It started off as a normal shopping run. I've got my headphones and sunglasses on*, I'm trying to not dance to noticeably to the music from my discman, and I'm giving way to the small children who are running around like they are high on pretzels. I've stopped and had a chat to Garblet, where we discussed how exceedingly hot it is (this morning it was already 40C), and how much of an idiot I am, as I walked down the street, and was walking home in the heat.
I got to the checkout. I put my groceries on the conveyor, smile at the girl behind the check-out, and pretend that I am Ani Difranco live in concert. (I leave my air guitar at home) She does her 'swipe the bar code' thing very competently, taking care with my yoghurt's, and low-fat ice-creams and muesli's and nuts, and WW crisp breads and WW frozen meals and diet coke. Then she stops.
"What are these?"
These, for those of you playing at home, are redskins and chupa-chups.
"They're my lollies." I say, feeling about 4 and one half inches high.
"But you were going so well, with all the other healthy stuff!!" She exclaims. And I'm not just saying she was exclaiming - you could hear the punctuation. You could see horn-rimmed glasses from yesteryear materialising on her nose just so she could look down on me. EDIT: I feel I should point out here that I have never seen this woman before. It's not like it's a friend of mine berating me for my lollies. It's a complete stranger.
"But chupa-chups are good for you!" I say weakly. "If you suck them instead of chewing them they take ages to eat, and then by the end you no longer have a sugar craving! Trust me!"
"If you say so." Says she, in an untrusting manner.
I am so ashamed. Why couldn't she have found heroin or porn instead? That would have been less embarrassing than refined sugar products.
*I'm not being a poseur deliberately by keeping my sunnies on inside. I just find it easier to leave them on, then fiddle with my handbag getting my normal glasses out, putting the sunnies in the bag, and then having to reverse the whole dang procedure when I'm leaving the shop.