I’ve lost faith in humanity. A weekly occurrence but this one was deep. This one cut me to the bone.
Supermom and I were entering the Mecca of merchandising known as Walmart. I was reflecting over the logistics problem presented by shopping carts. I was actually thinking… if everyone entering the store would bring a cart back inside then we wouldn’t have a cart issue. Underpaid teens wouldn’t have to stand in the rain loading up wet carts. Shopping would be a happier experience. Ergo, world peace.
I do my part. Whenever I go to Walmart and see someone nearing the end of their shopping cart usage I ask, “Hey can I take that inside for you?” or I say, “I’ll take that.” People usually respond with a Thank You and I have time from the parking area to the shopping are to decide if I like the cart. If I am near the entrance to the actual store then I ask for more details from the cart owner. Something like, “Does that cart make a thumpy sound or pull hard to the left?” It was in a scenario similar to the latter where my faith was shaken.
Back to the story. It went something like this.
Supermom and I were walking into Walmart. A lady in her later-twenties was leaving and taking a single shopping bag out of her cart. She made eye contact with us and immediately was able to assess that we didn’t have a shopping cart. Mostly because we didn’t have a shopping cart. She pushed her cart towards us and said, “Do you need a cart?” I replied, “Awesome. Thank you!” Then she added, “It isn’t bumpy or weird or anything.” She added that comment of her own free will as if it was assuring me that we made a good decision to trust her cart suggestion. We were standing beside three rows of newly returned carts so it would have been easy for this lady to stay un-involved. To leave us to an uncertain fate.
But she acted. She heroically offered her experience and opinion. I felt like the luckiest man alive. Here someone had given me a rare gift. A fully functioning shopping cart at Walmart. A unicorn. Guaranteed to be bump and weirdness free.
We pushed our way into Walmart and the happy adrenaline began to wear off. By the time we reached the aisle of Clearance items behind the greeting cards, I realized the truth… That bitch lied to me. This cart was bumpy AND weird AND everything. It shook like Michael J. Fox and sounded like a pair of tennis shoes in a dryer. There was a loose weld on the bottom rack and the metal slapped against itself the whole time. If I had purchased buttermilk it would have been churned by checkout. The handle had a filmy greasiness along the bottom edge. Body lotion or boogers? Who knows. I was confused. Violated.
Why on earth would she have offered me this total piece of shit cart? Why would she have put in the extra effort to tell me that it was neither a) bumpy or b) weird. I didn’t ask about the cart. I didn’t indicate I needed one. She sought me out for discomfort and despair. Was she following me? Laughing at my misfortune? Am I going to be on a candid camera show?
I don’t care. I’m enraged and disappointed all at once. I trusted her. She screwed me over. I had flashbacks of the Tell Tale Cart. We have enough struggles in life and now I have to worry about random sociopaths sandbagging me with shitty carts at Walmart.
If you get confused by people in public, this post is for you. Me too. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.