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A Penny For My Thoughts
A change is going to come

27/03/11
So it turns out I am a bad grown up.

This morning started off quite well. James woke us up as per normal by wanting to be fed. After a normal feeding session, James and I began to play a few games, his favourite of which at the moment is walking up your torso while you hold him up. This is an interesting game and one that he seems to only be interested in playing. Lying down is certainly a thing of the past. This man is only interested in being vertical these days. I would suggest he go and seek gainful employment, if only that didn’t entail me moving him around the whole time. It would certainly make for an interesting sight, a baby serving you at the off licence with a man lying on the floor beneath him holding him up. Never mind the fact that he cannot speak or grasp the most basic of instruction. If you do see a baby working behind the counter of your local off licence with a man propping him up, I wouldn’t hold your breath about getting your twenty B&H any time soon.

After a few rounds of that (which perhaps lasted an hour) we decided to take James out for a walk in his pram (he of course slept the whole time). We arrived at a lovely café by the sea and decided to have a spot of lunch. We managed to get a lovely table in the sun and while I sat and watched the pram, my wife got into the longest queue I have ever seen to order our lunch. The queue was so long that I feared she may have had to come back to a long dead husband and an elderly son holding a bus pass.

During my wife's long absence, I was forced to listen to the ramblings of a man sat behind me. He was boasting about his latest motor home purchase. It is apparently worth twice as much as he got it for. I can only imagine this somehow made up for the appalling hair and moustache combo that he was sporting. He gave boring, self serving, smug wazzocks a bad name. By the end of his long conversation (I say conversation, it was really just a long boast) I was feeling a lot better about my life and secure that I at least was a human being.

After lunch we decided to walk back via our local super marche and pick up some shopping. Upon completing our purchase my wife handed me the change - a penny of which fell on the floor. I decided to leave it where it fell, as after all, it was only a penny. Suddenly, a small child with a skateboard came dashing over and picked up the penny and went to put it in his little pocket. For some insane reason that I will never know, I was suddenly incensed that someone had stolen my discarded penny right in front of me. I turned to the boy and snapped, "Can I have my penny back?!" The boy looked at me sheepishly and handed the penny back. I then put it in my pocket and walked out into the street, safe in the knowledge that I was the pettiest man that has ever lived, after all, it's the principal that matters. Theft will not stand.

I think it was the flagrant way in which in jumped in and took the penny that shook me. I think I would have waited until we had gone before I did it. He had the exact desperate, feral demeanor of the girl from Mad Max 2 - all that was missing was the razor sharp boomerang.

It was only on the short walk home that the pangs of common sense and decency overcame me. I had just overdosed on principles and a short-sighted sense of decency. It was only a penny, the boy was probably just thinking of his future and was most probably going to put it towards a college fund of some sort.

As I write this now I am ashamed of myself. I should of just let it go, it was just a penny - not important in anyway. After all, if he hadn’t come rushing over like a hungry wolf-child, I would have just left it lying there.

If I see him again, I will drop 5p and walk away quietly, that's 1p, plus 4p as an apology.

Follow Ted (MrJohnRain) on Twitter

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