insulate his loft, inject cotton wool into his wall cavities or some such thing. He sent them away with a maximum of haste and a minimum of politeness. Having had my own experiences with these incompetent idiots, I admire his approach. Some time later an anonymous hand-written note was put through his letter-box. It is a note he is intensely proud of, a note he intends to frame, a note he has scanned and sent to me.
As a document it deserves to become one of the sacred texts of the League of Grumpy Old Men. I am thinking of printing a copy and attaching it to my front door to act as a warning. Congratulations, Harry : you make me proud to be a fellow Grump.