Thinks: Silly old bat; just get on with it.
I paid her and she gave me my change – £2.01.
‘Put the penny in the charity box,’ I said.
‘Oh no, no,’ she replied. ‘That’s your New Year good luck token. You must keep it.’
That was the first thing she said which made sense, so I decided I quite liked her after all. And I kept the penny.
And then the pretty Polish girl in the 99p shop wished me a Happy New Year – having first smiled apologetically for not knowing the answer to my question. (Are these cashew nuts unsalted?) I’ve come to quite like her, too.
But why do they do it?