* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

King of the Aisles

4 February 2002
Jeux sans frontières with Victor

I pick my trolley with the utmost care. I am looking for

1) Awful suspension

2) A sticking top left wheel.

These enable me to career guiltless round the veg like a crutchless polio type. It's not my fault right. You too?

I seek always to wheel at least three screaming youngsters into the store. Consequently I am revered locally as the most willing babysitter in the neighbourhood. Whilst three may be sufficient I have achieved a maximum of sixteen (including undercarriage surfers and hangers-on). Pile 'em up - I'll only be an hour or two.

A curious george: until a child opens its mouth in a shop it is an "adorable little thing". Beyond this point it is the brattish nadir of the retail experience. Get a whole chorus line going, and choose one of the following:

A. Ignore them, giving other customers the impression that you are an uninterested parent.

B. Get really shitty. Curse "your" children, express the wish that they had never been born, administer a slap once in a while for heightened effect.

How did you fare?

Mostly A's: Content to forego immediate gratification, you allow mild discontent to brew in the consciousnesses of the shoppers around you. They, as parents themselves, will understand your reaction but will silently condemn you nevertheless.

Mostly B's: Congratulations. You are a twat of the First Order. Scratching the itch until it weeps, you may even be fortunate enough to get into a fight with a Welfare Officer. DO IT.

BEWARE THE OLD FELLA. It is not frail and infirm, it is a fighting machine. Entrenched in filth in the centre of the aisle it will without warning extend its wooden lash and administer a swift but excruciating rap to the back of the legs. There is but one way to deal with it: pressing down on the back wheels, raise the front left corner of your chariot up and under the knickers of the offending article. Having scooped the shitty senior into the air, deposit it roughly in a nearby freezer cabinet (top-loading only). This is the Findus Flop, and it is the only language the pensioner understands.

Remember above all else that everything in a supermarket is made of rubber (they designed it that way for people like you and me). Your chariot can therefore hit it with impunity. If your aim is sure you will be rewarded with points, ringing bells, flashing lights, perhaps even a free go:

Toddler - 500

Pissy Pensioner - 250 (+50 for zimmer, stick or colostomy, all of which can be sold as scrap).

Diffident, sulky new father (middle management, red jeans, England rugby shirt, BMW, cauliflower ear) - 15 (quarry of scarcity preferred)

Saturday boy - Free ball

Absolutely no tilting under any circumstances. Opportunity for trolley pinball is of course dependent on the time you arrive "instore". Mid-morning seems to hold a particular dearth of toddlers, who at that time are nearly all in playgroup. In the lean times I have made do with one of the kids I've brought along, but would not recommend this due to the attendant inconvenience of having to explain near fatal injury or facial disfigurement to a next-door neighbour.

And don't tire yourself out hunting small fry. Whilst the new father is easy to trap and very rarely struggles, little beats the running down of big game coupled with the evasion of Security.

That's me, at checkout 7. I'm the statuesque brunette with the five children. I've bought up all the toilet roll.

I am King of the Aisles - who are you?


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
27 October 2003. Victor writes: Our Tune
6 October 2003. Victor writes: Sucking face (in a public place)
15 September 2003. Victor writes: You got any ID?
25 August 2003. Victor writes: Blood on the Boulevard
4 August 2003. Victor writes: In (paren)theses
10 July 2003. Victor writes: Island Fling
19 June 2003. Victor writes: Back (back) and forth (and forth)
2 June 2003. Victor writes: 300 clowns, 13 eight-year olds
12 May 2003. Victor writes: The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune
21 April 2003. Victor writes: ...just sitting there quietly contemplating suicide
31 March 2003. Victor writes: Victoria
6 March 2003. Victor writes: Relevant experience
17 February 2003. Victor writes: You will eat chips and go nowhere
27 January 2003. Victor writes: A bushy fish for fishy Mr Bush (after Juvenal)
6 January 2003. Victor writes: The Accidental Voyeur
16 December 2002. Victor writes: Gripper goes bang
25 November 2002. Victor writes: Bediquette
4 November 2002. Victor writes: Where have all the spastics gone?
14 October 2002. Victor writes: An Immodest Proposal
23 September 2002. Victor writes: Fastscan masterplan
2 September 2002. Victor writes: Dry Humping Social Club
12 August 2002. Victor writes: Beat the Mongol
22 July 2002. Victor writes: What life is not
1 July 2002. Victor writes: Stupor heroes
6 June 2002. Victor writes: Dry
13 May 2002. Victor writes: Muppet Suite
18 April 2002. Victor writes: gingermingeninja
25 March 2002. Victor writes: Sodomize with Pukka Pies
28 February 2002. Victor writes: Dave's problem
4 February 2002. Victor writes: King of the Aisles
10 January 2002. Victor writes: Here come the decorator gimps.
17 December 2001. Victor writes: Make war, not supper.
22 November 2001. Victor writes: Cough
29 October 2001. Victor writes:
4 October 2001. Victor writes: Green Gauges
10 September 2001. Victor writes: Blind weed
16 August 2001. Victor writes: Snout!
23 July 2001. Victor writes: You're not going to put this in a clown are you?
28 June 2001. Victor writes: What is a droll?
4 June 2001. Victor writes: Burt Pakamak
10 May 2001. Victor writes: Board to Death
12 April 2001. Victor writes: Tricolon with anaphora?
22 March 2001. Victor writes: Point of View
26 February 2001. Victor writes: Goth's Dinner
1 Feburary 2001. Victor writes: Les Miserables
4 January 2001. Victor writes: Flat-packed furniture
14 December 2000. Victor writes: Deliverance
20 November 2000. Victor writes: Bottomry: Exorcising Ghosts
26 October 2000. Victor writes: Body Art
2 October 2000. Victor writes: Disney must die
7 September 2000. Victor writes: Ice-cream in Offworld
14 August 2000. Victor writes: I like sweets that taste of medicine
26 June 2000. Victor writes: I've seen the future, and it's feathered

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