My new companion was a bit of a show-off. A little older than me, this slightly overweight man was keen to present himself as a wealthy individual with ready cash to spend. To demonstrate this, he identified a shop that sold luxury goods, and invited me to follow him through the door.
First he picked up a pair of highly decorated – and very expensive – silver and blue cowboy boots. I was shocked that he would even consider spending so much money on footwear, especially on a pair of boots that you would barely have the opportunity to wear.
He then replaced the boots on the shelf and next selected a large orange and blue patterned plate for serving olives and other antipasti. A tourist souvenir, it was the cheapest item on sale in the shop. ‘This’, he said, ‘I will buy’, and took it over to the cashier.
The first purchase made, my companion next enquired about firearms. The staff leapt to open a case filled to the brim with guns. For half an hour my companion examined the goods, picking them up, stroking them, checking their sights – then announced that he would not be making a purchase that day.
On leaving the shop, my show-off companion puffed out his chest and boasted that this was the best way to demonstrate your wealth to shopkeepers.