Off His Trolley home > backlash

One of the more popular backlash articles gets an email

It's possibly a result of being one of the higher hits on Google for "mini trolleys" (see pic), but I got an email the other day about an article I wrote a few years ago.

In that article I was somewhat indignant about the use of mini trolleys in supermarkets as a substitute for childcare. I wrote my concerns in the form of a letter to the Asda shoppers' magazine. I cannot remember whether I sent the letter or not.

In some ways I've been proud that my article has remained high up in the Google rankings. In other ways, I've moved on quite a bit since I spent my time writing to supermarkets about things which, when you look at them in the cold light of day, are not especially important.

Anyway, following permission from the author of the email, I thought I'd share it with you.

Sent: 20 April 2006 18:45
To: Ashley Frieze
Subject: Mini Shopping trolleys

Dear Sir

I have just read your letter to Asda about small children with trolleys.

I am a three year old with a small trolley and I am very well behaved with mine. I think Asda does have it's fair share of little s@#ds and their behaviour is probably made worse by the rubbish junk food both they and their parents consume, which is full of additives or rubbished by processing and of course is provided by Asda. Perhaps the shop should be called Chavsda instead.

I simpathise with your frustration whoever, my mummy has arthritis and cannot lift me into the trolley or pick up heavy items like potatoes and steering the trolley hurts her wrists and shoulders very much so I help her with the shopping; I load it into the basket and on to the conveyor belt and then back in the basket. When we get home I open it all again and carry it to the kitchen.

Sometimes I do get a bit stuck in an isle but I am only three. We're not all bad!....Have you tried Sainsbury's?

Kind regards
Ben Koetser
aged 3

And here is my reply:

From: Ashley Frieze
Subject: RE: Mini Shopping trolleys
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 21:07:00 +0100

Dear Ben,

Thank you for your email. I wrote the letter to Asda (which I don't recall ever sending, but perhaps I did) in 2001, before you were born. At the time, I felt that I was besieged by little rascals running at me with their flag-adorned metal battering rams. However, I can't say I've noticed a single mini-trolley in the last few years. Perhaps shopping at Tesco has helped. Perhaps I've had better things to do than bother myself with other people's children while I'm shopping. Perhaps I grew up and became more tolerant.

I'm glad that someone gets a genuine benefit from the mini shopping trolley. I like to think that children should have boundaries and not be allowed to run rampage in public places. The example set by helpful young children, such as yourself, is a good one. Long may it continue.


Ashley Frieze

Not much more to be said than that, really. Perhaps in the past I might have corrected the grammar or punctuation in the original email. Or perhaps I would have stuck to my guns. Maybe I'm mellowing in my old age.

By the way, I think that Ben has a ghost-writer in the form of his mum. I've been wrong before, though. If I've been communicating with an actual 3 year old (and one with fairly right-wing conservative values, by the looks of things) then I'm doubly impressed.

03 May 2006
Ashley Frieze