Sometimes I wonder if there really is a supreme something looking after me. I know that there isn’t, but sometimes…
Today I went to the supermarket to buy a bottle of cheap wine to make a beef stew. I knew that it cost three pounds sixty-five pence as I've bought it before. I had plenty of money on me, mainly notes but some change in my pocket, and I was pretty sure that I had enough change to cover it.
I am one of those creatures who hate breaking into a note unless I really have to. It’s one of those dreads like having to get petrol or putting a pound in a supermarket trolley. It has nothing to do with cost; it’s all to do with my mind. Even so I hate it.
Before I went into the supermarket I decided (in a very OCD kind of way) to count my change 'just in case'. Taking the coins out of my pocket I saw immediately that I had three pound coins and quite a bit of shrapnel; mainly five pence pieces and coppers. I counted it. I had three pounds and sixty one pence, just four pence short. But noooooo, four pence meant breaking into a note!
I couldn’t believe it. I was going to have to break into a twenty for the sake of four pence. I began to sweat and get dizzy (not really, but it adds drama to a fundamentally everyday story). What could I do to avoid it? For a second I considered begging (not for drama, I really did). Quickly giving up on that idea I instead checked every single one of my sixteen pockets twice. I must have looked like I was doing a jig, but to no avail. I was going to have to break into a twenty and receive all that horrible chinking change and all for a measly four pence.
I was still a couple of hundred yards from the supermarket when (I don’t know why) I decided to keep my eyes to the ground just in case I found a coin or two. I knew it was very unlikely - my luck doesn’t run like that - but I hadn’t gone ten yards when I spotted something on the pavement... A shiny silver five pence piece. You can’t imagine the irrational joy I felt. The day was saved; the gods had smiled on me. My face broke from frown into a splendid, almost lunatic, smile as I made my way into the supermarket to make my purchase secure in the knowledge that I would leave with my notes intact and, as a bonus, I even had a lucky penny in my pocket.
I relished feeding my coins into the self-service till. I slotted them one at a time, waiting for each of them to register before putting in the next one. It took a bit of time, but it left me with a warm glow and a tremendous sense as satisfaction and when, three or four minutes later, I saw the amount owing display turn to zero I smiled.
Maybe this proves that there is a god (or goddess) after all.