‘What are you looking for?’ she asked.
‘An alternative to carrots. I’m fed up with carrots.’
‘Have you tried these?’ she enthused, pointing to the bags of ridiculously expensive purple carrots.’
‘Do they taste better than ordinary carrots?’ I continued. ‘Only the problem with supermarket carrots is that they don’t taste of anything.’
‘No, not really. But they look cool.’
‘Well, I’m not spending a pound on a small bag of carrots that don’t taste of anything just because they look cool.’
She left and I resumed my search. I saw her again later, and she asked:
‘So what did you get in the end?’
‘One of those white things.’
‘You know, those things that are bit like turnips only different.’
‘Can’t think what you mean.’
I rummaged through my shopping trolley and produced the article.
‘Parsnips?’ she queried.
‘That’s it: parsnips.’
I wonder whether she’ll greet me cordially next week. The fact is that when you’re both reclusive and a bit off the wall, you get drawn into conversations that are at once mind-bogglingly trivial and yet oddly surreal. And as such shall I be known, I suppose.