Tuesday 22 August 2023

The supermarket trolley on the move

In the folly of a trolley

The times that I have chosen to do my walking exercises to avoid encounters with unruly owners with their devil dogs in public parks present a new kind of solitude and quietness for contemplation and reflection. Then again are the observations one makes of the somewhat ordinary and yet attractive.

The uncharted and relatively insignificant life of the supermarket trolley is one that seems to fill me with intrigue and genuine interest. I will use trolley for the rest of the blog.

Typically, a trolley will be arrayed with similar trolleys at the entrance of a supermarket, a refundable charge for use allows the trolley to be detached from its mooring to other trolleys and after usage, it is returned for the click mooring to release the coin inserted to gain use of the trolley.

The trolley quite adrift

In some instances, the customer fails to return the trolley to the mooring post and the coin is trapped in the trolley release mechanism, but that is not the issue here. Obviously, the command and control of a trolley around the supermarket and when wheeled towards a vehicle in the car park can present an irreverent waywardness no matter how much the customer attempts to steer it. It is a wonder that licenses are not required to steer those beasts.

However, my chronicling of the odyssey of the trolley comes from seeing the trolleys a long way away from the home supermarket, on a pathway, in the river, idling in the fields, or full of rubbish rather than consumer goods and groceries.

Meeting the tunnel trolley

For instance, walking through a pedestrian tunnel three days ago, there was a trolley halfway into the tunnel party blocking the pathway and a bit askew. I did wonder where it had come from. Perish the thought that it had automation, or it arrived there by some poltergeist phenomenon. A certain human being must have got it that far and decided to abandon it there.

The next day, the trolley was on its back, the handlebar and the hind wheels on the ground looking up like the wire sculpture of a yawning hippopotamus. The thought crossed my mind, but I did not dwell on it, as for the questions, there were many to think of too.

The story-making trolley

Then, at another brisk walk through the tunnel, the trolley had righted itself, now on its four wheels and did I notice there was a wheel brake to stop it from being wheeled away from the perimeter of the home supermarket. Yet, it had escaped by velocity, anti-social behaviour, or a quest for liberation. Let’s not wonder too much. It was now well placed at the entrance of the tunnel as if standing sentry.

You can expect, I did expect to see the trolley again as I traipsed through the pedestrian tunnel again, but it had gone. I half-expected to see it along the route between the interconnecting tunnels, footpaths, and bridges, but no, it was nowhere to be seen. Not that I have trolleys for company, but there might have been an unspoken conversation between us that was missed on my last traversal.

The trolley back at home

Another 750 yards on, it clicked, there is a large supermarket and the trolley from its colour scheme must have belonged there. If I had tagged it, as one cannot take the name of the trolley, I do wonder of out of the formation of trolleys in resolute order bettering a military parade, I could have asked the trolley for fallout for a dressing down or a commendation.

Herein is the quandary:
for the trolleys that roam,
a long way from home,
is there any hope,
for how they should cope?

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