Those blasted 1p and 2p coins! They bulk up your purse and make you entertain the thought that you have a lot of loose change.
This morning I'm standing at the newsagent's waiting for my turn to buy a travel card. I've recruited every loose change I own, and even dipped my hand into my younger brother's piggy bank of petty cash. I've painstakingly counted and recounted the exact amount (£4), and reverently deposited it in the side of my purse, ready to enjoy the dismay of the shopkeeper who must count all those copper coins to verify that I'm not trying to cheat him. Ah..the evil that men do... the whole scenario just backfired on me.
As I reach out to take all the change from my purse, a couple of coins drop, and one lands, of all places, in my right ankle boot. It should have been the easiest thing to bend down, take my shoe off and retrieve the stubborn coin. But..this is a crucial existential moment, because in my rush to leave the house this morning, I've worn the dodgy stocking. The one with the tear in the foot, so that my big toe sticks out. I noticed it when I wore it of course, but who would have thought that thirty minutes later, I'd be having to bare it to all and sundry? And as the coin dodges into that boot, I realise to my horror that it is that very toe..
The shopkeeper has an impatient-about-to-turn-into-angry look on his face, and there's a queue building up of people who want to pay for their cigarettes, newspapers..etc. And there's me, holding up the queue and frantically struggling to decide if I should beg the man to allow me to bring the remaining 2p later..or whip off my shoe and retrieve it, torn stocking et al.
I do what any self-respecting girl would do - I give the shopkeeper a pleading look. And he is gracious enough to wave off his 2p loss, even adding kindly, 'It's alright love, it happens to the best of us..' Does it really?!
I keep the damsel-in-distress look on my face until the whole transaction is over, promising to bring back the 2p as soon as possible. It is my local newsagent's, and the man knows I'm a regular. But as I turn to leave, I notice that the customer immediately behind me, the one I'd been particularly concerned would see my toe sticking out..is in fact stupendously drunk, and totally lost in his own world. Talk of people minding their own business!
I just cannot believe that my Sunday morning experience has been shaped by that bit of copper coin!
That, and a very dodgy pair of stockings.