Shopping Carts Don’t Have Turn Signals

You don’t need a driver’s license to push a shopping cart, but maybe you should.

Over the years I’ve spent my share of time inside grocery stores, department stores, warehouse stores, dollar stores, and even craft stores. And one thing I’ve found is that, no matter what kind of store it is, people don’t know how to properly drive a shopping cart.

There are a lot of similarities between shopping carts and automobiles, namely, four wheels, a metal frame, and the ability to carry a load. Likewise, there are a lot of similarities between how people drive shopping carts and how they drive automobiles. Unfortunately, most of the less-than-desirable driving traits seem to carry over between the two. In fact, those traits might even be heightened when pushing a cart.

Have you ever seen someone driving down the road while looking at their phone? Of course you have. As I see it, this happens even more often with people pushing shopping carts. They’ll be talking to someone, or looking at their shopping list on their phone without any regard to people around them, let alone where they’re pushing their cart.

Shopping carts don’t have turn signals or back-up lights, so this presents some confusion and a hefty amount of miscommunication between distracted cart pushers (DCPs for short) and other store goers. DCPs will suddenly change directions without warning, or they’ll stop and quickly back up because they realize Pop-Tarts were on the aisle they just passed.

DCP’s will park their shopping cart in such a way that it blocks the entire aisle so that no one can pass while they try to decide which flavor of yogurt they should get.

Excess speed isn’t usually an issue with shopping carts, but it is occasionally – especially with kid car carts. Many grocery stores have carts that have an addition in the front that looks like a car and seats one or two young children. I’ve seen a lot of parents who feel the need to run while pushing these carts while making race car “vrooming” noises. (92% of the time it’s the dad, but there are a few mommy “vroomers.”)

Occasionally, parents will let the kids push the cart. This is all cute and wonderful until you are standing there minding your own business, and a shopping cart suddenly slams into the back of your ankles.

It gets so bad sometimes that some might suggest a person need a license to drive a shopping cart. It’s a thought, but it might be taking things a bit too far – the DMV is a nightmare enough already as it is.

Joseph Capell
Joseph Capell
Joe Capell is a husband and the father of four children. When not herding the kids or working, he enjoys writing funny-ish things for the amusement of others. He’s also fond of naps and eating ice cream with his wife.

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