We’ve lived in Podunk for more than 12 years now. I’m starting to see some of the quirky side effects of that tenure on my behavior.
I’m almost certain that if I lived in civilization, as defined by having at least two grocery stories, I would not feel compelled to deface shopping carts, for example.
As it stands, I’ve started carrying a Sharpee to our only grocery store — we’ll call it Lone Store — to designate the driveability of its shopping cart fleet.
I really didn’t use to mind grocery shopping, but it takes a pretty strong human to get off work, go to the store, and then hold her shit together while two of her four shopping cart wheels spin wildly in opposing directions.
And then there are the rattlers. Some rattle no more obnoxiously than a slightly loose bicycle basket. These get marked with a benign dot.
Others make you wonder how the weld can hold the metal together for one more trip around the store. They announce your presence like a town crier. Clatter, clatter, ka-thud … yes, I’m in the feminine products aisle. Shakeity shake screech … here I am buying my kid highly processed macaroni and cheese-type product even though I love him and have a slow food sticker on my water bottle. Ziggity ziggity, crash… uh huh, in the beer section AGAIN. These carts get a 6 on them, a good start on the mark of the devil.
Then there’s those bluebird days when everything is going my way, and I get the one cart in the store that glides through the aisles on its even tires, and whose basket seems as if it were constructed simply to aid me in my shopping endeavors. This gets a plus sign, because my thumbs up sign was not very successful and seemed a bit obscene.
There’s my dirty little secret. See you at the races.