Thursday, January 12, 2012

Shopping Cart Madness

I think that starting with a pet peeve is an excellent way to begin this rant-o-rama. I am going to start with light topics and probably hit politics and religion at a later time.

As many of you know, I live in a small town outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. I am not going to name said town due to the threat of being stalked by the paparazzi and harassed by fame seekers and purse snatchers. It is a quaint place where people have migrated and, although I do not know this to be fact, I would guess the transplant citizens outnumber the townies by a significant margin. People are generally nice to one another, we know our neighbors and we rarely make the news for anything outside of a personal tragedy or a festival of some sort. Good ole wholesome middle America at its finest. Many go to one type of a church, or another, and profess to love thy neighbor with heart felt sincerity and a Sunday smile that I liken to the look on a coyote's face just before he hits the hen house for his supper.

So, you might well imagine, then, that this little piece of midwestern Eden would be exempt from the pettiness and laziness one may attribute to places other than what we call home. But no, my friends, no. We are smack dab in the belly of the beast and it rears its ugly head in the parking lot of our local grocery store, and it has attacked me personally on more than one occasion.

For the most part, I do not do my grocery getting at this place- again, no names to protect this little corner of heaven. I prefer to travel down the road a piece and go to 'town' and make my nutritional purchases at a market better suited to my liking. I do, however, have to make an occasional trip to this market for an immediate need of some sort like hamburger buns, beer or an ingredient crucial to the flavor of some particular recipe and every once in awhile I will go get the kids donuts on a Saturday or Sunday morning. But it makes no difference the time or the day, I still fall prey to one of the most irksome practices known to befoul the mood of us more cultured and courteous shoppers.

Without fail and without exception, I always have to dodge the misplaced shopping cart. You know the one I am talking about. It is the one that some lazy twit left between the cars after they were done loading their bags into the car and decided that the cart corral, all of 20 feet away, was too damn far of a trek to make in order to keep the parking lot free of obstacles and for me to keep my sanity.

I have never seen a parking lot before where so many of the patrons just do not take the tie to put the carts in the little corrals. There have been times when I have run up to this hole in the wall to grab a sixer or a dozen eggs and have seen more carts in the parking lot than cars! I have exited the store and walked back to my car only to find a cart sandwiched between my driver's side door, now scratched, thank you very much, and the neighboring car and neither car has moved. How the hell does that happen? You don't know, kind townsperson? BULLSHIT!

I have staked out the parking lot a time or two just to get a glimpse at this pandemic of laziness. I have seen, with mine own two eyes, the sheer guiltless abandon of these people. They walk out, load the car, take a quick look around and make haste for the driver's seat. Not even an inkling of putting the cart where it belongs. The utter slothfulness exhibited by these creatures is revolting.

Now you may say that some of those carts are left by little old biddies and little old geezers and I should forgive them for not returning their carts. Well, I do and most of the time, when I see them, I ask to assist them and volunteer to take the cart back for them. But they are usually parked toward the front of the lot in designated areas marked by blue and white signs with a guy in a wheelchair. Those are fine and there are other exceptions for you mamsy types who are going to nit pick me to death with examples of what if this and what if that. Those are not the folks I am speaking to- it is the sloth who cannot take 10-20 seconds out of their day to walk a few feet to make everyone's, especially mine, shopping experience so much more enjoyable.

My favorite stake out was when I actually approached someone. I had been outside waiting for whomever to return when I spied a portly type unloading their cart and placing their newly gotten goods into their back seat. After packing in the last bag, this person, whom we shall call the offender, took lazy to an entirely new level. What made this scene so deeply etch upon my mind was that the offender was driving a brand spanking, just out of the package new Ford F150 4x4 truck. I mean it still had the sticker and no license plate new. The offender, after loading the last sack of groceries into the truck did not even try to push the cart out of the way. They just left it where it stand and got into their vehicle. When the offender began to back up and crank the wheel to the left, I saw the cart start to roll straight toward the shiny new paint job of one brand new Ford truck.

It was at this point, after watching all of this play out, I was about to piss myself with laughter at what I new was going to happen. My glance was flashing between the quickly approaching cart and the look on this offenders face. The cart picked up momentum, the offenders' eyes widened. Faster it approached and the eyes got wild! And just like that, the cart breezed past the brand new Ford Truck as the offenders eyes relaxed and rear bumper of this behemoth truck SLAMMED into the car that was parked directly behind and whose rear end protruded just a little due to a shopping cart that was in front of it. Oh, how I love irony.

But you say, Dustin, that you approached them. What gives? Sounds like you sat on your arse and watched an accident happen.

Well, gentle readers, I had walked over and quickly snatched the runaway cart and was merrily taking back to the cart corral past the accident when I glanced over and politely said,"I'll get this for you."


  1. Nice! Yes, I find this extremely annoying too. I think that people are so self-focused these days they don't take the time to think about how their lack of consideration effects others.

  2. This is a huge pet peeve of mine too; however, I don't notice it that much at the market (whose name should not be spoken) you refer to. We must shop there on different days ;-)

  3. Replies
    1. Okay, I got this under anonymous. I assume, this is Kim, right?

  4. It is too funny that this is your first post, as it is also a pet peeve of mine. Not so long ago, there was a man, around my age, in the car directly in front of mine. We were both putting bags in our cars at the same time. The cart return was one space away from out vehicles. After he finished, instead of placing the cart in the return, he pushed it in front of my car. After returning my cart, I purposefully gathered his cart and headed to the return keeping him from moving from his spot. His window was down so I said to him, "are you really that freaking lazy asshole?" He just sat there looking at me like I was the idiot! I thought it was only in KY, but I guess it's all over! Thanks for the chuckle Dustin!!