I was reminded recently of an incident which happened not too long after I moved in when I was passing the time of day with my immediate neighbour.
A couple of young girls aged around six or seven appeared each carrying a plate. They simultaneously approached us, splitting only to walk down our individual drive ways to where we were. They both proffered up the plates for inspection and asked if we wanted one of their cakes. Each plate contained a few chocolate covered cornflake cakes of the type that constitute a child’s first experience of cake making and where the interest lies more in the chocolate covered spoon and bowl.
I would normally politely decline something like this from complete strangers especially as I’d no idea of their provenance but my neighbour, who has a daughter of a similar age immediately accepted. I felt compelled to do the same for fear that I would be perceived as a miserable git!
As I offered my thanks and took one from the plate a pair of beady eyes looked up at me, an outstretched hand appeared and she said “that will be a pound please!” A pound! For one scabby, cooking chocolate festooned object of questionable heritage and hygiene! Talk about being fleeced. I was so shocked I paid up and my “prize” spent a day or so in the fridge before being thrown out!