Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Tragedy of Runaway Shopping Carts!

Growing up as a boy in a small town in the 60's, I took a lot for granted. Firstly, that when food shoppers were done with their carts they would walk them back to the storefront to make it easier for the next shopper, and to help prevent the dangers to the cars of fellow shoppers from "runaway cart syndrome". The walk was a long one for my short legs, but it never occurred to me to questions my mother's instructions concerning it's return. After all, I didn't want my neighbor's cars dented by mischievous, rogue carts cruising the parking area willy nilly like some territorial pack of predatory Great White Sharks. I didn't expect any praise for properly returning the carts, as it was just a "common courtesy" as my mother put it. Like saying "God Bless You," to a nearby sneezer. Besides, all our other neighbors put the carts in their places just as reliably as we did. Even the infirm and slow-motion moving older folks.

Unfortunately, I went food shopping with Wendy, my wife, yesterday when I beheld a horrifyingly gruesome sight. In the parking lot of the Southern NJ ACME there was a veritable feeding frenzy of predatory carts attacking the helpless cars left behind by their food-seeking masters. I wondered what kind of people were self-centered enough just to discard their steel behemoths once their personal groceries were loaded, regardless of the risk to life & limb of the property of their neighbors.

I came to the conclusion that it was the same self-centered so and so's who weave in and out of traffic like demented sidewinder snakes. You can add to the group the speed demons who roar through residential areas playing loud Gangsta Rap or Rock. Line cutters of all descriptions...and the owners of Humvees (sorry, but anyone driving a vehicle designed to invade desert countries has...issues). These and many other examples of our devolving society may be spelling the end of our civilization as we have known it.

A community is, or at least should be, more than just a bunch of houses packed in a tightly defined space. It should be a group of city members, state residents, and Americans who realize that we're all in this together. To forget or ignore this crucial element lies chaos, societal disintegration...and the madness of the rogue cart!


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