I just heard someone with whom I work say "Thank you muchly" to the postman. Thank you muchly. Most of the time this sort of line completely washes over me, but at the wrong moment it can be unfathomably irritating. What exactly is someone thinking when they opt to say "Thank you muchly" instead of "Thank you" or "Thank you very much"? Are they trying to be funny? Because if it was ever funny in the first place, it can only have been on the very first occasion it was said. After that, it became instantly twee, then tiresome, and ultimately just aggravating. It's the sort of line delivered by people who have no actual wit or imagination of their own, so they latch onto something unoriginal and trot it out at every available opportunity. Like a bloke who used to work here who, when he met you for the first time each morning, would say "Good moaning" like the badly disguised English spy in 'Allo 'Allo. Every day he did this. Every single day. At heart he was basically a decent bloke, but after a couple of years of "good moaning" it was as much as I could do not to spit in his eye when he said it.

It's quite easy to imagine prolonged exposure to "Thank you muchly" driving me over the edge, like a slow, aural equivalent of Chinese water torture. Day after day of the same banal excuse for office banter, gradually whittling down my spirits until the empty husk within just says enough. That's probably what started Derrick Bird off, he overheard someone say "Thank you muchly" once too often and thought that's it, I just can't take any more of this.


I sent this tirade to a friend of mine, who responded with this:

"His funeral was attended by Muchly Jenkins, the postman whose name inadvertently led to last week's bloodbath."