Margaret Kollmer

Rookie - 9 Points (South Africa)

So Who's Off Their Trolley? - Poem by Margaret Kollmer

Reading about our best local columnist’s impending semi-retirement some years ago, I visited one of my former schoolgirl haunts determined to find the gift that he would most appreciate. I had in mind his very own supermarket trolley. Goodness knows, he’d hinted at this for long enough in his columns.

Naturally, zapping, zilching or stealing a trolley was out of the question so I took a stroll down to the Brakpan Dam which everyone knows is still the secret breeding place of the ubiquitous shopping trolley – examples of which can be found in the oddest places. Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend how a steel trolley can climb a tree, a mountain or a passing truck, but there you are. It happens.

I particularly wanted an infant trolley which could grow up with him. I daren’t even think of saying I wanted it to grow old with him. He’s a little touchy about such things.

So it was that after donning my scuba suit and goggles, I somersaulted head over heels from the hired schooner down into the murky depths of the brakkish water. Flippers flipping wildly, I guided myself towards the Carol Reef; so named because my friend Carol’s remains are still there after a jealous trolley-collector bumped her off for telling him he was off his trolley one fine day.

It soon became obvious that I had arrived at the start of the trolley mating season. ‘Hullo, mate! ’ I said to the male trolley who was attempting some rather questionable antics with a Norwood lady trolley with only three legs.

Before he had time to reply, I saw the Grumpy Bronkhorst trolley coming towards me with a steely glint in his eye. He was well known for bending
trolley feet to stop them from going straight. Wildly I looked around me but a hush descended and all activity stopped as a tiny voice was heard. Spellbound, I watched the birth of a baby trolley from a somewhat time-worn Pick ‘n Pay lady trolley.

Momentarily forgetting why I was there I had to choke back my tears. It was all so terribly touching. Then Grumpy’s presence reminded me grimly of his own dubious intentions so without thinking, I did the evil deed. I kidnapped the infant trolley!

Clutching baby Tolla van der Trolley to my ample bozoom, I flapped my flippers, swerved to avoid the Benz trolley, lying at the bottom of the dam and breathlessly surfaced.

Grumpy could never have caught me. He was rusted to death and his wheels all faced different directions. Besides, I had seen that his smell-phone was out of order as the Dam Police were sitting at the other end of the Dam and had shown no sign of movement at all.

And so it was that a few days later I courier’d the little Tolla to my friend with all good wishes from an original Brakpan troll. I mean trolley.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 31, 2008

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