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Bristow's Inferiors

The Post Boy

Highslide JS
Strip 2608 was published in the Evening Standard in July 1969 and in Bristow (1970)

A post boy plans for a glittering future in the Buying Department

Of the many who see becoming a buying clerk a step up, the brightest of the bunch is the post boy. Often to be seen with a little arrow pointing him out, he wears a bow tie and has short spiky hair. Whilst the buying clerks get the usual things for Christmas (hankies, pens, aftershave) the post boy gets executive briefcases and subscriptions to Financial Things. And yet this likely lad has a secret ambition. He has his eye on Bristow’s desk. And he put his beady eye on it on the first day that he arrived - strip 1703
Strip 1703 was published in the Evening Standard in July 1966. This scan is from the Sydney Morning Herald, January 1967
Whenever Bristow is storming round the building threatening to jack it all in and walk out, it is the post boy who plans exactly where the waste paper basket and cupboard will be moved once he is installed in Bristow’s chair. He therefore studies Bristow's "working" habits closely, hoping perhaps to learn the secrets of how to do nothing all week and still get paid. When Bristow does appear to do some work, this is fascinating strip 4680
Strip 4680 was published in the Evening Standard in July 1976
. The post boy firmly believes himself to be tenth in line for Chief Buyer. This causes no little distress to Bristow, who is, and has always been, stuck at eighteenth.
There is a rumour that the post boy is actually related to Sir Reginald Chester-Perry, whom he has been known to address as "Uncle Reg", and that he is destined for great things.  Perhaps this explains the frequency with which he comes up with bold plans to reorganise the offices, if not the entire business. His weakness is that he tends to expound such matters to Bristow. He is also fond of asking Bristow for advice and stories about the "old days". Bristow is not always very encouraging strip 3799
Strip 3799 was published in the Evening Standard in May 1973 and in Bristow Extra. This scan is from the Sydney Morning Herald June 1973
The Post Boy's apparently fortunate family background can have a remarkable effect on those less well connected - even Fudge shows a rare moment of weakness in strip 1801
Strip 1801 was published in the Evening Standard in November 1966. This scan is from the Sydney Morning Herald May 1967
Not long afterwards, Mary on the switchboard suggests that possibly the post boy has been guilty of some economies with the truth

The Post Room is no sinecure. When one Duane Bloggs, a school-leaver is introduced as a prospective colleague, the lads at once get into a vigorous fist fight. And when another new post boy joins, there is a fight to determine who has the right to rip the mail that they have no intention of delivering anyway. Another hazard is when introducing a new recruit to Bristow - it is certain that one of them will have an electric handshake (from Joe's Joke Emporium) if not both, with shocking consequences

Highslide JS
This strip was published in the The Big Big Big Bristow Book. Publication in the Evening Standard not known but likely to be during the 1990s
Rivals in love?

Like every other male in the building, the post boy is smitten with Miss Pretty of Kleenaphone. Bristow puts him down roughly: "Girls in turquoise uniforms with hair the colour of ripened wheat, dark fringed blue eyes and a rosebud mouth don't go for spotty faced little kids with grubby shirts and inky fingers". Alas this only backfires when after Bristow suffers yet another rejection the post boy can point out that "girls in turquoise uniforms...don't go for middle aged buying clerks with shiny suits and well-filled waistcoats".

The post boy has been in C-Ps at least as long as Bristow but he is still the post boy. He is frequently called upon to give financial advice and to arrange mortgages or short term lending to the clerks, as well as to advise on better ways to manage the company. Like Bristow he will from time to time wander round the hushed and panelled corridors on the top floor, so that he is ready for when the call comes - strip 2793
Strip 2793 was published in the Evening Standard in March 1970 and in Bristow (1970)
The contrast between his ambitions and his achievements is nearly as striking as Bristow’s own.