Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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piston packing trolley

Return to the Romance of the Steam Age and bring it to your local supermarket, in the form of a steam powered shopping trolley.
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(+11, -1)
  [vote for,

Having just given myself a hernia in the supermarket, pushing a protesting trolley full to the brim with cat and dog food up and down the lanes, I came to the conclusion that these trolleys need some power to propel them along. Surely a small knob of coal and a cup of water would be sufficient for the average weekly shopping trip. Have them all primed and ready to go outside the shop; 50p or USA/Aus equivalent dropped into a slot in the handle , drops the coal into the oven or whatever you call it, sploshes on the water and away you go. Well it sounds easy.

Also, comes with a whistle to move people out of the way and a flag for the kids to wave about. peep peep!

po, Feb 02 2002

On yer bike https://m.facebook....&id=514840712056653
[po, May 08 2017]


       (How many cats mad are you, you pistol-packing dolly?)   

       Let's complete the cycle by installing rails with switches and give the shoppers engineer hats and a place to sit while operating the cart. Have the tracks run up and down each aisle, but allow people to skip aisles by switching the track at junctions. Knowing that someone was coming up behind them ('Full steam ahead!') would be a great inducement to move for those who like to block aisles while chatting or trying to make up their minds about which brand of salt they want. A largish switching yard along the check-outs would provide a democratic means of assigning lanes. Toot toot!   

       There seems to be an exhaust problem, though.
phoenix, Feb 02 2002

       yeah all that, phoenix..... and stations and fat controllers and a windmill.
po, Feb 02 2002

       I believe it takes a few hours for a steam engine to get warmed up and the steam to get up to pressure. I'm not sure if design's improved since the glory days of steam, but you might be better off with a chariot pulled by swans, rats or small children, depending on what's available.
pottedstu, Feb 03 2002

       Rodents ho!
phoenix, Feb 03 2002

       At one of the oases (food/rest areas) on Interstate 88 (the equivalent of one of your "Motorways") I saw a V-8 powered "shopping cart" (the equivalent of your "trolleys"). I think it was intended for some supermarket promotion, though, rather than for actual use by a shopper: the thing was more than ten feet tall and the engine on it looked large enough to propel a good sized truck (lorry).
supercat, Feb 03 2002


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