The line at the Post Office annex was long. I needed to mail tax stuff so the wait had to be endured. The first person in line -- the person at the window -- appeared to be mailing several different packages to several different countries. And I waited. The next person line asked for one first class stamp.
"We have no stamps," said the Post Office clerk.
Without comment the man turned and left Post Office. The next person stepped to the window and asked for a book of stamps.
"We're all out of stamps," came the reply.
This beyond belief response did not deter the next three almost but not quite customers. Each in turn stepped to the window and asked for stamps and each received the unbelievable response that the Post Office or at least this little annex was out of stamps.
Finally a man stepped to the window and asked a different question.
"Isn't this the Post Office?"
"Yes," came the clerk's suspicious reply.
"Don't you sell stamps? Isn't that what you do?"
"We're out of stamps," said the clerk.
Apparently the man, having asked the question differently, expected a different answer. He had no response and having no response simply turned and walked out of the building.
My turn came and the first words out of my mouth were, "I don't want any stamps."
The relieved clerk weighed my envelopes, metered the postage and wished me a good day.
I seemed unable to resist one final comment, though.
"You are the post office, you know."
"Yes," said the clerk. "And we're still out of stamps."