Allegedly, I have on occasion been not quite as complimentary as I might have towards the honourable denizens of the grocery profession. Even the lawyers (who vet my weekly masterpiece when not finding new ways of inflating their already flatulent fees) have been heard to mutter darkly. And there was me thinking that 'libel' was a price sticker in Romford.

So this week I thought I'd present our matchless retailers in a more positive light. For imagine, if you will, what things would be like if we had the same set-up as some of the grimy infidel nations that have the tragic misfortune not to be England. I mean Britain.

Take the Germans, for example. If Frau Totenhosen realises she's fresh out of Gekochte Dickdarm at three on a Saturday afternoon, she's stuffed! Fleischladen ist geschlossen, I'm afraid, and the good Herr Totenhosen will have to make the best of the wurst. Only in Blighty do the charmless Aldi and Lidl flog their euromush on a 24/7 basis back at home its tough scheisse.

Same thing in France, of course, where your froggies knock off after the legal maximum 35-hour week (the average drone at Asda or Tesco has to put in about 35 hours in a day, which explains the intelligent and engaging smiles that greet the shopper here). Not only that, Mme Grattecul generally has to put up with cheese that is gradually effecting its own putrid escape from the ambient aisle, and, let's face it, you can't find Sunny D or Heinz London Grill for love nor money.

And as for the Yanks, need I say more? Don't believe for a minute that our cousins 'cross the pond have changed one iota in the face of the obesity crisis it's still "let's all jump into the Humvee for the 100-yard drive to Sam's Club and a few trolleysful of pissy beer, tasteless waxed fruit and boil-in-a-bag transfats".

So thrice huzzah for our noble grocers a finer bunch of men and women you could hardly hope to meet.

Do I get time off for good behaviour?