Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lament of a Wal-Mart Shopping Cart

As her hands gripped my sticky, cracked bar, I felt her angst. I've seen her type before. We at the blue store despise them. They whip into size-too-small parking spots and edge out our brothers and sisters, sometimes even bumping us with their roaring engines. Then, they pinch us and make our tired wheels move at speeds our rickety metal frames can barely manage.

They are always late, usually trying to pull off two hours worth of shopping in half the time. Pick-up line lets out at 3pm and they will "not be late!" Otherwise the teachers at school might brand them with the scarlet letter "L" and their reputation is shot.


I've got a letter for them alright. A big, fat "C" for "Cookoo." And if you listen close enough, they prove you right most of the time. They fumble with a list of 5 items and they'll end up leaving with 100. They talk to themselves too, mumbling unintelligible things along the way. So, we take the brunt of their disorganization. I squeal as she pushes me feverishly to the toilet paper aisle. Of course, she's out. Probably been making her kids tear paper towels in half for two days. Doesn't she know what that does to the plumbing? 

She loads me down with TP, paper towels, and then we head to the water aisle. I hate this aisle. The water aisle is where old carts like myself get cranky. 
For kicks, we often shift our weight just so, so that when she bends to pick up the water, we crash into the opposite side of the aisle. A little trick us carts on shopping row like to pull. Don't these women understand how fragile we are? They heave pallet upon pallet into our middles and even onto our lower decks. The audacity! Then, they expect us to roll along at the same speed at which we did 15 pounds ago?!?! I'd like to see her balance 2 pallets of water, gatorades, and coke on her middle and see how fast she could move? I don't care that the water says "Smart," her elevator can't go all the way up. Ya know what I'm sayin'?

She checks her watch. 20 minutes and counting. I'm so loaded down at this point that my bad wheel is quaking and starting to veer off. Then, out of nowhere...


One of my fellow patrons gets it in the nose, as another "wild one" two-wheels it around the bread aisle like a bat outta hell. Yeesh! They are heartless.

People start to whisper. One woman uses the good Lord's name in vain as she squeezes past us on aisle six. I forgive her for her profanity for I know that that is a good woman. No list, no cart, just strolling through Wal-Mart like it's a walk in the park. I'm not that lucky today. 

She grips my handle harder and pushes us through the crowd. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Now for the cold stuff. What kind of combination is broccoli, peanut butter, and icecream? Doesn't she keep up with diet trends? I ain't no rocket scientist or nothin' but I know broccoli and icecream cancel each other out.

My metal begins to throb as a chill spreads through my core. One cold item after another gets feverishly tossed in 'cause time is ticking. She bumps me along down the candy aisle and we are on two-wheels as we zoom past all the cookies. Then, it happens. I begin to get woozy at all the jerking about. I tried my best to hold it in, but there she blows! I lose my cookies right there in the middle of the main aisle for all to see.

Cookies, chips, some of them Angry Bird fruit snacks, and throw pillows skid across the tile. Now, I'm the angry bird. My good buddy whizzes past, he's electric. He tried to show me some respect by pretending he didn't see, but I know better. She picks up the loot and throws it at me again. Relentless. We screech to a halt in my good 'ole friend Sal's register station. Sal rolls her eyes. My sentiments exactly. 

Six other patrons, not operated by a M-O-M, back right out of Sal's row when they see us. It's so embarrassing. I do get some relief as everything lifts out of me and onto the belt.
But, no rest for the weary; a few minutes later and we are running through the parking lot. Sacks waving, cars honking, hitting curbs all the way to her big, blue suburban. Hasn't she heard of a fancy little invention called the"Carwash?" 

She opens the trunk and an empty water bottle rolls out. She runs after it. And there I go, my wheels have nothing left and a gentle breeze turns us away from the suburban and we start to glide down the slope. "Au Revoir mon amie!" I wave as we gain speed down the intersection. 

But, I have no control over my wheels. I can't see the road as the plastic sacks bat my face and block my vision. But, I can see enough to know a great big wall of red is rapidly approaching. An elderly man is emerging from the door. I scream. This is it. I'll bust a part like a toddler tears through a tower of legos. Nice knowing you! 

Just then, I hear a woman's voice behind me, "Oh no you don't!" A hand jerks me back seconds from the red Ford truck. And just like that. I'm unloaded. Free at last. Free at last! As usual, no time to put me back in my rightful place. The M-O-M squeezes me between four parked cars and whips away.

At least I can rest now. My frame hurts. My wheels could use some TLC from Automotive. The sun begins to take the chill away and I start to doze off. Even baking out here in the Texas heat is a better fate than 30 minutes of shopping with a mom at the wheel.

Just then, a silver mustang with booming music pulls into the parking spot beside me. I send up a prayer. Two scrawny boys emerge from each side. Don't pick me. Don't pick me. "And may the odds be ever in my..." One takes their gum and wraps it like Silly Putty around my handle. "

"Oh no!...teenagers!"


Cyn Rogalski said...

SO Awesome!!!I laughed when I read it, then read it to my husband and laughed again!