Thursday, January 1, 2015

Buggy, Cart, Trolley

When the cashier asked me, “Did you find everything okay?”

I said, “Sure, yeah, great! I found the toilet seat, dog dip, fire ant killer, and gas can—just great. I would be beside myself with shopping joy IF IT WASN’T FOR YOUR DERANGED BUGGIES!”

Then she called security.

Here in the south we call them buggies. If you’re a Yankee you may call them carts, and if you’re from England, you call them trolleys—which is just bizarre.

There are three types of buggies at Walmart: the ones that pull—to the left or the right, the ones that vibrate like the Space Shuttle during liftoff, and the ones that seize up on you, because it suspects that you are homeless and looking for a spare bedroom.

I watched my husband yank, pull, push, sway, and rock a Walmart buggy for seventeen minutes one day when we crossed the invisible buggy alert line. It froze up. He went berserk.

“It’s frozen,” I said. He yanked.

“The buggy thinks that you’re homeless,” I explained. He tipped, then rocked, and then shook--all over.

“Face it; we’re going to have to carry eighty pounds of groceries from here to way out there.” I pointed. It was hard to see our vehicle. It was Christmas time. He growled.

The vibrator buggies are often easy to spot. These buggies are often abandoned at various points around the mega-store, due to the hideous clank, clank, clank noise they emit, and the tremors that travel up through the one wheel that is flapping free. That clanking noise travels through the handle, into the bones of your forearm, and finally into your temples—like an ice pick.

Occasionally, a small child will also be abandoned with the buggy. It’s a decoy. Don’t fall for it. When you go to assist the child, its mother will attempt to steal your buggy and collect the kid later at the lost and found.

The pullers are the worst. Hard to spot and apparently impossible to fix these buggies appear serviceable, but by the time you reach the detergent you will be nearing a state of exhaustion. The exhaustion stems from the constant over compensating you will be forced to do to keep your buggy from drifting into the buggy with the infant in it on your left or the woman in the hover-round on your right.

Tip: The more groceries in a puller the worse it pulls, and if a puller buggy gets away from you in the parking lot there may be no stopping it. Like a suicide bomber it will throw itself into the nearest and newest car in the parking lot.

Chasing after a runaway cart, screaming, is highly ineffective. Trust me on this.

Then there are the perfect buggies. The ones that neither pull, nor drift, nor rattle, nor seize up. A pleasure to push and a joy to load up, these buggies just roll along like a corny song, until you hit a bump and your eggs fall out onto the parking lot, but don’t break, and they (the eggs) go rolling—but not in a straight line, because unbroken eggs can’t roll in a straight line—every where, they roll just every where, and because the eggs didn’t break you feel that you should catch them, because they’re still good. Right?

I mean you could still make brownies with them (if you cooked that is) and so you go running wildly through the parking lot chasing eggs, trying to get all your eggs in one basket, but in the end there’s no way that you’re going to crawl underneath that van dripping bio-hazards where three of your eggs have rolled, because there are things that you’ll do for brownies and then there are things that you won’t do, and that’s life.

Sometimes life pulls to the right or left, leaving you exhausted and sometimes it vibrates and shatters your eardrums. Sometimes life locks up on you, thinking that you’re someone else entirely, and sometimes life is just right--then the eggs fall out and roll away under a van.

Linda (Trolley Girl) Zern

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