As a mother of three adult students who manage to consume several crates of bananas and many cartons of eggs on a daily basis, not to mention whole boxes of cereal in one sitting (my middle son can munch on a bowl of seven Weetabix while waiting on dinner), supermarket shopping features heavily in my daily schedule in order to keep the larder stocked. Hence, I consider myself an expert on trolley etiquette. I’m talking supermarket trolleys of course, not hostess trolleys, which incidentally I’m also an expert on, but let’s not digress, that’s way too deep and a whole separate blog.
Fellow domestic Goddesses will be well versed in the intricacies of maneuvering through aisle traffic, but I’ll share my tips with those less informed. Let’s be clear about this, many a woman’s reputation has been ruined on the slip of a wheel or the destruction of an apple pyramid among the aisles of Fallon and Byrne. From extensive observation of supermarket behaviour, I have deduced that men are the root of all evil in the supermarket. All this dithering hither and yon, seeking out preferred items, not knowing their pilchards from their sardines, causing untold mayhem in the aisles, preventing women from sailing through the deli section unimpeded.
No wonder men suffer more accidents when constantly subjected to trolley attack by women. Statistics show that tall, dark, handsome men are particularly accident prone, leading me to suspect the intentions of some.
Some younger women are equally misbehaved. On a recent excursion to the supermarket I encountered two young ladies in the pickle aisle taking selfies with the mini cucumbers, trolleys askew (preventing access to the mini gherkins). Such reprehensible behavour, I immediately jumped in, photobombing with a full size cucumber.
I think it’s high time I reveal Nifty’s difinitive guide to trolley etiquette.
Drive on the left. May cause confusion for visitors outside Ireland and the UK. I’ve written to the minister for Transport on the matter, requesting the installation of traffic lanes and possibly even traffic lights in all Supermarket aisles.
Greet people you know with a wave, smiling as you sail on by. If you meet your close friend who relays all the juiciest gossip, it’s perfectly acceptable to hog the aisle. Salacious gossip takes precedence over everything.
Make sure to pick up a fresh haddock, you may need it later.
Don’t stop at aisle intersections. Barge your way through. If you show weakness people with take liberties.
If you reach for your favourite aromatic duck only to find another hand has grabbed it simultaneously, position your trolley to give a sharp prod to the ankles of your opponent. Again, this requires focus. Skilfully quide your trolley back down the adjacent aisle while your opponent is hopping on one foot. This manoeuvre works well for anyone who gets your goat up, young ladies wearing pyjamas, pretentious shoppers who loudly ask for Lobster Gazpacho at the deli counter.
Always use the express queue. The item limit is purely a precautionary measure. If challenged by someone behind, simply point at their basket asking loudly “Is that your haemorrhoid cream”.
If you happen to take a pineapple from the bottom of a pineapple mountain and it results in a fruit catastrophe, quietly retreat backwards to the adjacent aisle. If it’s a banana mountain in disarray, hide behind the next aisle and watch for slippages. A little amusement to brighten your day.
If you are in a hurry it’s perfectly acceptable to skip the queue. Simply distract the person at the top of the queue by pointing outside shouting “Is that George Clooney”. At this point you swoop in with your trolley towards the cash desk, unloading your items on the conveyer belt before anyone can object. If anyone does complain, slap them across the face with your fresh haddock. It will usually stun for long enough to allow you to proceed unhampered.
Park in the trolley bay if you feel like it.
Or you might come back to this.
Take out a subscription to receive the popular magazine Jolly Trolley Today. I must say a more comprehensive and informative publication on this fascinating topic you won’t find. A must for any domestic Goddess worth her salt.