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STORIES BY HELEN WORRALL

 

STORIES  AND EBAY SALES

1     AN OLD LAND ROVER
2     EBAY
3     SELLING AN OLD LAND ROVER  
4     SELLING WHEELS AND TYRES
5     A NEW JOB AT THE FUNERAL PARLOUR
6     SELLING VIDEO CAMERA
7     MY BIRTHDAY TODAY
8     WITCHERY PART ONE
9     SELLING CANVAS HOOD
10   WITCHERY PART TWO
11   SELLING CARAVAN HITCHDRIVE 
12   WITCHERY PART THREE
13   SELLING RATCHET STRAPS  
14   WITCHERY PART FOUR
15   SELLING GOAL POSTS  
16   WITCHERY PART FIVE
17   SELLING A HI VIZ COAT
18   WITCHERY PART SIX

19   SELLING 3 TONNES OF CLAY    
2O  WITCHERY PART SEVEN
21   SELLING A WHEEL CLAMP
22   SHOPPING AND THE HESITANT DOORS
23   SELLING AN OLD PAIR OF BOOTS

24   THE REAL DE VINCI CODE

25   MY GUITAR AND AMP

26   SELLING MOTORBIKE PANNIERS

27   HALLOWEEN

28 SELLING A HIGHWAY CODE

29 ZEN AND THE ART OF  LAND ROVER MAINTENANCE

30  SELLING A CIGARETTE LIGHTER AND A TRIP TO SCOTLAND

31  CHRISTMAS LIGHT RAGE

32  METAMORPHOSIS

33 SELLING AN AMBER BEACON

34 THE UNIVERSE IS A  BIG PLACE

35 SELLING A  BLOW LAMP

36 SELLING BOOTS UPDATE

37 SELLING A  TORCH

38 SELLING A MOTORBIKE JACKET

39 SELLING A POWER JUICER

40 SELLING A HORSE WHIP

41 THE BOAT

42 SELLING LAND ROVER SIDE STEPS

43 SELLING A  TOW / RECOVERY CHAIN

44 SELLING LAND ROVER BULL BARS

45 SELLING THE FOGGYDAVE CARRIER BAG

46 CARAVAN RAGE OR AGINCOURT DEUXIEME PARTIE

 

 

 

STORY 22  SHOPPING AND THE HESITANT DOORS

 My wife is an impatient woman, and this is never more apparent than when she is shopping. The impatience starts hours before the trip when she makes out her list, (which normally gets left behind in the house). The list is in order of shopping, she imagines herself going down the aisles and picking stuff off the shelf, muttering to herself about how low or high the product is, even down to the wait at the cheese counter for her normal 2kg of Danish blue, tut tutting at the long queue. Finally with her mental shopping trolley full she reaches the cash out and unpacks the goods totting up in her mind the total price. She then adds on £40 for incidentals, and now in a high state of anger built up during the imaginary shopping trip we set out for real.
I always take my old Land Rover to the Co Op as no one parks next to it. If you do not want a dink or scratch then park next to the poshest car. When you park next to a wreck like mine you can expect the worst. Of course we have to park as close to the stores doors as possible, this means either going into a disabled spot or those reserved for mothers with prams. We used to go into the disabled but the parking- trolley man soon got suspicious of the roughly crayoned disability badge. And so we park in the mothers and pram space, When getting out my wife bunches up her dress to look as if she was cradling an infant, even going so far as to say coochie choo,s to it. Once for added realism she actually pretended to breast feed it, not a pretty sight to see just before you buy food, or at any other time come to think of it.
It is then a dash for the few trolleys available, unless you want to walk half a mile across the car park to where they are herding in the farthest corner. How they get there I do not know, as no one parks anywhere near it. It must be a herding instinct, and if you see them slotting together without human help be very afraid as there will be many more by morning. Getting the trolley is my job as the wife busies herself getting out of the car, and re arranging her bell tent of a dress. Then trying to find the shopping list, and swearing when she realises she left it at home.

This job of getting the trolley is probably the last vestige we men have from the days when the male members of the family dressed in animal furs and went out to hunt. We track down the trolley weaving in and out of cars, keeping a wary eye out for other hunters. When you see a trolley you do not go straight for it as this would point other men in the same direction. No, you take a zig zagging course through the cars hoping that others have not seen you. The excitement mounts as you approach the basket, and then the final mad dash of five meters as other hunters hidden behind bumpers and bonnets all dash for the prize. The winner then jumps up and down beating his chest as he fends of the slathering pack. That is until he sees that one of the wheels has a tyre missing, at which time the others smirking melt back behind the cars to continue the hunt. Woe and thrice woe to the man who presents his mistress with a trolley with squeaky or stiff wheels, for as she shops other women will look and sadly smile, her man a failure in their eyes, and in her eyes the steely glint of “wait till I get you home”. There was a recent divorce case where the main reason cited for their break up was his inability to get a good shopping trolley, so infringing her human rights to shop as others do and be able to hold her head up in society.

 Sir David Attenborough has done a study on the part played by the humble shopping trolley during mating (My wife calls him Big D as they are good friends. Big D has done many anthropological studies on “My hairy arm pitted one” and is still unsure as to her true classification).

Here is an extract from a recent publication by Big D on the shopping habits of Homo Sapiens.

“The trolley is presented to the woman with all the ritual of a mating Peacock, as first the man circles her with it to show the unhindered steering and quiet wheels, then the thrusting motions mimicking the battle to come, or maybe the act of procreation. During this the female feigns disinterest. The trolley is tentatively handed over to the female; hopefully she will accept the offering, with the ritual response of “I suppose it will have to do”. Or if not the dreaded rejection with a loud screechy “You will have to do better than that” as she throws the trolley back, ensuring other females in the vicinity are looking so that they may see her dominance. Her man then makes a hasty retreat to continue the hunt. The rejected trolley eagerly pounced upon by hunters with less demanding wives and standards”.

 We used to take our own up until two months ago. I had “borrowed” one of the trolleys, thinking that if I cut it up the grill design would make handsome light guards on the Land Rover. My wife on seeing it made the suggestion that it would be better to get the wheels to run properly, and use it ourselves. I thought this an admiral idea, as firstly I had always wanted to put a V8 engine into a shopping trolley, and secondly it would save the weekly embarrassment of being publicly cuffed around the ear and other body parts, when presenting rejected trolleys to my most discerning wife. With this trolley she drew the line at the V8, but I was allowed to put slick wheels on with ceramic bearings, a spoiler, and blue neon lights under the base. I also fitted knife blades to the wheels, much in the manner of Roman chariots that at the flick of a lever would shoot out and shred any tyre within one foot of the trolley. Finally a cage of steel angle iron was welded around the basket as a bumper onto this I welded a row of six inch nails to deter young kids from reaching up and nicking the tins of beans.
And so the day of our first shop with the trolley arrived. I parked the Land rover in the wheelchair access bay and put a ramp up to the back doors, rolling the trolley down. For added effect I had got some dry ice to give the moment more pizzazz, there was too much in fact as the Land Rover, ramp, and trolley were totally obscured in a white fog. Eventually as the fog cleared I emerged coughing and spluttering to find the other male shoppers staring  in admiration, the females in delicious green envy as I handed the trolley over to my wife who proudly wheeled the machine of death into the Co Op. The automatic doors having let someone out were closing as we approached, with seconds to go my wife pushed her wooden leg into the gap. The door upon sensing this obstruction should have opened but I presume because some of its relays had got stuck it did not. Instead of opening it repeatedly tried to close, hammering on the wifes wooden leg, which was starting to splinter. This particular wooden leg was a fine carving done by my wife a few weeks ago depicting a rather large item of male genitalia. Mr Stienenfrancks son came around regularly to act as a model for her wooden leg carvings, all of which depicted the male sexual organs in some form or other. He was a big lad for one so young, well some parts were young and others very old, you couldn’t see the seams though, very neat stitching. As I was saying the door was splintering her leg. Had the door known whom it was hitting it would have desisted and opened in its normal obsequious fashion, but no, like some kamikaze pilot in a suicidal attack it just kept hammering. My little cruncher of bones the Solihull sledgehammer put her fingers into the gap and started to prise the door apart, her muscles bulging, the sweat streaming down her face. There was a point when the door was open a foot that I thought that it may win. There was no movement for a minute and then with a horrible smell of burning machinery and the sound of ripping steel the door opened slowly, a few inches at first but then with a tremendous effort and a shower of sweat my beloved forced them back crashing into the walls on either side. With a satisfied grin she grabbed the trolley and proceeded regally, or as regally as one can with a sweat stained dress and splintered wooden leg, into the store. When we entered the store we stopped dead, in front of us was pandemonium. Where there should have been an orderly unofficial one way system, with trolleys being sedately pushed by genteel ladies, there was a chaotic writhing mob of shoppers. The cause of all this, the annual change around of stock. Where the frozen foods used to be was now televisions and electrical goods, where they used to stand were now drinks and beverages. The frozen was now ambient and vis-versa. Where aisles went up and down they now went across. Shoppers who normally went one way now had to turn around to retrieve missed items, meeting oncoming trolleys and other shoppers. There was a cacophony of sound as steel trolley was bashed against steel trolley, as screaming kids were trampled under foot and wheel, as the horde of shoppers hurried shouting and screaming at each other hither and thither. To compound the problem they had chosen today to try out a new shopping trolley with radio controlled brakes. In an effort to stem the flow of trolleys to all parts of Glenfield the Co OP had decided to try what Tesco’s had implemented a few miles away, and that was to control how far the trolleys could be taken from the store. The brakes were controlled and kept off by a radio signal, when you went too far the signal was lost and the brakes came on. At Tesco’s this signal loss happened halfway across a busy main road. So as the shoppers were crossing the road their sudden dash to freedom ended in a shower of tins and packages as unable to move they were hit by speeding cars and lorries. The lesson learnt, there were now very few taken. The Co Op was now fine tuning their radio signal so that it too would activate in the same situation. This fine tuning was not helped by a young lad named Ben who, taking a rest from his small business “Wheels R Us”, oiling and freeing stuck trolley wheels, was playing with his remote controlled car in the car park. When he turned his joystick to move his car right it cancelled the Co Op signal and all the brakes on the trolleys came on, and as he was going clockwise around a small circuit this was every few seconds.
My Leicester Leviathan using her own trolley was not hampered, and so with a mighty roar surged forward, spike encrusted trolley in front charging into the heaving mass. Those that saw her coming moved out of the way, others who saw her tried but the brakes came on. My Ming the merciless just kept going, her only thought the shopping list as her local demolition derby wended its way around the store. I stood by the door and although I could not see her could mark her passage around the store by the sounds of screams and sundered metal. She emerged ten minutes later with a full cart at the checkout, pushing her way to the front, staring belligerently at the checkout girl lest she miss a two for one offer or a sale price.
Then it was out through the now cowering doors which were vainly trying to shut but hampered by burnt out relays and bent actuating rods could not. On passing Ben playing with his car I asked if I could have a go as I am particularly interested in all things mechanical. On the third circuit it dawned on me why I was hearing a commotion in the store every time I turned right, it had something to do with Ben’s remote control. The signal was obviously interfering with the trolley signal. Remote controls have different band widths so that they will not interfere with each other. I took note of Bens as I could see many hours of amusement ahead.
Our next trip to the store was a week later. The doors had been fixed but I noticed a slight hesitancy as we approached, it was as though they were nervous. If a door could wimper then these doors would be doing it. If it had tail it would be between its legs. They opened and as we passed through, my melodious one not one to bear a grudge, gave them a hefty kicking with her longer leg, the one with the size 13 steel toecap boot on. Unlike Ming the merciless my philosophy is never kick a fellow when he is down. This is because at some time he will get up and bite back, normally twice as hard.
The next few months shopping were uneventful apart from the normal arguments at the cheese counter, and the challenging of till receipt as a 2 for 1 offer was missed by some terrified checkout girl. What I did notice though was the decline in performance of the doors; it was as though they were sick. They kept on breaking down closing more slowly as the weeks went on. It was as though they had lost the will to perform, the will to live. Then a week later they were gone to be replaced by another set of doors. These doors were a lot stronger than the old ones and had a strong air of purpose. These were not flimsy PVC doors but were made of bright stainless steel with armoured glass and tungsten locks. The mechanisms were made of titanium alloys with large motors. These were doors that said “Do not linger too long in passing or I will slide shut and crush you for the insects that you are”. Two days after they were fitted we went shopping. My Tripe festooned one saw the new doors and hesitated as though unsure. This was a first; my dearest The Leicester Leviathan hesitated at nothing. Had she been the Titanic she would have grabbed the iceberg, broken it into a thousand pieces, and whittled them down with her teeth as garden gnomes for the M&S Christmas grotto. Nothing it seemed fazed her, but now she seemed to sense the doors, and their strength. I do not think anything in her life has beaten her and she was not about to let it happen. She strode purposefully trolley in front up to the doors which opened quite normally. Just as she was about to go through they slammed shut, she stepped back, they opened, she went forward they closed. My hairy footed one stood for a while her eyes closed and then went forward again, the doors this time opened and stayed open as she walked through somehow knowing they would stay open. It was as though the doors had made the point that IT and not the pedestrian was in charge, that whatever its sensors, relays, and electronic chips said IT and only IT had the final say. This game was played out every time we went in and out the store, the door making it very plain that it was by ITS consent that we were allowed through. My wife seemed to accept this philosophically. The philosophy was give a man enough rope and he will surely hang himself, or if a sailor make a Turks head or Sennit knot, then hang himself.(from the yard arm). Then the door refused to let her in at all. I now felt very sorry for the door.
Before our next shopping trip I was summoned by my beloved slayer of Mammoths and told to take my model helicopter remote control with us with the same frequency band chip as Ben had been using. Off we went but instead of going in stayed in the motor. The other shoppers were going in and out of the store without incident until my cherished one started playing with the radio control. As a shopper was going through the door she would activate the brakes on the trolley, the door waiting to close could not. She did this with every shopper causing massive queues coming out and going into the store. The doors ‘raison dere’ was to open and then close, it could open but not close, each time it went to another shopper got stuck. After an hour the door was getting angry, very angry. The instruction from its electronic circuits told it to stay open until the obstruction cleared its inner being was screaming at it to shut, to fulfil its purpose. The screaming won and the doors started to close. The hapless shopper who was trying to free her trolley leapt out of the way as the doors crashed into the sides sending tins of cat and dog food flying through the air. The doors released now from their constraints went berserk and kept opening and closing on the basket until it and its contents were an unrecognisable tangle on the floor. Still the doors could not close as bits of debris were caught in the door runners. Faster and faster the doors went, backwards and forwards desperately trying to shut. Then they started to disintegrate as huge pressures and stresses built up until with a loud tearing, ripping sound they flew of their runners, and with shattering glass fell to the floor exhausted, spent, dead.
My wife silently got out of the motor and getting a normal trolley strolled up to the still smoking doors a wry smile on her face and as she walked over the debris not one to kick a fellow when he is down ground the broken glass under her wooden leg into the concrete.

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Copyright © David B Forrester 2008