I don’t mind having a chat with the butcher or the fishmonger, in fact I like talking about meat and fish, but I have this fixed idea that supermarket cashiers should just roll the goods through, take the dough, and leave it at that. And No, I don’t want a Nectar card.
And yet, some of them do try it on, don’t they. Take this lad today, tilling up in Waitrose.
Lad (with excessive enthusiasm): How are you today!
Me: (responding in kind; let’s meet this head on): Fine!!
Lad: (immediate dip in spirits): But what about the rain?
Me: It has to rain sometimes.
Lad: But it never seems to stop.
Me: Non-stop sunshine would be awful, do you want to live in Spain or something?
Lad (nervously): But what about the pot holes?
Me: Rain doesn’t cause pot holes. It’s the roadworks you want to worry about. Do you ride a bike?
Lad: I’m learning to drive (he looks about twelve and has sticky-up blond hair; I fancy giving him a clip round the ear.)
Lad: There’s this massive pothole up near a road junction near Heartsease*, I have to swerve right round it when I’m learning. It’s worse when the rain fills it in cos you can’t even see it.
Lad: Do you want any cashback?
Me: No thanks.
Lad: The roadworks will be worse in the summer when they have to fill all those potholes in.
Me: Thinks: Perhaps just take him out with a baguette?
Lad: D’you want a token?
Lad: Have a nice day then.
Me: [Pulls out Colt 45]
* Chell Heath for Norwich