Daily Archives: 5 Sep 2006

Every man for his shopping cart

Well, the “fresh new look” is here, and no, I did not just do the “quote mark thing” with my fingers. I was using them to type, thank you very much. See here for my feelings on the finger quote thing.

Of course, “new features” are always “forthcoming,” whatever that means. Also “forthcoming” are lots of “interesting stories” (read: things I want to talk about, and who cares what you think, ha ha).

So anyway, as with finger quoting, I am severely annoyed by people who don’t put their shopping carts away after they have loaded their groceries, or lumber, or little puppies, or whatever, into their vehicles. I think cart-leaving should carry a dastardly penalty, like being forced to wear white after Labor Day, or chopping off a butt cheek, or something.

When I was at Wal-mart the other day, I came out of the store to find that someone had left a shopping cart 20 nanometers from my car. I angrily shook my fist at the sky in a manner suggestive that perhaps the rubber on the cart-offenders car tires could spontaneously combust and then melt to the road. I’m good at charades that way.

And then I went to Wal-mart twice today. That was probably my first (and second) mistake, but when Maceys wants $3.32 more for a bottle of Motrin, Wal-mart is getting my business. Plus, peaches at 69 cents a pound? I love me some peaches, but not peaches from Maceys, which are currently $1.49 a pound. But I digress. The first time I went to Wal-mart today was for some cold medicine and orange juice. As I walked to my car, I noticed a rogue shopping cart careening toward a van. Cursing the name of whomever had left it out in the open, I quickened my pace and caught the cart just before it smacked into the back of somebody’s minivan. Whew! Disaster averted. I drove away content in the knowledge that some stranger wouldn’t have to curse at chipped paint on their car. They would instead be able to curse at the lack of turn signal usage in Spanish Fork, unless they weren’t headed in that direction, in which case they could thank their lucky stars and do no cursing at all.

The second trip to the Wally was to fetch some Motrin for my wife, as well as the aforementioned peaches (of which I have already eaten two in the space of approximately as many seconds). This time I was getting into my car when I heard a crash behind me. I turned around to see that someone else had carelessly left a cart out in the open, which had rolled into–you guessed it–someone’s minivan. There were two women standing outside a car next to the minivan, and they had each done nothing to prevent the accident, nor did they seem to care enough to do anything to move the cart to somewhere more safe, like, I don’t know, the cart rack ten feet away from them. Who are these lazy people that can’t walk a cart three steps? You can lug your eighteen bags of Cheetos and ninety-two packs of beer around the Wal-mart, but your energy is magically stolen away when you get out in the sunlight?

In case you are thinking that averting damage to someone else’s property isn’t a good enough reason to put away your shopping cart, let me give another example from my own life.

In January of 1999, my then-girlfriend called me at 2 a.m. to take her to the grocery store, since she didn’t have a car and somehow urgently needed groceries at that time of night. I was looking for a little macking, so of course I took her. And of course she broke up with me in the car on the way to the store.

So what did I do? I smiled through the grocery store, helped her with her shopping, loaded the car with her bags of foodstuffs, and put the cart away. Then, keys still in hand–and her a little cold in the now-3 a.m.-early-January-air–I spotted another shopping cart a few hundred feet away. So, like any person with a sense of moral decency, I trudged off to fetch the lone cart and return it to the corral with its loving companions. This also had the added bonus of making my now-ex-girlfriend think I was leaving her in the cold, which warmed my heart a little bit, having just been dumped and all.

See? I felt good about me by putting my shopping cart away.