I stood at the trolley park at Sainsbury’s, there were two lines of small trolleys and two of large trolleys, I wanted a small one. I eyed them up; left or right? Right or left? I plumped for the one on the left-hand side.
I know from experience that there are several trolleys in service at Chesham Sainsbury’s that exhibit an alarming tendency to go off in a direction that they choose and not the direction chosen by the trolley pusher.
I released the trolley and gave it an exploratory pull backwards and then steered it into the shop, it seemed to steer where I wanted it to go but it was only after I had entered the building and got onto the smooth shop floor that I realised that one of the wheels had a flat or some defect on it that caused it to make a noise at every revolution.
I considered going back and exchanging it for another trolley, then reasoned that as it got heavier with the shopping that I was going to put into it, maybe it would become quieter, empty vessels and all that…
It didn’t get quieter, so I rolled around the shop banging and clattering like a loose-coupled train of empty, 16-ton mineral wagons being roughly shunted by a grumpy tank engine. Actually, I have to admit that a part of me rather enjoyed that scenario.
I remember that once upon a time, supermarkets offered ‘naughty trolley’ tags that could be affixed to the trolleys by public-spirited, altruistic shoppers. Now we are just left to get on with it before we vie for position at the two, manned checkouts that they’ve seen fit to open in a callous yet vain attempt to make us all use the self-service checkouts.
Anyway, the experience compelled me to pen the ditty presented below.
Off (one’s) trolley
The conveyance stood in meek abeyance,
Another, empty to the right stood close.
The choice, which to employ, which one to chance?
The coin inserted, click, the chain was loose.
I had surveyed the pair, the left and right.
My choice then made I steered the errant ark,
The course was true the helm was requisite,
I entered the emporium, my task.
But in muted climes became audible,
The clatter of a wheel upon the ground.
And so, with each step yet more terrible,
That sonancy, cacophony, that sound.
And so thus I traversed Sainsbury’s floor,
A sound much like a loose-coupled goods train.
I made for the checkout, ere I heard more,
Freed my coin and gave the ark my disdain.