The stationer breathed a sigh of relief today when I went in and brought four colour cartridges for my printer.
The stationer is now officially worried. That's two visits in a row in which I've bought just a solitary envelope. I'd agreed to sell a print of one of my Writers' Workshop cartoons - the one about Franz Kafka's tips for self-promotion – but it has taken me three and a half years to get around to sending it off. There was a massive queue at the Post Office on Seven Sisters Road so I worked out that it would be quicker to get the tube into town, drop off the envelope with the illustration to the buyer, then go for lunch at a nice Italian cafe. I timed it at two hours all in, pretty much the same time as I would have been waiting at the Post Office to buy my stamp.
At my local stationers I bought a size 1 Jiffy bag. The Jiffy bag is made from heavy duty brown paper and has a high quality sealing system. I'm trying hard to cut down on stationery items at the moment and managed to stop myself buying some more pens. The stationer looked at me with sad eyes.
"Do you sell Quink?" I said to my local stationer.
"Do we sell Quink? Of course we sell Quink. That's a strange question."
"Well, it's the digital age. I wasn't sure that people still used Quink."
He snorts with derision and sells me the Quink, while also slipping in some crafty cross-selling and getting me to buy two expensive black ink cartridges for my inkjet printer.
I used to do loads of stuff in Quink, until I bought myself a Wacom art pad in 1997. There was a girl I worked with when I first came to London who drew wild landscapes in Quink. I fancied her, of course, but she had an on-off relationship with a Scottish rugby player so I didn't get involved. He didn't play for Scotland or anything, he was just Scottish and played rugby. We lost touch around 1989 but I kept her memory alive by starting to draw my own pictures in Quink. My pictures weren't wild, mostly just sketches of fat people at Walthamstow market or caricatures of my flatmates.
The stationer also cross-sold me some nice writing paper. I'm going to stop emailing my friends and write them proper letters instead. Masterpieces of the genre such as:
"Howdy. Fancy a pint Thursday? T."
I'm as worried about identity theft as the next person, which is why I invested in this high performance shredder. When boxed up it fits perfectly into the back of my store cupboard behind my practice amp. I've had it for nearly three years but only used it twice, both times to eradicate some really bad draft lyrics for political folk songs that I'd written on the back of my VISA card statements. If someone does steal my identity they might as well take the shredder, so that nobody can steal my identity again. Though come to think of it, if it's possible to steal an identity then one could just as easily steal your identity back. That's not theft, it's identity justice.