Firstly, I should make it absolutely clear that I always wear a facemask when I go into shops. But today was an exception as it was for a last-minute emergency purchase and -- to be perfectly honest -- I forgot.
Anyway, I was in the wine section of Waitrose supermarket, minding my own business and surveying their collection of alcohol-free beers, when I was aggressively approached by an apparition in a 'Hi-Viz' safety jacket, a backwards-worn baseball cap and an enormous black mask.
At first I thought it might have been a baboon that had escaped from Salisbury zoo, but then the mask started puffing in and out violently, and I heard what sounded a bit like a distorted Scottish accent.
So I immediately realised it wasn't a baboon. (I am African, you see, and I know that baboons do not speak with Scottish accents.)
The shouting rose in volume and the mask puffed in and out more and more explosively as the strange fellow began gesticulating with one black-gloved hand at the huge black mask that hid most of the area where one might have expected to find his face, whilst the other repeatedly pointed to a badge that said 'Security', and was pinned to his 'Hi-Res' safety jacket.
I wondered briefly what he thought might be likely to run him over in a supermarket (a trolley with a wonky wheel -- possibly -- poorly controlled by a little old lady from Patting Green, hey?) but there was no time to pursue the thought, because the chap was by now becoming pretty noisy and excited, and quite a crowd was beginning to gather.
Anyway -- as I said -- the situation seemed to be getting out of control so I decided to assert my authority and, placing a hand firmly upon his shoulder, I sternly informed him that I couldn't understand a bloody word he was saying, and that if he wished to continue our conversation, he should remove his mask and speak slowly: enunciating clearly.
I'm not sure whether HE understood ME, because he did not reply for a moment, then shrugged his shoulders, slowly turned, and shuffled away up the aisle towards the Dundee cake shelf, shaking his head in apparent confusion.
But the interruption had fatally broken my concentration (I am nearly 73 years old, you know) and I forgot all about the Zero-alcohol beer.
On the plus side of the ledger, however, I DID find some Jack Daniels on 'special' (three for the price of two) and having made a double investment, I saved myself more than £ 32.50 and shall probably not need to re-supply again for more than a week.
I was going to call this little piece of personal history "Masks Tend To Upset Wives," but now I cannot remember why.