Another encounter with the scanner has shown me that the gift of giving can permeate the mind of even the meanest spirited electronic brain. It was as though I had encountered the reanimated, fully epiphanised Scrooge, in mechanical form, cheerily waiting at the checkout with the sole purpose of bringing joy to every Tiny Tim that passed a bar code over his platen. I was in the guise of a Wiser man, bearing a box of six eggs, as is my wont. I stood before the altar of he whom I supposed was still the steely eyed Moolah, Lord of the Dosh and Keeper of the fabled Wonga. I was not expecting love, I was ready for conflict and confusion. Having performed the initial rites I was prepared, this time, for the six passes of the egg box. The first pass was met with the curt bleep of approval and I proceeded to the second pass for the second egg. Rejection can be hard, but the Scanner’s rejection was, miraculously, kindness itself. His electronic screen of a face beamed with the simple Christmas message – 28ctms, pay up now. A box of six jolly good eggs for 28ctms the lot. Like a stick of Brighton rock with the bar code running through it. My toast had fallen butter side up. I have a feeling that this conversion may not be as permanent as the one that we assume affected Scrooge.