There’s a jerk chicken shop around the corner from my office that sells the best lunches I’ve ever tasted. I love jerk chicken, but I never feel like I can go there unless I tag along with a crowd of people from my office.
The owner is a very cool looking Jamaican man, and at lunchtimes it’s full of young trendy types eating their lunch and listening to the reggae music they play. I, on the other hand, am a balding middle-aged man in a grey suit. I feel like I stand out too much to go there, and don’t really belong.
One day though I felt brave, moments like these are usually where the problems start.
I stepped into the shop, and ordered my jerk chicken with rice and peas from the shop owner and gave him my money. Then I started to feel self-conscious and looked sheepishly around the shop, I wondered if I was being looked at by the hipsters and young professionals enjoying their lunch, but thought I was probably just making too much of it.
As I turned around again the shop owner was looking at me, with his arm outstretched and hand in a fist held in my direction. This is my moment I thought – I’ve been accepted!
I’d heard of doing a ‘fist bump’ before, although this was the first, and last time I’d attempted one.
I gingerly reached out with my fist and pressed it gently against his.
He recoiled in horror.
“No mate it’s your change” he said, and opened his fist to show me the coins held in his hand. A few people by the counter burst into laughter.
My brain exploded with panic, and I turned and ran out of the shop, not stopping to get my change, or my lunch.
I've been too traumatised to eat Jerk Chicken ever since.