The wheel thing

Oops! Sorry! This thing seems to have a life of its own! Sorry! No, after you! Sorry! Thus, our usual interaction with a supermarket shopping trolley, our fellow shoppers and that particularly tight turn next to the Jerusalem artichokes. Things, though, it seems, are, once again, going to get better. Sainsbury's is introducing a trolley with straight-line correction, sideways movement, shock absorbers, wine-cooler, canapé tray, and mobile-phone-holder. Progress, progress.

Oops! Sorry! This thing seems to have a life of its own! Sorry! No, after you! Sorry! Thus, our usual interaction with a supermarket shopping trolley, our fellow shoppers and that particularly tight turn next to the Jerusalem artichokes. Things, though, it seems, are, once again, going to get better. Sainsbury's is introducing a trolley with straight-line correction, sideways movement, shock absorbers, wine-cooler, canapé tray, and mobile-phone-holder. Progress, progress.

We, however, are wary. There are, after all, not that many everyday and serviceable metaphors for life, and the supermarket trolley - with its unpredictability, nasty sharp bits and that uneasy sense of things mounting up - has served us well.

Competitors are doubtless feverishly working on their own redesigns. Some suggestions: 1. Hazard lights. 2. Indicators. 3. Horn. 4. Name plates. 5. Air bags. 6. Banana-skin-and-sticky-chocolate-biscuit-wrapper-holders (you must have been round with children). 7. Organic food homing system. 8. Soothing music. 9. Meter with bell that rings when you pass £100.10. Chauffeur service. Thank you.

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