I am in the bookshop, I am coming down with tonsilitis but I am soldiering on. I'm tough like that. A woman comes in with her small son, Frank - or perhaps we might call him by his other name - Little Fucker. LF Frank is chuntering away as he barges round the shop. 'Ah' I think. 'Aren't small children funny when they have discovered the wonders of full sentence construction and can chat away like old pros.' Momentarily my instinctive very slightly anti-child facade lifts.
His mother comes to the counter with a book and some wrapping paper. I take the money and roll the wrapping paper and put the goods in a plastic bag. I notice LF Frank is eyeing me up in what might only be described as pre-meditative. I hand the bag to the mother and she turns to put it into the huge buggy (huge I can only imagine because there are leather restraints and a muzzle inside). LF Frank says 'Mummy, that lady punched me.' And he points at me. I am at this point standing some 2-3 feet away across a high counter that the snivelling LF cannot in any way see over. If I were Mrs Incredible, I could indeed have punched him. But I did not.
His mother tells him not to tell such terrible stories. He repeats the accusation. At this point, I empathise with every teacher in the land. I am about to be done for child assault. And for once, I am innocent. The BookSeller is mysteriously silent behind me, but I sense he could leap into action if required. LF Frank is hurriedly ushered from the shop. I'll be watching for him.