Whatever article you buy these days the only thing you can be utterly certain will last is the amount of trouble you're going to have with the blooming thing as soon as you get it home. Like the paint brush which is guaranteed pure bristle but the plastic handle melts when you put it in paint. Or the second-hand van you buy which has only one previous owner, it's not until you got the log book you discover the one previous owner was the Royal Mail. Or that splendid pullover that's pre-shrunk and the first time it's washed it stretches until it could fit a man four times your size. Aboard H.M.S. Troutbridge Chief Petty Officer Pertwee has a very real purchasing problem which is why he's remaining out of sight in his favourite hidey hole, the far corner of number two hold.