Saturday, November 04, 2006


I wonder if there are people who are naturally gifted shopping choosers. Not picking out products actually, but the far more delicate choices that go into a shopping experience. I was pondering this in Costco the other day (a place of much ponderance for me... and ponderous people as well, but that's not related to this).

There can be dozens of apparently identical carts lined up just begging a shopper to grab the handle and set off into over-sized consumerland. To make things interesting, just one of these carts will be one of Those carts - you know, the ones with the tendency to veer constantly to one side or another so you have to lean heavily on the handle and misalign your spine in order to avoid running down the ambling elderly in the aisles (oh, what lovely alliteration... I think I'll write a sonnet after this...). I have an uncanny attraction to those carts. I'll pick 'em out every single time. I even went to special effort at Costco, rejecting the ones with slimy substances on the surfaces (more alliteration, possibly this isn't skill but a symptom of something more sinister... good heavens, there it goes again), and those with wadded bits of paper or empty food containers.

The one I opted for looked just fine, but once I started shoving it around the concrete floor it was impossible to ignore the loud, rattling, irritating, whiny screech it made. No problem, I thought, I'm secure enough in myself to rise above a noisy cart. I'll hold my head high as I wheel my obnoxious way around the store. Maybe once I would have been bothered, but not now, not me, oh no.

I think the cart took this as a challenge, because the volume definitely increased as we went through the store, until it was clearly audible several aisles away. People were looking at me in concern, and making efforts to avoid me. But I was well past the point of no cart return. Sure, I could have gone to get a new cart and then transferred my things into it, but that would be admitting defeat. Besides, it was almost certain I'd pick one just as bad as this one.

I do think it was overdoing things though when the front right wheel jammed up, sending the cart and me into a frantic salsa around the chip aisle. I admit, it's just possible I kicked that cart quite hard, right in the wheels.

It's okay though, we had lots of time to make up in the checkout line. I can't choose those, either.

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