Jolly the Trolley spent his Christmas money on a young, strong apprentice.
After surfing the internet and leafing through catalogues (in vain), he rolled into Woolworth’s and stared up at a shelf near the ceiling, where a luggage line-up strutted their stuff. Amongst them was a sleek grey trolley backpack with orange markings. Jolly stood and stared for a long moment, then a grin broke across his face.
“Are you sure that’s what you want, Jolly?” we asked.
Of course he was sure. He was dreaming about this moment for months. Get a younger, stronger trolley to do all the work, and he himself could retire. Never again would he have to set wheel to pavement. It’s the ultimate Christmas present.
Thus, when we left Woolworth’s, it was with two trolleys in tow – Jolly in the lead with the youngster romping behind. I said nothing about naming it, but Mum and sister were already shuttling suggestions back and forth.
“Frisky!” said Mum.
“Jaffa,” said E, looking at the smart orange stripes.
I kept quiet, but at home I started thinking about the Jaffa in Stargate, rather than about Jaffa Cakes and Munchkins. My favourite Stargate character is a Jaffa called Teal’c. The name apparently means ‘strength’ – an appropriate name for a trolley backpack. In other words, just the sort of fellow you want guarding your back.
It seems I’ve been mispronouncing the name for years. I rely heavily on TV subtitles and thought it was ‘Teal Cee’. Mum said she’s not certain but thinks they may have pronounced it ‘Tea Alk’. She adds that pronouncing it ‘Teal Cee’ the way I was doing sounds like Tender Loving Care (TLC). In her estimation, that doesn’t suit the real Teal’c – a grim warrior of very few words – but I’m not so sure: he’s a caring alien who loves his friends!
It’s a bit of a set-back, as now I tend to hesitate when saying the name – for instance: “Jolly and… [struggles]… Tea Alk.”
Never mind – practice makes perfect. Teal’c now goes with me on daily expeditions while his mentor Jolly spends his days snoozing by the fire.
A lot of people think trolleys have no feelings, and send them to the knackers as soon as they wear out. Dreadful thought. I should write a novel entitled Grey Beauty, which will draw society’s attention to the plight of the common working wheelie bag. We already have Jolly the Trolley in the place of Merrylegs the pony, and Teal’c (the Jaffa) instead of Ginger. Which leaves room for a Grey Beauty – or a Grey Shadow. Some day.
Edit Feb 2008: Comments for this entry when it was on Blogigo:
1. Bunnyman wrote at Jan 10, 2007 at 22:43:
Laptop cases sound great. That way you could blog from almost anywhere.Teal’c (I would have pronounced it ‘Tea Alk’ too) looks like a very eager and willing young trolley, bristling to show just how much he can carry.
It’s good that Jolly went too. I know that I hate being left out of important decisions like that.
Maybe Jolly, in his warm days by the fire, could write his version of “There and back again”, about his adventures to far supermarkets and the wonderful treasures he brought back from exotic charity shops?
2. Pacian wrote at Jan 11, 2007 at 13:39:
Teal’C is my mum’s favourite character as well. And she always pronounces Jaffa like the cake, even though it’s actually more like ‘Jafar’.
And I think they pronounce it more like Teelk. It’s definitely a monosyllabic word.
Anyway, I hope that Jolly will be suitably pampered and looked after now he is no longer working!