I go to the chemist!!!
I have to wait for ten minutes whilst the lady pharmacist prepares my medication that is not for an embarrassing complaint at all, oh no.
A spritely old man wanders in to the shop.
I don’t know what it is about me. Whether it’s because I look approachable, friendly, vulnerable, lonely… or whether I’m just too polite to do the English thing and just blank people. But I seem to have this aura that makes people who I don’t know start talking at me.
“Such a beautiful day,” he remarks, not in a remark-like way, but in the sort of way that indicates a long conversation is to follow.
“It’s certainly hot out there,” I reply, politely, hoping that he is in the chemist to purchase deodorant.
“But I’ve had a lousy one, you know?” he continues.
“I was in the Post Office drawing out money, and they asked me to put in my PIN number. Well I know what my PIN number is, it’s 3108. So I typed in 3108 and it didn’t work. And they said I must have got it wrong, but I said ‘no’ as I know it’s definitely 3108. And I asked them why I needed to do this and they told me it was more secure, but if my pin number of 3108 – and it’s definitely 3108 – doesn’t work then how am I meant to get my savings out?”
I make ‘help me’ gestures behind the back of the Pharmacist.
It seems obvious enough what is happening. The elderly man is not who he is pretending to be at all, but an imposter – probably some sort of long-lost brother. The real elderly man is lying at home, having been horribly slaughtered. This imposter is about to draw out his victim’s life savings using the cash card and PIN number (3108), but is first making sure that several witnesses can testify that I had known this number. Later on, I will find the cash card planted amidst my personal belongings, along with the murder weapon, an old silver snuff box and a packet of Werther’s Originals.
I back out of the shop, clutching my box of perfectly ordinary pills.
It is a sad, sad, comment on the state of Britain today that this sort of thing should be commonplace on a routine trip to the chemist.
Crime – violent crime – is out of control, and politicians do not seem to want to do anything about it.