I went to the local shop for milk for work. 89p. I had a £10 note. The bloke serving was shelf stacking or something so I had a few seconds at the counter. I noticed a group of around 6 charity boxes clustered together just next to the till. This being Harehills the charities were various Muslim foundations and education whatnots. I found myself wondering whether anyone put any money in them and if they did how they chose which charity.
Being a white liberal type I began an argument with myself – of course these are legitimate charities, how dare it even cross your mind that they’re probably funding some fruitcake fundamentalist sexually knotted sad acts in rural Pakistan? Before I knew it the man was back behind the counter and took my £10 note. I asked for a receipt. He handed it to me with my change…."9 11 sir" he said handing me my change…an icy wind swept round my neck….
Just in case I need to explain, the milk was 89p and I paid with a £10 note. So, that’d be £9.11 in change then. How could it even have crossed my mind that he was referring to anything else. Or was he the angel of terrorist death come to warn the infidel bloke buying milk?
This has just reminded me. When I was in Greenhouse (the fine indie rock outfit beloved of Peel etc.) we played a gig in a pub in Beeston supported by a band of Asian lads calling themselves ‘Jihad’. These days their feet wouldn’t touch presumably. Rum old world eh?