King of the Aisles
4 February 2002
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?
18 December 2003. George writes: This List
Most recent ten:
15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
Also by this clown:
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
We are all Upsideclown: Dan, George, James, Jamie, Matt, Neil, Victor.
Material is (c) respective authors. For everything else, there's email@example.com.
And weeeeeee can entertain you by email too. Get fresh steaming Upsideclown in your inbox Mondays and Thursdays, and you'll never need to visit this website again. To subscribe, send the word subscribe in the body of your mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (To unsubscribe, send the word unsubscribe instead.)