May 6, 2007

Shopping Carts and Shoes

Where I shop for groceries, you have to pay a quarter to spring a shopping cart free from captivity. We keep a quarter in the cupholder, and heaven help anyone who spends that quarter. To be running around the parking lot with dimes, nickels and pennies begging someone to sell you their cart is a time-consuming soul-sucking experience. That, and they look at your untidy offering of coinage with a sigh. Every time.

I don't think much about shopping carts, unless they're not working properly. Apparently Murray Whyte does, though. He has a piece in the Star today about their invention. They weren't invented until the late 1930's, which makes me wonder how people with a gazillion kids ever did their shopping.

Whyte writes about a photographer who has produced a book about abandoned/stolen carts. He actually classifies them according to theft, plow damage, home lots, foreign lots and other things. Sure. And I thought this other story on shoes hanging from overhead wires was odd, and interesting. Wait. It's by Whyte too. He's been looking at a lot of picture books this week.

Anyway, those shopping carts cost about 200 bucks each to replace. Some stores put an electronic fence around their lots so you can't take them. I'd like to seem them employ something similar to keep kids in the front little seat part, frankly. For some kids, including one of mine years ago, the only way to keep them from dangling over the edge like a pinata dressed in Old Navy toddler clothes was to rip open a bag of something to shut them up. And the check out clerks so calmly scan a half bag of fishy crackers, you know they do it all the time.

The guy that invented the shopping cart was the owner of Piggley Wiggley. I just like saying that.

But I have to admit, the person who made me truly look at shopping carts in a whole new light was Bubbles.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There ARE still a few grocers who don't charge the quarter for the cart anymore.......thankfully because I always end up scouring my van cup holders for that damn quarter and it never stays there!

May 07, 2007 3:55 PM  

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