It's not too often that a man finds himself on his his knees in the toiletries aisle of his local supermarket but that, ladies and gentlemen, was my fate one day last week. No, I wasn't imploring the manager to remove the looped Kenny G cd from the speaker system (although it had certainly crossed my mind). I had, in fact just trodden on a little girl.
That sounds bad doesn't it? Let me explain, officer. There I was, minding my own business, tootling towards the checkout clutching my purchases - a bottle of bleach and a bottle of white wine - only one of which I was planning to quaff that very evening. Coming in the opposite direction was a young mother with her small daughter in tow. Just to my left, stood another little girl with her back to me, intently studying the toothbrush display for reasons best known to herself. The mother walked past in quite the normal fashion but girl A , just behind her, decided to barrel directly into me, presumably a result of my natural charisma. I swerved to avoid a collision but girl B (toothbrushes, etc.) chose just that moment to turn on a sixpence in a manoeuvre that only she and Lionel Messi might be capable of. I felt the sole of my foot press lightly on her instep and in order to avoid what, let's face it, would gave been a grown man stamping on a four year old girl, I put my weight fully on my other leg. The very same other leg which girl A was just crashing into. I fell to my knees like Jose Mourinho that time he made a complete fool of himself (one of many), as both girls began to cry at a volume hitherto unbeknown to mankind. The only saving grace was that Kenny G was drowned out in the rumpus.
To her credit, the girls' mother was pretty sanguine, and realised that no real harm had been done, telling me not to worry, it wasn't my fault. Unfortunately, this was the cue for an old woman to appear from nowhere and try to extract a bit more drama from the situation, presumably having come directly from watching back-to-back episodes of Sálvame Deluxe (the Spanish equivalent of Jeremy Kyle).
"That man just stamped on your daughter!" she yelped, employing not a little hyperbole.
"It's fine, he didn't mean it," said the mother, eyeing her little one's trembling lip and the middle-aged bloke still kneeling from the shock, with equal concern.
"You have to report him! This isn't right!"
The young mother lost her patience at this point and her reposte was worthy of Oscar Wilde in his pomp.
"Look, madam, there's a gentleman on his knees in his local supermarket apologising profusely - I don't think his intentions were really bad, do you?"
Drama Lady scuttled off, duly chastised and I said sorry yet again before legging it home to drink the bleach. I mean, wine.