With all the praise for the taxi-driver who knocked the balls off the flaming terrorist the other day, I was reminded of an incident many years ago after a Scotland- England football match at the old Wembley.
I was driving back to Scotland and stopped in , I think, Harrow to get something to eat. As It was about half past nine at night, the only thing open was a Chinese Carryout. Inside were numerous people waiting for their orders, amongst whom were four quiet and well behaved Scots, reading their Daily Records, and commiserating with each other - Scotland had lost, I think, 3-0. They informed anyone in the assembled English company that would listen that " Aye, yer boys were good. Good match - could have gone either way."
Their number was called and they collected their bag of food. They had already paid ( a requirement in that place), and Jimmy checked the contents.
" Where's ma Chinese roll?"
You could have heard a pin drop in the shop.
The young Chinese girl serving was unabashed.
" You no order."
" Aye I bluidy did! An' paid 50p fer it an aw!"
At which point, his pal said " Leave it Jimmy, it's no worth it." - and out the shop they went, to sighs of relief all round. Conversations even started.
Until ten seconds later Jimmy came charging back in. Everyone tried to make themselves disappear into the walls, and Jimmy gripped the counter, leaning aggresively into the Chinese girl's face.
"It's no the 50p!. It's the principle o' the thing!" And he began to make his way out.
Half way to the door he stopped and turned. He was clearly trying to think of something to show he was a big man, to whom the 50p was a mere trifle.
" See, " he said," Its the principle. Why, I've spent more than 50p on... on.." nothing came out for a few seconds, and then enlightenment dawned. "... crisps!"
And out he went, head held high.
We are a proud race.