On the surface of things, the quest for a workable shopping trolley sounds like one of the simplest ones to gain character XP with. Almost a no-brainer. But that is where the supreme sneakiness of such an easy sounding quest lies. It's so easy I could do that with my eyes closed. Two hours later and you still don't have one, time has run out and you've lost three lives.
It all starts with finding the necessary coinage. If you are cash-poor (a good way of saying skint til payday) then the innocuous pound coin is as elusive as the right numbered bus when you're running late. Those smug shoppers who have fake coins are sat smirking right now. Let me tell you, I've had about a hundred of those. They go the way of pens and socks. Some little bastard somewhere has all my pens, all my socks and all my fake shopping trolley coins.
Coin clutched in clammy palm, the search for the right kind of trolley begins. It can't have someone else's rubbish in it. It can't be wet. It can't have the wrong kind of seat. Believe me, when you have the longest legged toddler in the history of small people, it has to be the right kind of seat. You can take a chance and stride boldly towards the trolley park at the entrance of the supermarket but the risk is great. Should that one be empty then it's a long walk of shame back to an isolated trolley pocket ten miles across the supermarket car park with every man and his dog watching you. BUT if you gather one of those before arriving at the entrance you get the stupid idiot looks from those wondering why you didn't just pick one up as you went in because look, there's a massive long snake of them.
Next comes the correct slotting of a coin into a coin shaped hole.
It really isn't as simple as it sounds. Some won't go in. Some won't come out. Some slip in and out. It's like the worst sex you ever had except this time everyone really is watching and judging, stuff of nightmares I tell you. Then you have to wrestle the slotty key thingy out of the adjoining trolley. Once more they either will or won't come out, it has absolutely nothing to do with you or your technique whatsoever. Plus what won't work for you is guaranteed to work for the person next in the queue, making you look even more like a turnip than before.
Trolleys love each other. I mean they really, really love each other. If you manage to find a suitable coin, manage to get it in, keep it in and manage to pull the trolley key out of the adjoining metal behemoth it still won't budge. You heave with the strength of ten meaty barbarians. Nothing. So you begin to inspect what could possibly be the problem. Sometimes it's the safety harness straps that get wedged between trolleys. The purpose of those is bewildering to me as a) no-one evers uses them and b) my child fell out of the seat with said safety harness clipped on. Sometimes, somehow, the previous user rammed the trolley into another with such force that the two metals melded on a deep quantum level and can never, ever be separated. Occasionally the trolley has received so much abuse in the past that it is bent beyond all recognisable shape and you actually have to award prizes for the person who managed to shove it in there in the first place.
Once the trolley has been conquered, there is no guarantee that it will actually work. Wheels can refuse to go round, spin round constantly, squeak as loud as the loudest tannoy you've ever heard, consistently refuse to turn the direction you want to go and resolutely roll in the opposite direction.
The absolute final straw in the whole bloody debacle is when you come to return the trolley and you can't get the blasted thing back into the god-damn trolley shaped hole it came from so you push and you shove and you jiggle and you wiggle and just as you're about to scream in frustration a helpful shopper (who followed you throughout various aisles and was behind you on the conveyor belt) asks, 'Do you want this one?'