Friday, April 25, 2008

Hell in a Half-Cart

I was buying a bottle of mineral water at Central Market this afternoon when a lady pushing one of those half-sized shopping carts did something that drives me crazy.

As you may know, Central Market offers downsized shopping carts for singles and DINKs who don't need a Boeing-sized cart with racing stripes to buy their weekly allotment of stinky cheese and pine nuts. Unfortunately, the smaller carts seem to promote a loss of spatial perception among some shoppers. Wheeling through the maze of bulk foods and product demos with relative ease, these half-carts magically morph into invisible extensions of the self with reckless consequences.

Take today, for example. I was waiting patiently in the express lane when the lady behind me edged her short cart within centimeters of my ankles. When I stepped forward a few steps, she rolled her cart right into me. I instinctively kicked my heel backward, not forcefully, but enough to let her know that her cart was literally right on my ass and I was feeling uncomfortably crowded. She apologized, I accepted and that was that.

To be fair, this lady was not being malicious or even all that oblivious. I myself have almost certainly edged my half-cart too close to people in haste from time to time. It is my sincere hope that this true-life actuality - meager though it may be - ushers in a new age of caution and courtesy among every harried half-cart pusher in our fair city's upscale food markets.

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