I bought some matches from Tesco. I need matches for my gas cooker, so I buy a big box of matches. There must be 500 matches or so in there. When I got home and went hunting for a match I drew out of the box the tiny shard of wood that is traditional in a match, but this time rather than the wood being topped by a little cap of red sulphur which you stroke on the abrasive strip along the side of the box to create the required flame, there was no sulphur. This was just a tiny shard of wood. I peered into the box and to my chagrin and astonishment about half of the matchsticks had no sulphur top, rendering them useless.
Next time I go to Tesco to buy a box of matches, I shall look into the box to check if there are once again a selction of the matches lacking in their traditional sulphur cap. If that is the case I shall approach a member of staff. I will explain: ‘Excuse me for disturbing you but I wanted to buy this box of matches but when I peeked in the box…’ Here the employee will look disbelieving at the idea of somemone looking inside a box of matches to check on the contents, maybe counting them to check that there are indeed the 500 matches claimed on the box. ‘…When I peeked in the box some of the matches didn’t have any sulpur caps on them.’ The employee will lead me across to his manager. By this time I will be starting to regret my complaint. What do I hope to achieve here? An extra box of complimentary matches? To be ever after called ‘matchstickman’ by the employees of my local Tesco? There is in fact no honorable way to proceed in this affair. Memo to self: do not peer into the box of matches you are about to buy. It can only result in humiliation. It is a perfect example of a case where ignorance is bliss.