Rage isn’t the smartest of emotions. It stops you thinking straight. All sense of reason and fear of consequences go out the window. You just want someone to hurt for what they’ve done.  And hurt bad.

Take road rage. There’s something about getting behind a wheel that turns humans into animals at the slightest provocation.

I hadn’t realised it also extended to supermarket trolleys until this week.
I was in the spaghetti aisle when I heard someone shouting and swearing. I turned around and saw a bloke in his mid-30s going absolutely ape-shit at a little old man who he was accusing of cutting in front of him with his trolley. Yes, really.
My kids were standing beside me. Their eyes were wide with horror. “Why is he being so mean to that poor old man?” they asked.
“Sometimes people get angry about silly things and say stuff they don’t mean,” I explained, before hustling them from harm’s way.
I felt guilty that I didn’t intervene, but I couldn’t see any good coming of it – other than a bloody nose for my trouble. Troppo Trolley Man was incandescent.
Trolley rage, I’ve since discovered, happens so frequently it’s entered The Urban Dictionary, which describes it as …
Trolley Rage
1. noun. Origin: road ragebus rage. Feelings associated with attempting to shop at a store whose layout allows no more than 10 people to comfortably shop (e.g. a Trader Joe’s grocery store). Note: Trolley is the British word for ‘shopping cart’.
Trolley rage example: Lex hits up a small grocery store looking to get in and get out after grabbing some ice cream, milk, and cereal. He grabs a small shopping cart (trolley) and takes off for the dairy section. On the way he is forced to stop and wait for a woman in front of him, who has no idea Lex is behind her, stop and read the daily special advertisement. The stopping was no big deal, but two seconds later, Lex must stop for a kid, who is lying in the floor playing with a new toy, before moving to the cereal section.

It’s also becoming disturbingly prevalent in Australia.

On January 24, The NT News reported:  “An outbreak of supermarket rage ended when a man threw a newspaper stand through the store’s front window in Darwin.

“Senior Sergeant Louise Jorgensen said the 43-year-old man was sober.

“‘He needs anger management,’ she said.

“The man broke the window after an argument with another customer at the supermarket in Progress Drv, Nightcliff, yesterday.

“‘Staff and other customers were shattered,’ Snr Sgt Jorgensen said.”

And so was the window …

On March 23, The Age reported: “A frustrated and “hungry” convicted murderer broke the nose of a 7-Eleven staffer because the victim struggled to understand which pie he wanted.

“A court heard Jason Rex Cardwell, 43, reached across the counter of the store in Bourke Street, Melbourne, and grabbed the attendant by his shirt.

“Prosecutor Catharine Sedgwick said as he pulled the man towards himself Cardwell punched him in the face with his right fist.

“Ms Sedgwick yesterday told Melbourne Magistrates Court the blow chipped the man’s tooth and broke his nose and glasses.

“Cardwell, who had entered the store with four friends on August 2, 2009, let go of the victim and left the store.

“Cardwell, who left a handprint on the pie warmer, later made full admissions to police, explaining his reason for the assault was: “Just frustration. Hungry.”

Perfectly reasonable excuse … not …

On October 15, ABC News reported: “Police say a 68-year-old woman who was seriously assaulted in Preston earlier this month, was apparently set upon over a dispute about a car parking space.

“Police say the woman and her husband were packing groceries into their car near the Murray Road supermarket on October 6, when a man yelled at them and pushed the woman to the ground.

“She suffered a broken bone in her spine and shattered wrists.

“The man, believed to be in his 20s, was last seen running away on Murray Road.”

Seriously? Get a grip guys. It’s grocery shopping. Not a blood sport.

According to Scientific American anger behind the wheel is on the increase. “Road rage is remarkably common. In one survey of more than 500 drivers, 90 percent reported that during the past year they either were a victim of road rage or had witnessed it.”

Sadly, they offered no data on trolley rage.

I’m just thankful I don’t live in the United States. While researching trolley rage, I came across a AAA Foundation report that revealed: “Motorists involved in fender-bender collisions and silly traffic disputes are increasingly being shot, stabbed, beaten, and run over for inane reasons.

“A 23-year-old Indiana University student hacked a university maintenance worker with a hatchet after the two argued about the student’s car being parked in a service drive. Other cases stem from equally trivial apparent causes. In one case a man was shot and killed “because he was driving too slowly.” In another case a woman was shot because “the bitch hit my new Camaro.” In still another case a small child was seriously wounded because her father “cut me off.”

Jaysus. Makes Troppo Trolley Man look positively adorable.

Nah, he was a total eedjit.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of trolley rage?

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