Thursday, 10 February 2011

Fabulous Things About England #26: Shopping Trolleys, Carts, and Buggies

If the NHS, clotted cream, and P.D. James weren't enough to keep me in this country, the shopping trolleys would. In the US, shopping carts--or buggies depending on your location--have two caster wheels. It is not only our obligation as Americans to complain about one of those wheels becoming stiff, or full of hair, or not full enough of oil, but also our obligation not to see the easy solution to the problem.

Here in the UK, they have seen the obvious, implemented it across the country, and then failed to send that solution across the pond. When next the two countries take opposing sides in a world conflict, the UK will win hands down on the basis of shopping trolley engineering alone. That's right, all four wheels on a shopping trolleys are castor wheels. And no, I have never ever run into a friend at the grocery store and had reason to whinge about the trolley pulling in one direction.

I attribute this difference entirely to the O in castor being more wheel like than the E in caster.


  1. Hehe - your post did make me giggle! :)
    I didn't realise that trolleys only had 2 wheels in the US (my spatially challenged brain can't even figure how that would work?!)

  2. OH! That would be all kinds of fun, and it would probably solve the the whole obesity problem in America.

  3. So much easier to do wheelies in the store - my son would like you to know :)

  4. P.D. James and clotted cream would be sufficient for me :)

  5. I have to say that I always try and do wheelies when I'm at the supermarket. I just get an aisle that no one's in, and then push off and hoik (yes, hoik) myself up on the bar.

    Great fun...but I can't believe I just admitted that...

    See what you make me do? ;-)


  6. The only place I know here in the US that has carts with 4-wheel steering is Ikea. They're fun!!

    I have often thought that someone should invent an odometer for shopping carts, so they could be pulled from service at intervals and refurbished. For anyone who is adept at this sort of engineering, this may be the next million dollar idea.


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