A stray shopping cart

Violin sitting atop sheet musicI was at the supermarket last evening buying groceries. Upon checking out, I pushed my cart outside toward my car. I’d parked close to the entrance, so I didn’t have far to walk.

I loaded my car and looked around for a cart return, but I didn’t see one. Not wanting to leave the cart in the parking lot, for fear it would roll into someone’s car, I decided to push it back inside.

I ought to get good karma for this, I thought, as I pushed the cart toward the store. I’m helping to make someone’s life easier. 

I returned the cart and walked back to my car. Climbing behind the wheel, I noticed someone had left a cart sandwiched between my car and the car in front of me.

Huh, I thought, tilting my chin upward. Not everyone’s as nice as me. I’m exceptional.

As I started the vehicle, a clerk emerged from the store looking for stray carts. She spotted the one in front of my car and walked toward it. As she grabbed it, she looked me right in the eye — I was fastening my seat belt — and gave me a horrifying grimace.

What was that look for? I wondered, as the clerk tromped away, pushing the cart. Usually when a woman makes a sour face at me, it’s because I’ve asked for her number.

It suddenly struck me: The clerk had seen me in my idling car and figured the stray cart was mine. She thought I was one of those rude jerks who didn’t know how to use a cart return.

I jumped out of my car. “Excuse me. Miss?”

“Get lost,” she said, marching forward with the cart.

“You have to understand!” I called, running toward her. “That cart’s not mine. I just pushed my cart back into the store. You have to believe me!”

“Yeah, right, pal,” she said. “Up yours.”

“I’m serious!” I said, catching up to her. “I don’t leave my cart sandwiched between cars. I always go out of my way to find a cart return. Honest.”

“Too little, too late,” the clerk said, as she continued walking. “Let’s get real: You’re just an elitist bastard who leaves it to the lowly minions like me to traverse the entire parking lot looking for stray carts. Don’t try to pretend otherwise.”

“I swear!” I said. “I’m a good person!”

I reached out to grab her shoulder, to stop her.

“Don’t touch me!” In a flash, the clerk spun around and slammed the cart into my groin. I screamed and fell to the hot asphalt. The clerk rammed the cart into my face and stomach, slamming the wheels into my teeth and breaking my glasses.

A man rushed toward us. “What’s going on? Did this guy try to hurt you?”

“No,” the clerk said. “He’s just one of those arrogant jerks who leaves his cart sandwiched between cars. No one’s ever taught him to use a cart return.”

“Oh, really?” the man said. He glared down at me. “Then how about we teach him now?”

The man kicked me in the face and the stomach. He then stepped on my hand, breaking two of my fingers. Last, he drove the toe of his boot deep into my chest, cracking three of my ribs.

I yelped, flailing around in agony as the man continued to kick me. The clerk pointed and laughed manically.

“Here, dear,” the man said, taking the cart from the clerk. “Let me wheel that into the store for you.”

As they disappeared into the distance, I lay on the asphalt, moaning. I reached out to try to hoist myself up, but there was nothing to grab onto — not a car or even a stray shopping cart.


17 thoughts on “A stray shopping cart

    1. Allen Post author

      And wouldn’t you know it — as if that whole ordeal wasn’t injustice enough, when I got home I noticed that they’d charged me twice for the laundry detergent.

      It must be karmic revenge, but I’m not sure for what. Maybe I did something egregious in a past life — such as taking an item off a shelf, and then putting it back where it didn’t belong.


      1. In My Cluttered Attic

        So it was YOU! I just knew that gallon of milk didn’t belong on the shelf with those Garbonzo beans. Those two demented individuals shouldn’t have stopped with you until they were within a inch of your life. How many other carts suffered the same fate at your hands before you were finally framed, I wonder? All I can say is; You finally got what you didn’t have coming to you! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Allen Post author

        Well, the thing was, the milk section was clear on the other side of the store, and I didn’t want to backtrack that far. Plus, supermarkets tend to baffle me, anyway. They’re like an unsolvable labyrinth that happens to provide everyday necessities at reasonable prices. So even if I had wanted to return to the milk section, I might not have been able to find it again. And then I’d spend the rest of my sorry life wandering up and down the aisles, trying to find my way out of this despairing nightmare of foodstuffs. And I wouldn’t even be able to drop breadcrumbs, because I wouldn’t know where the bread aisle was.


  1. spartacus2030

    I’m always sorry when bad things happen to good people! There’s no call for that! Did you report the incident to Police? After all, you were assaulted! And over a shopping cart? I thought it was part of their job to put them away. I thought it keeps them employed! What IS this world coming too. I too have suffered even ‘prolonged’ humiliation as ‘the supossed bad guy’ when I was just trying to help too. If you believe in God, you have just earned a staggering whack of brownie points! If you don’t, you’ve at least gained my respect :O)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Allen Post author

      I know — what is this world coming to when you have to imperil your well-being to return a lousy shopping cart?

      But the whole thing did end on a positive note. The store was having a blowout sale on TV dinners, so I was able to stock up. Now I won’t need to cook this holiday season. 😉


    1. Allen Post author

      I should have complained to the store management. They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease. (But then again, judging by the condition of their shopping carts, that saying is not always true.)

      Liked by 1 person

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