So I’m outside my local Coop, having a crafty tin, when this 11-12yo lad walks up to me, calls me “mate”, offers me a quid and asks whether I’ll pop inside and buy him some Rizlas. I can “keep the change”. My surprised, if natural, response was ” . . er, NO!”
I have to be fair and admit that I had a tobacco and later alcohol habit from an early age myself, only one of those demons thoroughly slain. But the encounter left me begging a few questions: Was he a police plant (there was a police motor parked up further along) and have I just saved myself a fine? Or had he spotted my crafty tin and, in spite of my shaven face and work tie, identified with me as a fellow citizen of society’s shady underbelly and therefore naturally expected ‘cooperation at the Coop’. And how did he know that my financial state was so interesting that I could have used that ‘change’. Makes you think doesn’t it.