"Hey, Bob, look!" I said as we neared a bus stop in my neighborhood.
"Now why would anyone want to do that?" he grumbled, outraged at the eyesore we'd just driven past, a gang of abandoned shopping carts.
"Wouldn't it be nice if we returned them? It'd be great exercise, and you could golf later this afternoon instead."
I knew I was pushing my luck, but - surprisingly - he concurred, so we went home, changed, then walked back.
Our first task was to extricate some of the buggies from behind the glass enclosure. Presumably, a "Good Samaritan" had stuffed them back there to make room for the bus and its riders.
We then separated them into groups: four orange Home Depot carts, two blue ones from Pet Supermarket, and four of Winn Dixie's black and red ones - ten in all.
That done, we lined them up; Bob took six - including the warped one, I got four, and we picked a straggler along the way. Our destination? A shopping center a quarter mile away.
Getting there was a trip. Our trolleys didn't seem to want to follow each other single file - like those of the guy who said he could manage 25 at a time. Mine, unlike Bob's, preferred the road to the sidewalk, so I finally let them have their way; one kept wanting to get out ahead, while his brother stopped cold and rolled over; and they all spilled their drinks. But we finally made it to the Plaza and delivered those bad boys to their respective homes.
Bob told me later, "The first half hour, I thought the police were going to come by and arrest us for thievery, and the second half, I hoped someone would greet us with a 'thank you' and a bottle of wine."
But - seemingly - no one noticed. We, on the other hand, congratulated ourselves on a job well done and on a good workout as well.
Why those unmanned carts have appeared in my neighborhood, I'm not sure. Usually they wind up in apartment complexes, near low cost housing and bus stops - places where people don't have cars. But I do know there are lazy customers, no matter where one lives, who don't want to carry their groceries.
What those lawbreakers (a misdemeanor, in some places) don't seem to realize is that each time they "borrow" a shopping basket, it's the same as stealing about $100.00 worth of groceries or merchandise. Also, because some managers say they've lost up to 100 carts every six months, they've had to install coin operated or clamping systems or pay retrieval services to prowl for abandoned carriages. Storekeepers, then, have no choice but to raise prices for their honest consumers.
By Viaux from Miami, FL
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