There are two people in the checkout queue at Sainsers and I am one of them. I’m only buying a couple of odds and sods – mostly some nuts so I can make Day-and-Night florentines for my mother. I am head of the queue and have pretty much had my stuff checked through.
The lady behind me has the world’s most enormous load of shopping. It fills the conveyor belt and she still has what looks like the best part of a trolley-load to put on it. She’s about my age.
And then an ancient, ancient man joins the queue.
He teeters on bent knees and a walking stick. His back is so bowed that he cannot have looked at anything other than the ends of his own shoes for some years. He is being helped by a member of Sainsers’ staff (they’re lovely, the staff in the big one at Sydenham), and the young man assisting him is clutching the old chap’s meagre shop – a few loo rolls and some condensed milk. A tin of peaches.
The assistant leaves the elderly fellow swaying beside the lady with the enormous trolley and nips ’round to the cashier just as I’m paying. “Can I slip this feller in next?” he asks her. The cashier nods upwards at the lady behind me.
“Can he slip in front of you?” she asks. “He only has a couple of things.”
And the woman behind me lets out an angry hufffff and without looking at the man she’s referring to she barks: “IF HE MUST.”
Whereupon I flash my eyes at the horrified cashier and say in equally stentorian tones: “Coo, WOTTA CHARMER!” before favouring the horrible woman with my most gimletty glare, spinning my biddy trolley on its wheels and flouncing off while the cashier tries not to snigger.
The bus arrived at the stop at the same moment I did. And I didn’t leave anything at the till.
This totally proves that karma exists.