My video died this weekend. I’m not talking broken down, jamming tapes or generally being dodgy. This is hardware death, where even plugging it in causes precisely bugger all to happen.

The only problem was that it had died with a particularly crucial tape inside and my only way of recovering it was to take the lid off and then set about the innards with every tool at my disposal. Chances of it ever working again after this process: nil.

So I went to buy a new one with half an eye on the clock owing to the fact that I had to be at the radio station later in the afternoon. In doing so, the universal law of the electrical shop kicked in with full force.

Most people will know the one I mean. This is the law that dictates that if you have gone into with the express aim of spending money there and then on a particular product of your choice, the shopfloor will instantly become devoid of sales assistants. The few hardy souls that remain will be occupied for at least the next hour attempting to explain the benefits of widescreen televisions to an old lady. People who want to spend money in these places must give off some kind of repellant hormone – similar to the one I used on girls at the age of 14.

Bizarrely if you ever go into these places just for a nose around, to have a dream or to simply find somewhere warm to get out of the rain then you are instantly set upon by every nylon shirt in the place. “Can I help you sir?”. “Er, no I’m er, just browsing.”

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