As I sat drinking my large skinny latte, which cost me all of £2.76, and reading my newspaper, I heard a middle-aged man who had approached a couple on the sofa nearby asking:
'Could you spare me two pounds for a cup of coffee?'
'No, said the seated man.'
''Why not?' persisted the chap doing the begging, who didn't look like a beggar actually. He seemed quite neat and clean.
'Well for one thing,' said the seated man, growing irritated, 'I doubt you'd really use it to buy coffee. More likely booze.'
'I would. Coffee, not drink.'
'And for another thing, this is a rather expensive place to buy a coffee, even the cheapest one costs more than two pounds.'
'Just give me enough then, please.'
'Do you really want a cup of coffee?'
'Well out of that door and about ten yards along the street there is the Salvation Army centre, and they'll give you a cup of coffee for free if you ask them. They'll even give you two cups, I'm sure, and some soup and a sandwich I expect.'
'Fuck off,' declared the beggar.
And after that curse he turned and looked at me, but immediately just turned around again and walked away.