Try Not Backing Over My Dream

There will come a day when I will roll, straight and true, to the bottom of the hill. I’ve envisioned that day for years. I’ll keep trying. There is no such thing as quitting on something as important as this.

A row of shopping carts.

Some really sweet rides, but with the same flaw...(Image via Wikipedia)

Shopping carts are designed to be ridden through store parking lots. There’s no other good reason for them to be built with a handle and a place to stand on the back. The groceries in the front are a perfect counterweight for the mass of a person perched on the back of the cart.

At the store closest to my house, the parking lot is a perfect place to ride a shopping cart. The asphalt slopes gradually away from the store. The traffic lanes are generous, just what the driver of a gravity powered vehicle with little in the way of steering would need.

Leaning Right

With the design of the carts and the conditions you’d think that I’d have made that one perfect run already. There’s one factor that has defeated my efforts: shopping carts tend to steer to the right. Try as I might, I have not been able to overcome this tendency.

Leaning to the left corrects the arc to the right only slightly.  Aiming the cart perpendicular to the down hill path yields a slightly longer ride, but the propensity to turn right takes over and I end up aimed at a parked car on the right anyhow. I have tried getting a faster start, but found that only causes me to end up on the wrong path sooner. That last sentence is not intended as a metaphor for my choices in life, but there you have it.

A shopping cart and a parking lot

Maybe there is something to the always wear a helmet thing. (Image by Toban Black via Flickr)

One day, I was close. I’m sure it could have happened. I got a really good rolling start off the sidewalk ramp. I had a frozen turkey in the basket to add counterweight and speed. There was no traffic; I was rolling straight. I was certain I was going all the way to the bottom of the parking lot. I had a good head of steam crossing the traffic lane and rattled down into the parking area. A man whose car was parked in the second handicapped space had other ideas. He put his car in reverse, started to roll backward and caused me to hop off my cart and end the potential perfect run.

Never Say Die

There will come a day when it will happen. I’ll stumble across that one freakishly well aligned shopping cart. The basket will rattle as the wind goes through whats left of my hair. I’ll wave to a couple loading purchases into their Volvo and go right by. Before I hit the curb in front of the old Blockbuster shop (the one whose closing will destroy the economy)  I will hop off and guide my steed to a safe stop.

I’ve envisioned that day for years. I’ll throw my arms in the air in a way befitting the achievement.

Always look before backing.


45 Comments on “Try Not Backing Over My Dream”

  1. Maybe carry something heavy over your left shoulder

  2. We found him Captain!! says:

    Now that I’m first I don’t know what to write. Isn’t that the way it always is?
    O.K. How about this! I think supermarket carts should have larger wheels like on a wheelchair…..also the front should be made to drop like a pickup tailgate. This will allow a shopper to take a break while going through the aisles in a big box market. A person should be able to drop the front tailgate and sit in the shopping cart with his/ her feet touching the floor. This would allow people to sit and speak with each other, compare recipes, prices, and general gossip. The big bonus would be the ride from the parking lot to the store would be easier and faster with better steering control and a smoother ride.
    I feel the carts should come with shock absorbers too…. So that some of the larger species of shoppers can sit down with out crushing the cart and injuring the groceries stacked on the bottom shelf.
    I’m glad I got the opportunity to vent a little. I’ve been living with this concern for years but was afraid to express my feelings in public. Being first has set me free! THANK YOU JESUS!

    • We found him Captain!! says:

      Oh my God! I’m not first…..I’m sorry…….I take back everything I said about shopping cart modifications…. I thought I was first. How does one become first?
      Please explain the steps……I WANNA BE FIRST…….

  3. Betty says:

    Several weeks ago while backing out of a space at the grocery store, I backed into one of those shopping carts that are done up like little race cars. Thankfully the mother had just pulled her little angel out. Because I was driving a rental while the wiener mobile was in for service, I floored it toward the exit.

    • omawarisan says:

      Yow…that had to be a heck of a feeling.

      Man, if i could ride down the hill on one of those it would be really cool. I’d look kind of silly pushing it around the store with my son who is almost 19 in it.

      I wonder if he’ll do it.

  4. planetross says:

    This entry is about American Politics, isn’t it? Leaning to the Left and Right … and frozen turkeys … and stuff.

    I’m not really into politics.

    note: are you saying that a frozen turkey balanced your weight? … you must have a big oven. hee hee!

  5. Amy says:

    I believe in you! One day your dream will be realized, even if it is the last thing you do.

  6. madtante says:

    The Target in Kirkwood got all new carts: bigger but not Costco-big and ALL PLASTIC; they’re lighter. You will need to try out this new design.

    I’ve said FOR YEARS they should come with turn signals BUT as you know, 80% of shitheads on the road don’t bother with theirs going 60+mph, I doubt they’d feel inclined to use them in order to make shopping easier for everybody.

  7. Spectra says:

    I wonder how your ride might be improved at a sporting goods store? You could definately ‘weight’ the ride to the left with stacks of 25 lb weights, also utilizing that convenient shelf below the hold… but that’s a once in a lifetime ride. How often can you buy workout weights, anyway? (unless you keep the receipt and return them often)

  8. I would like to see a video of you attempting this seemingly-impossible feat…however, I could never show it to my children (wouldn’t want to give them any ideas!).


  9. Kim Pugliano says:

    I can totally hear the theme from “Rocky” playing in the background.

  10. pattypunker says:

    build your own course oma.

    ps: i admire your lofty goals.

  11. Sheryl says:

    I had a perfect picture of you on the back of the cart, arms outspread, yelling, “I’m the king of the world.”

  12. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    You are wearing a helmet during these events, aren’t you?

  13. Laura says:

    Instead of riding one cart, you should try riding half a dozen or so nested carts. You should be able to build up more momentum that way.

  14. I hope that you gave that handicapped guy the what-for. That’s bush.

  15. jaerae1971 says:

    I think a passenger leaning at your command might be of some help.

  16. jaerae1971 says:

    P.S. I’m not offering.

  17. Katybeth says:

    Cosco. Early. Should work for you.
    Would you like a teen apprentice who has been giving his mother heart failure every since he got the idea to ride the dam cart like a skate board–was he 2 or 3? Me chasing after screaming–“the parking lot is the most dangerous place on earth.” Other mothers pointing at me judgmentally for being so casual with my kid..Dads cheering GO GO GO, And the parking lot cop that once said to my young racer…hey, that was a great run…try pushing your weight a little more to the other side-next time.
    Wait. Maybe we have met?

  18. thejaggedman says:

    “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor keep going through my head as I read this. Oh, and please wear a helmet because till you find that perfect cart: you will need one and I would miss your writing. Roll On !

  19. Jeane says:

    A cape…a magic cape, man…that’s all I’m saying.

  20. Jane says:

    Thanks for the absolutely delightful image. You have opened up an arena for the athletically-challenged who aspire to Olympic honors. No doubt that such maneuvers require quick thinking and reflexes akin to bobsledding or skiing.

  21. Binky says:

    The perfect shopping cart comes with rockets attached. They are exceedingly difficult to find, therefore I always bring my own rockets. One mounted on each side of the cart allows for thrust-controlled steering.

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