Thursday, April 16, 2009

Motorus Interruptus

So the story of where I’ve lived is pretty varied but I’ve never really lived in a city. I’ve lived in suburbs of big cities and little cities, in apartments big and small, houses of all kinds of conditions, and even spent my teen years living in the country outside a town of about 800 people. Well…now that we are in the transplant house we are in the city.

Before we got here I thought a lot about what living in the city, albeit for only 3 months, would be like. I thought about parking and safety. I thought about the noise – and believe me, it’s constant noise; cars, people, sirens, and helicopters. The apartment is very well insulated so it really doesn’t cause a problem with sleeping but if you open the windows or balcony door you can no longer hear the radio or TV.

But one thing I’d never really thought about was how people who live in the city do their grocery shopping. Not only am I thinking about it now but I’m doing it. From what I can tell about 75% of the people who shop at the Kroger here walk to the store, another 15% take the city bus (which will drop you off and pick you up right at the front door – too cool – yep, I’m easily entertained), and then the remaining 10% drive. I’m in the remaining 10% since I’m normally a suburb dweller and we can’t possibly walk anywhere except to that stupid community mail cube since the postman not only does not ring twice in our neighborhood but he will not even come to your door. Oh, my, I think I’m repressing some rage here so I better get back to my original point.

Anyway…here are some other things I’ve noticed about city grocery shopping. There are 16 of those self-check kiosks because rarely is anyone buying more than they can carry. I counted 8 regular check out lines but I’ve never seen more than 2 of them open at any one time. The store is also really compacted – just like the people around here all the goods are on top of each other. I’ve also noticed that they don’t carry the variety of items like there are at my normal suburbia store. But here’s the biggest challenge I’ve had to get used to:
Yep…shopping cart wheels. You’d think something so small couldn’t cause you such problems. Well…you’d be wrong there! These are evil wheels and purposely so. If you get too close to the perimeter of the parking lot, the wheels lock. The first (and only) time this happened to me I had no idea what was going on. I pushed and pulled and looked to see if I was stuck in a pothole. Finally the cart guy saw me and came by with this little handheld remote control thingy, pushed a button, and I was on my way to my car. Can you just imagine the pride this guy takes in his job – saving women through the use of a remote control! He explained to me that their shopping carts kept going missing so the company installed these special locks on the carts so they can’t leave the lot and I got a little too close to the invisible line.

That got my little sick and twisted mind thinking about other uses for this technology. The first thing that came to my mind is that I could attach something similar to CarGuy’s ankles and whenever he got too close to the speed shop it would disable his walking ability and he’d be unable to enter this den of iniquity and spend our life savings on another 3,000 horsepower, 5,000 cubic inch, flashy piece of mechanized bling. I’ve been working through how this would work and I’m thinking something along the lines of the Petrificus Totalus curse used in the Harry Potter world. Anyone wanna’ be my financial backer? I’m gonna’ make a fortune with this idea...right Nevell?


Lauren W said...

When I was living in Rome, we had to pay for our shopping cart. You stuck a Euro in this little slot, and a single cart unlocked. When you turned it back in, you got your Euro back :)
Those locking wheels are way cooler, though!

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

hahaha you crack me up! I'm sure Carguy would love that.

and I have never heard of such a thing on a shopping buggy. Weird!

JAN'S PLACE said...

I didn't know that about the wheels on the carts?? You know, I keep telling the other half, that I want to spend 1 chapter of my life living in the city..I think it would be a wonderful change. walk to the grocery store? How cool would that be!

Jan :)

Aubrey said...

First of all, I hear ya about the postman! LOL

Ah yes. Those lovely carts. They are all over in my 'hood. Or 'burb. You get my point!

I'm in! What's my buy in?!

Amy B said...


Can you email me so I can get in touch with you..