Friday, June 22, 2012

Thoughts on shopping trolleys

They're all out today. My husband calls them, collectively, morphines. Slow-acting dopes.

I'm referring to people in our local shopping centre. I'm not sure whether today's vagueness in the human race is due to the phases of the moon but gee it's surprising how many people are totally spatially unaware once they walk into a shopping centre. Some days are OK, but today it was like wading through glue.

When I'm in a shopping centre my head is always swivelling around, making sure I don't bump into people, cut people off if I have to stop suddenly and most importantly, to seek the quickest way through the morphine to get where I want to go.

I think there should be rules about moving around in a shopping centre; unwritten rules are fine. But I would like to see something like this tacked up on the door of my local Centro:

"If you are going into this shopping centre with no specific purpose in mind but intend to dawdle along aimlessly, do NOT take up the entire space between aisles or shops. Stay to one side so people who actually have a purpose or who are carrying heavy bags of shopping can get past you."

I would also like to see indicator systems on shopping trolleys to minimise the shock of people suddenly darting across your path with no warning. And a little bell you could ring so the two very overweight women walking abreast in aisle 3 of Woolies would hear you coming and hopefully move to single file.

Then there are the family groups walking four abreast in the middle of the centre. When you're four abreast in the shopping centre there is no room for anyone else to squeeze past, shopping trolley or no shopping trolley. And when the family members on each end decide to veer off in different random directions, there really is no way to safely get around them without squishing a child, especially if you're driving a trolley as I was today. Dawdling along, they just don't consider that other people are behind them and may need to get in front, desperately trying to do a lunch-break shop.

I have said, 'Excuse me, please' so often today I'm running out of voice.

I can understand why some people don't move as quickly as I. I watch out for the elderly and the disabled and help them if they're having trouble reaching things in the supermarket. But the able-bodied brain-dead, walking around like zombies at a snail's pace? Now that's when I wish I had a horn or bell on the trolley!

When I watch some of these folk push their trolleys around I wonder what sort of car driver they are. Do they use their rear-view mirrors? Do they glance around to check before changing lanes? Are they mindful of other road users, do they watch the road a couple of cars ahead to see if traffic is stopping? In some cases, I definitely suspect not!  I think if I had followed one particular woman to her car today I would have discovered it was covered in dents!

Much as I hate nanny-stateism, maybe it's time that people were given lessons on good behaviour when pushing a shopping trolley or moving around shopping centres in general.

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Or am I simply rapidly becoming a grumpy old woman?


  1. I love your use of 'morphines'. It's perfect and I hope you don't mind if I adopt it.

    1. Hi Sox
      Please do... spread the love! Hee hee!