What's the meaning of the expression "short circuit" in the text bellow?
During a time when our collective national identity continues to be called into question, excruciating politeness might well be the last bastion of Great British behaviour.
For the most part, this is something to be celebrated — there’s something undeniably heart-warming about watching someone apologise profusely as someone else runs over their feet with a suitcase, or utter a “thank you” to the ATM that has just produced their cash.
However, when it comes to making a complaint in a restaurant, our national propensity for politeness seems to short circuit. (source)
I'm also in doubt about the expression "as someone runs over their feet with a suitcase". Should it be literally translated or does it has some kind of figurative meaning?