Trolleys and tyrantsSep 28th, 2007 | By Ian Poulton | Category: Personal Columns
Flat surfaces are for putting things on. If nature abhors a vacuum, then there must also be some law against uncluttered flat surfaces. Unfortunately, the lady of the house has not become aware of the inexorable progress of clutter and regards surfaces as something to be kept clear of dust and what she refers to as “things.”
Stepping into the study, the interrogation began, “What are all those things doing on top of the filing cabinet?”
“They are there.”
“But why are they there? You don’t need them”.
“I do. You never know when you might need things”.
“Like a pile of French ten franc coins? What are they for?”
“Supermarket trolleys. If I don’t have a Euro, I use ten francs, and they are not easy to come by”.
(I once read in the Daily Telegraph travel tips that if you hadn’t ten francs, Polish zloty would do.)
Walking through Dun Laoghaire this afternoon, there was a lady collecting for charity. In return for two Euro you could have a ribbon to wear in your lapel.
“I don’t mind putting something in the bucket, but I don’t want the ribbon. It’s not my colour”.
“Ah”, she said, “there are more than ribbons. You can have a key ring for four Euro”.
I put a note into her bucket and took a Euro change. “They are special key rings”, she said, “you can use the key ring as the token for your supermarket trolley”.
Returning home, I took the key ring from my pocket, it presented a real and imminent danger to my francs. it must be got rid of. I took it into the kitchen and put it on the work top. “I bought you a key ring,” I said, “it is one of those you can use for your supermarket trolley”.
“Oh, that’s good”, she said, attaching it to her keys.
I will avoid such articles in the future, it will be the ribbon next time, whatever the colour. Getting rid of the ten franc coins would have been the thin end of the wedge, in no time at all the tyranny of tidiness would have taken over.