Shops, pubs, petrol stations…

These places are the epicentre of the phenomenon known as the tw@tpirouette.

The incredible moment when the cashier or shop assistant irrelevantly begins some kind of awful contemporary dance manoeuvre to express their complete and utter dedication to the act of NOT LOOKING at your pin number.

Like a coiled idiotspring, they wind themselves away from your area, often projecting a facsimile of disgust at the act you are about to commit. Their entire bodies contorting to display their total dedication to facing the other way.

Some of the more dramatic types will even add an extraordinary flourish of eye-shielding with their free hand that can last for up to ten agonising seconds after you’ve entered your numbers into the keypad.

It’s almost impossible when caught, self-aware, in those ridiculous moments, not to feel bizarrely ‘guilty’ as a result of the horrendous over-acting. Their mock revulsion at your dirty fingertips potentially making you feel like a sweating pervert pathetically handing over a recently obtained beaker of lukewarm ejaculate to a pretty nurse in a busy sperm bank.

And what even IS this fear?

It causes you to act like a monumental idiot in the belief that if they, or the public earnestly tw@tpiroetting behind you in the queue, might see your PIN number, or that they might somehow use that information to do anything other than peer into your bank account to see what kind of cash available you have.

You read the statements poking out of the little bin thing and you know you do.

It ends up instilling within you a deep urge to get your four numbers smashed into the flashing little bastard as quickly as possible. Which, as we know, can only ever result in either the total loss of motor control in your digits, or, the complete inability to remember your pin number at all.

Or both.

So there you are, in public, with a bag of Primark toss stuffed hopefully inside basically any other brand of bag in order not to look like a complete f*ckcrumb.

Your big sweating face desperately punching half-remembered numbers into a tiny keypad with all the accuracy of a sh!tfaced horse wearing boxing gloves.

In front of you, the shop assistant has dislocated her lumbar vertebrae like some kind of RADA/corkscrew hybrid, whilst simultaneously making you feel like a fat pervert. Behind you at least two people have begun to study the polystyrene ceiling tiles like moon-faced babies at a long-overdue bedtime.

And at the end of the long and shopping-filled day, you probably don’t even want or need the ridiculous bags of crap you’ve bought.

It’s a ritual.

It’s a stupid ritual.

This never happened with pound notes.