Try Not Backing Over My DreamPosted: May 11, 2011
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.
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.
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.
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.