Friday, May 25, 2018

11 (Mostly) Lame Excuses for Not Returning Your Shopping Cart

It's happened to all of us. You go to the store to do some shopping. It's often a struggle to find a good parking spot, but today you actually see one. You start to pull into the spot....only to find you can't park there because some lazy doofus has left his shopping cart right in the middle of your parking spot!

It really isn't that difficult to return the cart to the cart return, is it? I don't think it has ever taken me more than one minute to take my cart, find a cart return, and put my cart there. It's not rocket science. Or brain surgery. Or rocket surgery.

You're doing it wrong!

And yet, if you drive into the parking lot of any major store, you're likely to find a wide array of shopping carts scattered hither and yon. What's especially annoying is to see how many of the random carts are within twenty feet of a cart return.

Looks like we're going for a cart in every parking spot!

The justifications and excuses for not returning the carts are numerous. Here are a few of them:

1. The I'm Too Important--These folks are too important to be bothered with putting their shopping cart away. That's something for lesser people to do. (These are the same arrogant jerks who park in the fire lane at the front of the store because, well, they're that much more important than everyone else.)

2. The I've Got the Wheels Up On the Curb--These people care, at least a little bit, about where they leave their shopping cart. They don't want it to just be rolling around loose, so they put the front wheels up on a curb so that the cart won't wander.

At least it's not rolling anywhere, right?

3. The Drop It Like It's Hot/I Ain't Got Time For This--These people just leave the cart in the exact spot where they unloaded it. They can't be bothered to move it an inch.

This is where I unloaded it. This is where it's staying.

4. The I'll Move It Between the Parking Spots--These people will move the cart up near the front of the parking spot, possibly even between two rows of parking spots, in an attempt to get it most of the way out of the way. (Note: "most of the way" is never fully out of the way. I think we've all had the experience of pulling into a parking spot where the cart was almost out of the way, so we inch forward trying to get as close to the cart as we can without hitting it. And then, of course, we bump into the cart and it rolls away in surprising and dangerous directions.)

5. The I'm Just Doing What They Were Doing--These people will see one cart that's not where it's supposed to be, then think that it'll be okay if they put their cart next to it. The idea being, "he did it first, so it's okay if I put mine next to his."

Everyone else is putting them along here. Why can't I?

6. The Lazy--These people just can't muster the effort to push the cart ten feet to a cart return.

7. The Jerk--This guy is trying to be a jerk on purpose, so he parks his shopping cart in such a way that it obstructs as many parking spots as possible.

Hey look, it's a Four Corners cart! One wheel each in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico!

8. The They Pay People To Do This--These people (usually "I'm Too Important") will justify leaving their cart willy-nilly because "they do, after all, pay people to come out here and gather the carts."

9. The Where the Heck Is the Nearest Cart Return?--Sometimes, parking lots are designed by idiots. Occasionally you'll get your cart unloaded, look around, and not see a spot to return your cart within 100 yards. I'll admit, this has happened to me a few times, and it's about the only time I haven't taken my cart to a proper cart return. (In those instances I have, once or twice, settled for an "I'm Just Doing What They Were Doing" situation and put my cart near a bunch of other carts.)

Where exactly is the cart return?

10. The I'm Just Going to Shove My Cart In the Direction of the Store--There's no cart return nearby? Well, I'll just shove my cart in the direction of the store. It's not my worry anymore!

The loneliest shopping cart in the world.
These are just a few of the reasons/excuses people have for not properly returning their carts. About the only justifiable excuse I can think of is:

11. The I've Got Small Children and I Don't See a Cart Return Nearby and I'm Not Leaving My Kids Just So I Can Track Down a Place to Return My Shopping Cart--That's one excuse I'll accept.

Of course, just because I almost always return my shopping cart to the proper place, it doesn't mean I'm perfect. Usually I'll line my cart up with the cart return, then shove it as hard as possible from as far away as I can just to hear/see it smash into the other carts that are already there. (I've got to be a rebel somehow!)

Edited from a post originally published on 6/23/15.

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