Podunk only has one grocery store. A few years ago I wrote about the sorry state of the Lone Store’s shopping carts. I’ll pause while you review the 2014 essay Trials and Tribulations at Podunk’s Lone Store Corral.
OK great. Because now you will remember how important this news is. Hot off the press, perhaps because of my shitty shopping cart defacement project, Lone Store rolled out a fleet of brand new carts.
The ecstasy I feel when I drive the new cart speaks volumes to how thoroughly Podunk I am. Yet I am not ashamed. The smooth, quiet ride, the cupholder, the end of the 1990s era handlebar that had been touched by the swine flu epidemic of 2009, rotovirus outbreak of 2015, head lice, hoof and mouth disease, and unpleasant sticky things.
The delight I feel is similar to what I felt as a child when our family got any new appliance that was accompanied by a large cardboard box. It didn’t happen often, but the feeling of unadulterated upward mobility wafted in the air for weeks.
The arrival of these new shopping carts is a strangely emotional experience for me. Touring the now exiled, hateful carts through the only game in town, year after year, led one to conclude that the owner of Lone Store didn’t love any of us. A kind and benevolent grocer wouldn’t be able to stand the sight or sound of his flock screeching through the aisles, watching helplessly as one wheel stubbornly stopped until its operator jostled it free, sometimes leaning in with the shoulder, sometimes at the expense of the other lady in the cereal section (sorry lady!).
But now the grocer’s requisite customers can hold our heads high at the supermarket. Eat your heart out, Whole Foods shoppers — Podunk has arrived.