We had put our own groceries in the car and were backing out of our parking space when we saw a middle aged man—let’s call him Mr. Lazypants— place his groceries in his Z 4 convertible, and then carefully maneuver his cart into the cross section between spaces in front of his car and casually turn to walk away.
I admit, I was pretty cranky. I had endured a long morning of Defendants yelling at me and a very busy afternoon. But Mr. Lazypants sent me over the edge. Here is picture I made to help illustrate.
To understand why the rage, I’ll have to tell you a little story…
It was a dark and stormy night in 2005 in the Mitchell Avenue Kroger parking lot. We had picked up our groceries and were heading back to our Clifton apartment. All the sudden, there’s a strong gust of wind and we heard a large “BANG!” on the rear passenger side of the car.
Upon investigation, a shopping cart, left carelessly in the parking lot had been pushed by the wind and rolled into the back of the car as David was backing up. The resulting impact left a large dent and scratch in the rear panel of the car. It was David’s first dent.
David was mad, I was mad, but what could we really do? We didn’t know who had left the cart in the lot. It certainly was not us. We have always returned our cart to the corral, even if it is raining or snowing or far away. Because we are considerate of other people’s vehicles.
Unlike the person upon that fateful night in 2005, and Mr. Lazypants yesterday.
A few different options rolled through my head at that time. Should I keep it real? Say nothing? I was not sure. I quickly decided that I was not going to let some jerk damage someone's car. Also, anyone who reads the signs understands that not being lazy keeps grocery costs low, because the stores don’t have to pay employees to waste their time running around the parking lot wrangling carts.
I rolled down the window and shouted.
“HEY! That’s not where you put your cart!”
I received a knowing smile, a “HUH?!” and his hand cupped behind his ear as a response.
Nice try, Mr. Lazypants.
“That’s not where you put your cart!”
“THAT’S NOT WHERE YOU PUT YOUR CART!!!”
“Oh, well where do I put it then?”
Since pretending to be deaf didn’t work, Lazypants obviously had opted for playing dumb at this point. David and I looked at each other incredulously. Had he never shopped at a grocery store before? Did he not see the cart corrals 20 feet away he had walked by on his way in and out of the store? Unlikely. He was just playing stupid because he got caught being an inconsiderate jerk.
A few scenes danced through my head at that point. I have provided some more high quality artwork to help illustrate.
One was looking at David and proclaiming “avast, turn to the starboard side, ramming speed!” and hitting Lazypants, sending him spinning over the top of our car and sending his cart flying into his little convertible. Really, what’s another dent?
The second option involved me getting out of the car, walking over, and explaining very clearly what I was trying to communicate while taking his cart and ramming it repeatedly into his Z4 for punctuation. “You should” *bang!* “really” *bang!* “put your cart”*bang!* “in the corral”*bang!* “you never know what kind of” *bang!* “damage it could cause to someone’s car.”
The third option involved getting out of the car, punching him in the face, shoving him in the shopping cart and taking both the cart and Lazypants to the cart corral.
The fourth option involved pointing to the cart corral.
I chose number four because I would prefer not to be arrested for vehicular assault and especially didn't want to have our car insurance go up.
So we pointed. At both cart corrals. At that point in time, people were starting to take notice of why someone was yelling at someone else in the parking lot. This seemed to embarrass Lazypants enough that his face was turning red and he somewhat sarcastically said “Thanks for reminding me!” and began pushing his cart to the corral.
We waved and drove off. Hopefully, we embarrassed him enough that he will return his cart to the proper place from now on. We'll be watching.