Saturday, July 3, 2010

Off the Trolley

The shot was directed by my companion, although I had spotted the opportunity. The angle was dictated- and it was the best shot! Shopping trolleys seem to be the bane of our existence. The wheels are wonky, there is rubbish left at the bottom of the cage, the coin won't go in - or worse - won't come out. I once got my trolley tangled up with a woman in a supermarket or rather she got tangled up with me. She had a buggy strapped across the front and was wielding her trolley like a tank. It was the buggy that got caught up in my trolley and she was furious, despite being the protagonist. Perhaps a supermarket isn't the best place to relax. The saying "being off your trolley" used to be current in the UK and Ireland in the eighties but it seems to have fallen out of favour. It was adopted by the collective to signify madness of a certain, colourful type, and was much in vogue at the time of Margaret Thatcher, yet I have been unable to track down the derivation. There is some debate and the strongest suggestion is that it referred to the early days of trolley buses around the 1890s. "He went off the rails" would be similar. All of these expressions seem to suggest a more or less temporary state of impaired mental health, which can at some stage be regained, since the motorman would certainly get the trolley bus rolling again by realigning the tracks. I am not suggesting that is what a psychotherapist does, but perhaps he or she helps the client to do that for themselves. I do have a practical tip though. If your coin gets stuck, turn the trolley upside down. The coin will almost certainly fall out. No-one knows why.