Limerick never did much for me personally, it was with dread that I recall early Saturday mornings when my mother would tear me away from my cartoons and buckle me into the car for the weekly shopping. Here, incarcerated within a steel cage, more commonly known as the noble supermarket trolley, I found myself subject to an eon of being shuffled up and down, in and around every isle and freezer that Tesco had to offer. Unable to vocalize the depravity of the situation to my mother, I would toss bread, beans, or ham at those passing by in an act of desperation to escape this purgatory. The message was never clearly conveyed and fruitless. More often than not, I would be scowled by my mother or have the individual approach me and mockingly squeeze my cheeks while patting me on the head.
Any chance of escape seemed hopeless, but often with hopelessness comes desperation and with desperation comes ambition. I found after weeks of being towed around the store, that if I squirmed my leg enough I could lift it out and around the divider to tuck it beside my other leg. From here I could slide down into the trolley and among the groceries. Brilliant. A plan began to hatch within my mind. Often my mother would leave the trolley by the freezer as she queued for the shop butcher, it was just the right height to the trolley for me to climb into it and escape. The perfect plan. And so I waited, patiently. As my mother strolled the trolley to the freezer as planned, I delayed until she was distracted by the butcher. I knew time was wasting and sprang into action. Raising my leg to the other side, I grabbed the bars above and slid onto a bed of cold meats and bread. Taking hold of the freezer’s lip, I hoisted myself up by shuffling over the washing detergent and rolled into the freezer like a lead weight. There amid a grave of frozen pizzas and garlic bread, I was once again trapped.
The walls were frosty and grey. Surrounded on all sides, I needed to act quickly or risk freezing my nappy off. I began to pile the pizza boxes into a corner and peered over the edge, my mother was still in line and hadn’t yet noticed my disappearance. Armed with a baguette of garlic bread and a will to escape, I began piling more and more boxes and lowered myself off the edge onto the floor. I felt like Tommy out of Rugrats, the everyday toddler’s answer to James Bond. The moment wasn’t to last, a shadow cast over me with the face of a discerning mother behind it. I dashed for the garlic bread as she swung to catch me. Baguette in hand, I lunged at her and with a swing to the shin, but to no avail. With one flick of the arm, the figure scooped me up and placed me back into the trolley.
This however, is not a tale of failure, but of victory. Knowing the trolley could no longer detain me, I was never again subjected to the horrors of Saturday morning shopping ever again. Mam even bought be a Choc Ice on the way back, I’d like to see Mr Bond pull off that one.