The Post in Which I Tell You How to Drive Your Shopping Cart

Please understand that I’m actually sad this needs to be written. These guidelines, if you will, for controlling your shopping cart, and yourself, at the grocery store. Consider the following a Public Service Announcement.

For starters, let’s imagine the supermarket aisle much like the road you presumably drove on to get there. In this country, we drive on the right. Therefore, keep to the right. Obviously people going in the opposite direction (and there will be some – this isn’t your personal aisle) will be on the left. For those of you in Britain, reverse this.

You can stop and shop, this isn’t a marathon. You should be allowed to pause without fear of having some woman dressed in crop yoga pants with a cart full of organic beet juice ram you in your Achilles tendon. Yes, this has happened to me, multiple times, always at the same supermarket. In fact, I avoid the place because clearly the women that shop there are mainlining Botox, which has atrophied their brain muscle. The aisles are not your personal workout. Go outside and run through the parking lot, get it out of your system. Some of us are in there to buy food, real food, to provide sustenance for our families.

If you’ve encountered a friend going in the opposite direction, and you’re both clogging the aisle, please be kind enough to pick one side, thereby allowing traffic to flow freely.

Next, I don’t care what you’re buying. The fact you feel the need to look in my cart or comment on the amount of produce I’m buying makes me think you need a new hobby. Go do another lap in the parking lot.

If you’re a man, don’t do what Chatty Dude did the other day in the dairy section, which was offer to let me pass. This was a wide aisle. Much like the rules of the road, I don’t need permission to pass you. You needn’t pull over next to the Twinkies twenty feet ahead of me, and make a show, telling me I can pass. All I’m thinking is you want to stare at my ass. I lingered by the soymilk, and shooshed him away. I noticed later, in the bread aisle, he was doing the same to another woman. The dirty bird.

Don’t damage the produce. Look, we all cop a feel with the tomatoes, but we don’t squeeze the hell out of them. Someone wants to eat that. If you can’t tell what’s ripe, ask for assistance. There’s no shame.

Don’t load your cart like an utter moron, putting your bananas, eggs and bread on the bottom, then get to the register and express shock that they’ve been mashed to bits under your ten pound bag of Russet potatoes. Don’t even consider asking the bagger to get replacement items for you. If you’ve a child taking up the top portion of your cart, purchase these things last.

Don’t go through the express aisle with more items than they accept because you’re “in a rush.” We’re all in a rush. It’s called old age. It’s bearing down on all of us. Get over it, and follow the guidelines.

Don’t stand behind me huffing and harrumphing because I have a full cart. Pick another aisle.

Don’t ask to go ahead of me because you’re “in a rush” – see the two points above.

Don’t wait until the last item is rung up before you get out your wallet (women, I’m sad to note, do this the most – they’re always surprised they need to pay). In this day and age, most people pay by debit card. Have it ready. If, by some small chance, you’re paying by cash, be aware what coinage in this country looks like. Please, dear God, don’t stand there acting like you’ve never seen a dime before. Have your money ready. This also applies to coupons. Know how many you have, and to which items they apply.

Don’t pull your car up into the red zone to load your groceries. That’s the “FIRE LANE,” not the VIP Zone.

And, lastly, please put your carts away. Don’t be one of the lazy ones that leave it standing in the middle of a sloping parking lot. It’s OK to be considerate and walk the 100 feet to the cart return. You’ll burn another calorie, and you may meet Chatty Dude on the way.


11 responses to “The Post in Which I Tell You How to Drive Your Shopping Cart”

  1. While we’re on the subject, can you convince any young mothers out there that their damn carriage/stroller/whatever you call it is NOT a frickin’ battering ram?

    And I’m tired of getting the bad look when I snarl “You want to watch where you’re shoving that thing?” when some idjit slams it into my calf and I get irritated at the invasion of my personal space. Having a child does not excuse you from basic common courtesy, although having a child when you aren’t intelligent enough to care for one might!



  2. love this so much… though the part about encountering a friend in the aisle and the need for both to pull off to the side merited a few more derogatory sentences. This “stand in the middle talking about how awesome your Caribbean vacation is while people try to get around you or signal you that you are IN THE MIDDLE of the aisle or hallway” move is just so annoying…


  3. Of course we’ve all seen most of these people…

    But are you saying that there are people who ACTUALLY expect the bagger to go get them another loaf of bread because they fail to understand gravity?

    Mind-boggling. And sad.


  4. Staring at your ass, and the frozen food aisle, are two of the perks of shopping, but I take your point. Leaving the shopping cart at the front of the parking space so only a Morris Minor can use it is not optimal either.

    This should all be in every state’s driver’s manual.


  5. Thank you for this excellent public service! Also, it’s annoying when the only parking spot left in the lot is blocked by carts. And people who drop avocadoes on the floor should be prosecuted!

    Carry on 🙂


  6. It was like reading own mind. You nailed it.

    Now I do most of my shopping on the weekend and let me remind people that samples are indeed samples so take one & move on.

    And my fellow men, it’s admirable that you are helping out but learn the layout. Don’t wander cluelessly clogging up the aisles and walking against the flow. You embarass me.


  7. LMAO! Thank you so much for your PSA, truly why is this not a commercial? Very helpful and I may just post in my local grocery store. You may have forgotten one other thing though – the dude that follows you around, he either has no idea what to buy and is copying you, or he has confused the grocery store with a book store and is trying to hit on you – either way: “Dude, I’m buying tampons and cheetos – seriously, do not try to pick me up today!” OK, I feel better now. Thanks Denise, hilarious.


  8. I have to admit I’ve done the 50 yard dash in the store before but I have never run anyone over before. Perhaps the people who work at the store and collect the carts in big long trains could be reminded that they don’t only have to park the carts behind my car and continue collecting even though they see me trying to load groceries into my trunk while wiggling between my car the and carts. Just a thought.


  9. This should be made mandatory reading for anyone about to enter the store ~ if the don’t accept these terms, it’s another tour of the car park, and those in violation of these rules should be fined by being made to queue in the slowest lane. Thank you


  10. THis is excellent, and if you are my husband: “Don’t engage the check out girl in a conversation that involves her lineage, her college major, her hobbies, and her preference in cereals.”


  11. ROTFL!!!! LMAO!!! {{STILL laughing!!}} You have definitely got a wonderful talent for humorous writing, Denise! Could you do this on Facebook? Yes, you’re funny on twitter, but only 140 characters at a time. PLEASE keep blogging! We need your voice to brighten our days! I absolutely LOVE this post! I’d go grocery shopping with you any day! *hugs*


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