Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Early in the Mornin'

Being temperamentally unsuited to socially distanced queuing, I have got in the habit during lock-down, of popping to the Co-op at the bottom of the road at 7 am, as soon as it opens, in the morning if I need any bog-standard groceries or supplies.

Yesterday, after scrambling down there in a bit of a rush, I put all my purchases through the automatic scanning till only to discover that I hadn't brought any cash or cards. I turned to the manageress at the manual till over to my right and said "I haven't got any money." She smiled broadly as I explained I had just forgotten it, that I would run back home, get the wherewithal, and be back in five minutes.

She gave me a "no problem at all" gesture and off I hared.  As was walking back with my shopping later, after everything had been sorted out, it struck me that if I had been a black man in Minneapolis I could have ended up in the same circumstances with a knee on my windpipe.

What led to the police arresting and then killing George Floyd remember was a call from the staff at the Cup Foods grocery store on Chicago Ave in Minneapolis, who suspected he had tried to use a counterfeit bill to purchase cigarettes.

On the odd occasion that someone at a checkout puts a note I proffer under an ultra violet counterfeit money detector, I look on with as much interest as he or she does. It would never occur to me that, even if it did turn out to be moody, I would have to do anything but dig in my pocket for a different one.

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