THERE ARE TWO MAIN TYPES OF TROLLEY. The first is a beautifully smooth, well-oiled trolley that goes exactly where you point it and doesn’t have someone else’s plastic bag and shopping list in the bottom. You’ll find this trolley in the manager’s office where it is kept for the exclusive use of visiting dignitaries.
The other kind of trolley is your one with the permanent three-wheel-drive and fatal attraction to anything on your left. Trolleys, like dogs, enjoy sniffing each other out, which is why you spend a lot of time in the supermarket apologising to other people as your trolley gets intimate with theirs.
When you drive to the supermarket, driving standards immediately deteriorate as soon as you enter the carpark. This is to prepare you for the truly shocking driving standards inside the supermarket. It’s chilling to think that some of the imbecilic fatheads doing dangerous hare-brained manoeuvres with their trolleys have a driving licence, and will shortly be back on the road doing the same kind of thing in their cars.
Once you’ve unloaded your shopping into the car you then have to get rid of the trolley. There’s usually a great big puddle of uncollected trolleys sitting in the middle of the carpark. Some people give their trolley a shove in that general direction. Other people feel the need to be a bit neater (for men there is a deep primal satisfaction slotting your trolley into the back of another one). Before you know it, you’re clearing up the entire carpark and pushing a line of 50 trolleys back to the entrance.
Many trolleys have special little seats for children which, sadly, still leaves them within arm’s reach of shelves. A far better idea is to put them in the bottom of the trolley and wedge them in with a 12-pack of orange juice. Some supermarkets have little plastic cars for the kids. These are very like Porsches in that they’re great fun to drive, but you only have enough space in the back for two items of shopping.
Sometimes, at peak shopping periods, there can be tremendous traffic jams of trolleys in the aisles, especially around the bread and the milk section. The cause of these tailbacks is often someone who has a trolley without a wonky wheel and is driving in a dangerous straight line.
For some reason many trolleys end up in local creeks. When they’re fished out and cleaned up they work perfectly. Apart from the wonky wheel. In fact that’s very probably the reason they ended up in the creek in the first place.
© GUY BROWNING IS AUTHOR OF ‘NEVER PUSH WHEN IT SAYS PULL’ AND CREATOR OF ‘TORTOISE IN LOVE’ (DVD) – USED BY PERMISSION.