The Lizard Chronicles

Some of this is true. Some of this is better. –Too Much Joy

Straight Talk About Feral Shopping Carts August 3, 2018

Filed under: Life tales,Oddities,photography — lizardesque @ 5:00 pm
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During the warmer months of the year, I spend quite a lot of time walking and riding my bike on the path in the forest preserve near my house. I’ve been frequenting this preserve for more than a decade now, and until quite recently, feral shopping carts were a pretty rare sight there. Sure, I saw a few over the years, but I certainly didn’t consider them a problem.

A little over a month ago, I spotted this cart. Having seen feral shopping carts in the past, I probably wouldn’t have thought much of it normally, but it’s bright orange color and the fact that it was flipped on it’s end made it stand out to me. My initial impulse was to help it by setting it on its wheels, but I know better than to get too close to a feral cart. They have been known to ram and scratch and are notorious for spreading disease.

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It begins.

A week or so later, I spotted another cart, and then another just a few days later. Before I knew it, just over a month had passed, and I had seen seven feral shopping carts in that time. I can’t say for certain that each sighting involved a different cart, but there were at least four of them–I know this because of their distinct markings. I could no longer deny that feral shopping carts were becoming a problem in my neighborhood forest preserve.

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A blue one!

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This one is a little shy.

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OMG, they’re everywhere!

In an effort to curb this growing problem and prevent similar issues in other areas, I feel compelled to offer the following tips on how to avoid contributing to the problem.

  • Do your part to keep carts from going stray. If you use shopping carts provided by retailers, return them to the proper places after you have finished your shopping. Proper places include depositories within stores (usually placed near the exits/entrances) and conveniently placed corrals in parking lots. Do not leave your carts free to roam in parking lots, as this increases the likelihood of their escape. Besides, only sociopaths abandon their carts uncorraled.
  • Do not set shopping carts “free.” You may think that by taking a cart out of a store or parking lot, you are opening it up to a glorious and free life, but that’s not the case. Most carts have spent their entire lives in captivity and have not developed the skills necessary to fend for themselves. Sadly, some carts have been altered by store owners who aim to slow shoppers down in efforts to increase the time (and thus money) they spend in stores. Such alterations further hinder carts’ survival in the wild.
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The sad fate of one feral cart

  • Resist the impulse to acquire your own cart. Think carefully before bringing a shopping cart into your home. Sure, shopping carts are cute and fun, especially when they are young, but remember that they require care and commitment. The sad fact is that many shopping carts acquired on impulse end up being neglected. Often, these carts run away or are “set free” from their neglectful homes and must survive in the wild (see above for more on this) .
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This poor cart was overturned and we unable to right itself on its own!

You may be wondering if there are trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs for shopping carts (as there are for feral cats in some communities). Unfortunately, at the present time, it’s not possible to spay or neuter shopping carts as they have no discernible genitalia. In fact, although shopping carts hav long been reproduced in laboratories, scientists remain mystified as to how they breed in the wild. Thus, the best defense against an out-of-control shopping cart population lies in not letting the carts get out in the first place.

We can solve this problem if we all do our part!

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This Is a Thing Now? July 10, 2018

Filed under: Oddities,Poetry,Writing — lizardesque @ 7:59 am
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Wayward shopping carts

Along forest preserve path

Saw three this morning

 

The Offenders May 22, 2013

Filed under: Psychology,Rants,Writing — lizardesque @ 7:42 am
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Far from home

Far from home

People who do not return their shopping carts to corrals in store parking lots encapsulate everything that is wrong with the world. I’ve been silent long enough and feel I must speak out against those who leave their shopping cart beside their cars instead of taking them to the designated collection areas—selfish, lazy, and borderline sociopaths! Some might think I’m being harsh and that it’s not that big of a deal. After all, it’s unlikely that anyone has ever died or been seriously injured by a wayward cart. So, yes, there are worse offenses of selfish carelessness, but by refusing to return a cart to the corral, the Offenders allow us a glimpse into their rotten core. They are telling everyone that they cannot be bothered to abide by the rules of being a decent person.

The unreturned cart could dent someone’s car. It could inconvenience someone by blocking a parking space, causing her to have to look for another space or get out of her car (before parking, probably inconveniencing other would-be parkers in the process) and move the cart that was the Offender’s responsibility in the first place. Maybe that’s not the end of the world, but it could all be avoided if people would take 30 seconds to do their end-of-shopping duty.

I’ve heard all the excuses. Some of them aren’t even excuses. “I’ll admit it. I’m lazy,” a person whose name I will not divulge once said to me with a shrug and a please-don’t-hate-me look. No. I’m lazy. I know lazy. I can be so lazy that I groan and ignore dryer lint that falls inches short of the trash bin when I attempt to toss it in. This inconveniences no one. I’ll get to it later. The Offenders and their cart-abandoning habits are not simply lazy. They are rude, thoughtless, and reprehensible.

“Oh, but it was raining/snowing/windy/hot,” Offenders have whined throughout the ages. Guess what—people have brought carts to corrals under many sorts of inclement weather conditions and lived to tell about it. What’s more, the weather probably will still suck when someone else has to take care of the Offenders’ carts.

“Oh, but I had my kids with me and…” The Offender then goes on to describe how returning a shopping cart to the corral is an absolute physical impossibility when one is accompanied by children. Here, the Offender is not only lying but is also using his or her children as an excuse for being a despicable human being. After all, the Offender managed to get the kids into the car, take them to the store, and complete his or her shopping with the kids in tow. It is absolutely possible to return a cart to the corral without putting one’s children in mortal danger. I promise.

I call upon you, dear readers, to help me in my quest expose the Offenders! Do not put up with their excuses! Shine a light on their sociopathic tendencies! Shame them into good behavior!

And keep returning your carts, for the sake of all that is good in the world!