“Hello? AAA? I have a flat tire.”
“What is your location, sir?” the operator asks.
“The produce aisle,” I answer in this fantasy phone conversation from the grocery store.
If AAA roadside assistance covered broken down shopping carts, I could keep the tow trucks busy.
If a buggy squeaks, refuses to turn, has a wobbly wheel, is wet, covered in sticky goo or full of dirty tissues, I seem to have a knack for picking it. The odds of winning the bad buggy lottery are stacked in my favor.
Recently, I selected a buggy that had a flat tire. How does a solid wheel go flat? I don’t know. Maybe it melted in a hot parking lot.
As I muscled the heavy metal sled through the grocery aisles, other customers stared with a look of amused empathy.
“Hey, buddy. Been there and done that more times than I want to remember,” they seemed to be saying.
Apparently I am not the only person struck by the curse of the bad buggy.
You would think the world’s largest retailer could provide a fleet of shopping carts that don’t require an ox to move or a tugboat to steer. You would think the store chain would implement a buggy maintenance program to replace bad parts.
Consumer Reports magazine is known for testing and rating the driving qualities of automobiles. I wish the magazine would take carts from every grocery store chain in America and put them through rigorous drills on its test track.
The experts could evaluate acceleration, handling, pushability, ride comfort, safety equipment and major options such as an entertainment center for kids. Then, it could recommend the 10 best buggies in America.
Another irritant is all the marauding bands of buggies in the parking lot just looking for a good paint job to ruin.
Customers are to blame for being too lazy to return the buggies to the cart container, but store employees should do more to patrol the parking lot for rogue buggies.
All of this has me wondering why everyday low prices and a good variety of products must be saddled with metal jalopies that won’t push or turn properly.
Lately, we have been shopping at a new store where I find myself admiring the shiny grocery carts in the same way a man might consider a red Corvette. The buggies are clean and dry. They feature low rolling resistance, a cushy ride for the groceries and good steering feedback.
Best yet, they come with valet service so I don’t have to hunt down the buggy bay.
It is everything a driver could want in a shopping cart.
Executive Editor Scott Morris can be reached at 256-740-5721 or scott.morris@TimesDaily.com
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|