Standing at the end of the fruit counter in Tesco, out of the way of any other shopper, I ticked off items from the shopping list.
“There,” a voice said. Looking up, I realised a woman had placed a large box of strawberries in my trolley.
“That’s very kind,” I said, “if you are paying for them.”
“Oh,” she said, hastily removing the box and taking them to where a man stood waiting with a half-filled trolley. He glared at me, as if it were my fault, as if I had been about to make off with their kilogram of strawberries. Not even a smile at the mistake. Perhaps someone had stolen the fruit from his lunchbox when he was a schoolboy.
Reaching the checkouts and placing the shopping on the belt, a pleasant young man started scanning my purchases. “Going anywhere nice, today?” he asked.
“Yeovil Town, this evening,” I said, “if that counts as nice.”
“Who are they playing?”
“Aston Villa – a League Cup match.”
“Sounds alright,” he said.
“And I’m going to win the Euromillions jackpot while I’m there.”
“That sounds good, how much is it?”
“£80 million, I think.”
“What would you do with £80 million?”
“I don’t know,” I said, “I knew a family once who had a hundred and fifty million and they were so miserable that they bought their old mother a blow heater instead of putting oil in her central heating tank.”
“It could make you a miser,” he said.
“It could,” I said. “There are lots of stories of rich people who are incredibly unhappy and just have to have more and more money.”
He wished me a happy evening, though wasn’t upbeat about my prospects of winning the Euromillions jackpot.
“What would I do with £80 million?” I thought, as I pushed the trolley across the car park. I could buy Yeovil Town a nearly top class striker (it would cost a hundred million for the best ones), but then there would be no money left to pay him. Football doesn’t seem a place where £80 million would go very far.
Perhaps I could go in for some lifestyle choices. I could buy all the strawberries so none would be left to be placed mistakenly in my trolley; or I could pay for a personal shopper to go to Tesco, so I would not have to go to the supermarket; or I could become a miser and do no shopping at all.