As we know, Tesco flies the odious BNP flag quite merrily. That's not the Cross of St George - before the 1990s about the only time you saw a red cross in England was on a first aid tin or tent. No, we're talking about the Union Flag. The Union Jack as it is often called. Tesco proudly festoons its displays with BNP (Union) flags, unless it happens to be Scottish produce. Then Tesco proudly festoons its displays with Scottish Saltires.
Today, our Chris took his dear old mother shopping at a Tesco store in Cambridge. Mrs Abbott likes to shop there, you understand. Old habits die hard. She's Scots, but not anti-English. She's just used to Tesco products.
Anyway, before he left for the trip to Tesco, Chris' young nephew gave him a baseball cap emblazoned with the England flag (Cross of St George) and the word "England". It was too small, but Chris thought it might be fun to wear it at anti-English Tesco.
Mrs Abbott succumbed to the joys of a seat outside in the sunshine and a fag (disgusting family, these Abbotts!) and sent Chris into the store with her shopping list. And around twenty minutes later, Chris arrived at the till.
He was arranging things on the conveyor belt so that the heaviest items would end up at the bottom of the shopping bags and the lightest and most easily damaged on top, when the till operator, a young gentleman called Yousef, said rather sternly and rather loudly: "IT'S ALL RIGHT!"
Chris was taken aback: "I was just arranging things so that the heaviest things would be on the bottom..."
"IT'S ALL RIGHT!" said Yousef again.
Stung, and never one to be knowingly racist, Chris treated Yousef to exactly the same retort he would any other gobby till operator: "Well, there's no need to be so snappy and rude!"
Suddenly, an elderly gent from the next queue was in Chris' face, seventy if he was a day, and the type of frightfully nice chappie you don't see very often these days. "I get BOTH SNAPPY AND RUDE!" he said, riding valiantly to Yousef's defence.
Startled though he was, Chris replied quietly with saccharin politeness: "Oh poor you!"
Frightfully nice chappie reared back, startled at the camp response (Chris used to be a star of the local gay scene back in the 1980s - when it comes to camp, he can't be beat). Meanwhile, Yousef was making strange whirling motions with his finger, reminiscent of the motion of a flashing blue light on a police car, to somebody standing behind Chris.
The rest of the transaction went smoothly, Yousef glowered a little, Chris was icily polite, Mr Frightfully Nice Chappie tottered out. But as Chris left the store a police car was just entering the car park. Coincidence?
This is the type of idiotic country we now live in. Yousef, the till operator, a recent arrival here, appears to have bought into the Government's anti-English Britishness thing. Thus surrendering himself to health apartheid, the West Lothian Question, the Barnett Formula, etc. He seemed to believe that Chris, fiddling with his shopping on the conveyor belt, was somebody to be suspicious of - simply because Chris had an England flag on his cap. Chris has been taking his mother shopping at their store since it opened. Nothing like this has ever happened before.
Mr Frightfully Nice Chappie, probably born here, also thought that Chris was a thorough baddie for sporting the Cross Of St George - thus surrendering himself to health apartheid, the West Lothian Question, the Barnett Formula, etc, etc.
Meanwhile, within plain sight was a display of Tesco potatoes with the flag of the British National Party prominently displayed on it - the Union Flag.
If you've got any item of clothing with the Cross of St George on it, it would probably be a good idea to wear it. That flag has not enjoyed a good showing for a while and the forces that would demonise it are on the attack again.
Was Chris being paranoid? Was it really the cap that caused him to be treated in the manner described? Well, after shopping at that store since it opened, and always following the same routine, and lucky to get a grunt from most till operators, let alone open hostility, you tell us...