We needed a new shower hose. The one we had had sprung a leak and if you were not careful you could get an extra shower in a special place. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with that, except that it could tickle and there is not much dignity in laughing alone when wet.
We were passing B&Q and so we entered the cave to the sound of a south Korean covers band playing Born in the USA over the tannoy, and selected a shower hose that looked ideal. This will more than do the job, I said and it's only £7.99.
Except that it didn't. It was stiff and inflexible and it leaked water everywhere and having attached it I ended up with a wet-socked foot.
The next day I went to a specialist plumbing supplies shop.The man took one look at the old hose, Ah! an Aqualisa, he said in an instant, looking at its markings as though it were an exotic snake. A bit more expensive, but worth it for the quality, he added, fingering the screwy bit at the end with the air of a man who knew a thing or two about shower hoses.
He went to the stockroom to find a new one and came back stroking it. Just the ticket, he said.
In a perfect world he would have had the radio on and it would have been playing Bruce Springsteen, instead a man next to us asked him if he knew where he could get a good Italian sandwich from.
This is a parable.