Mason County News
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Demolition Derby in the Parking Lots!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 • Posted March 16, 2011

All of us have our pet peeves. Those things that irritate us, even though we try to not let them. I have several, though as I've gotten older, I've been able to get beyond most of them and am not as bothered as I once might have been.

Except for shopping carts!

Stores provide shopping carts to customers for their convenience. We roll the carts through the store, fill it up with what we need, unload it at the checkout, reload it after paying, then roll it out to our vehicle to unload. Then, it seems, many people get lazy. Rather than returning the cart to the store, or to a 'cart corral' in the parking lot, many folks will simply push the cart away from their vehicle, crawl into the car and drive away.

I've pulled into the parking lots of Super S before and it looked as if people had been playing demolition derby with the carts out in the lot. There they sit, less than 150 feet from the cart return, blocking half the parking spots.

It's always interesting to watch people abandon the carts. You can tell, as they remove the last items from the cart, that they have no intention of making the extra effort to put the cart away. They don't start looking around for the return area. They don't halfheartedly push it part way to the return area. They simply look around for a clearing where the cart will not roll back into their own vehicle, push the cart there, then leave.

When I've asked people I know why they don't return the carts, the response is often, "The store pays people to do that." Of course, that overlooks the fact that the store employee would be able to do the job a lot more efficiently if the carts were where they were supposed to be rather than scattered about the parking lot.

I've also had people tell me that, "It's too inconvenient to take it back to the store/to the 'cart corral.'" This might make sense if the person weren't parked 30 feet away from the cart return.

What it really comes down to is pure laziness. People expect others to pick up after them. After years of having their mothers tell them to pick up their clothes, pick up their shoes, put their dishes away, I suppose people decided they deserve to let someone else clean up after them. I often wonder if, when they get home, they still expect someone else to move the car under the carport, put away the groceries and start their meal.

I once watched a lady at Walmart push her cart up to her vehicle, unload the few items that she had purchased, then pushed the cart a few feet away, got into her car and drove away. Sadly, the cart return was on the driver's side of the car, immediately next to the woman. But, she couldn't be bothered to take the cart with her and put it where it belonged. I had been watching her since I had spoken to her leaving the store. She was from Mason, had Puncher stickers on her car, and other people had to have been really impressed with how Mason people clean up after themselves if they also watched her.

I've also watched at Super S as people leave their cart in the middle of a parking spot rather than walking it back to the front of the store. They end up blocking a parking spot, and often dinging surrounding cars when the cart continues rolling rather than staying put.

But, there is justice in the universe. I once watched a lady at Walmart in Brady push the cart a few feet away, get in her car and started up. As she prepared to pull away, the cart rolled back downhill and went down the side of her car, scratching it as it moved along. She got back out of her car, and actually seemed angry at the cart for having attacked her. She probably was angry at me too, because I couldn't stop pointing and laughing.

It’s all just my opinion.

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