Podunk Meets Paradise

Musings from Central Idaho

Archive for the tag “shopping cart”

Shiny New Shopping Carts

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.


These new shopping carts represent upward mobility for people in Podunk. 

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.

Trials and Tribulations at Podunk’s Lone Store Corral

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.

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