Driving

Grocery Cart Fugitive

I felt like an absolute criminal.

(In his best Keaneu Reeves voice) “You’ve gone…. too far …”, said the blandly grey-suited man who roled up in his gold Crown Vic with the roundy-round yellow light on top.

“Look, lady, just leave the cart there.”

I near about dropped my Rice-a-Roni and Cheetos as I whipped my head around to see what was going on.  Here I was, alone in the Super Wal-mart (gasp) parking lot – just stocking up on the Sunday morning necessities. 

He was talking to me!

Doing his due diligence, rent-a-cop (RAC)) parked his vehicle, got out and approached my grocery cart. 

NOW WHAT HAD I DONE?!  Could I play the “I’m pregnant” card for sympathy? Did I have enough cash in savings for bail? Did I remember to buy paper towels, I think they were on sale….

“Ma’am, you can’t take the cart that far!”

Unknowingly, I had parked so far into the reaches of the parking lot that I had activated the little alarmy thingy that goes off to prevent people from stealing the shopping carts.  The wheels had those red locking devices and they had clicked down.

I was a criminal, THAT girl, I had tried to five-finger discount a Wal-mart shopping cart – unintentionally of course.

I tried to explain to the RAC that I had no clue what was going on and that yes, this was my car …. yes, here is my receipt, I did pay for these groceries. Geez, you attempt to steal one little grocery cart and suddenly you lose all retail credibility.

I closed my trunk, apologized and strategically backed out and around the now immobile grocery cart and proceeded home to enjoy my Cheetos.

In my rearview mirror I saw that poor RAC still struggling with how to move the cart.

Lessons learned:

1 – Don’t shop at Super Wal-mart on Sundays

2 – Park within the first mile of the entrance

3 – The long arm of the law protects even the grocery carts

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Fool Me Once…

O, I know the saying all too well, but it hasn’t stopped me yet. I have even modified it a bit over the years to the point that the ending now sounds a bit more like …. Fool me 16 times and now I must just be learning a lesson – the hard way. Indulge me in the sharing of my most recent encounters with this phrase of wisdom.

Parking in downtown Sacramento: So what if the meter maids exhibit a sixth sense ability to present themselves no later than 36 seconds after I am out of time, I will still try to eek out 5 more minutes of lunch with the girls before dashing back to my car. Fool me once … and I will be making my $30 check payable to the city of Sacramento.

Switching lanes on the freeway: Good-ness this lane seems to be moving much slower than the others. Flip the turn signal; merge with just enough time to slam on the breaks as now THIS lane has come to an abrupt halt. Fool me once … genius idea, I’ll merge back!

Having pizza delivered to an apartment: “(530) xxx-xxx … Yes, that is the correct address … Yes, same order as last time … Nope, no additional sides needed … That does sound like a fantastic deal, but no thank you … paying with cash … 30-45, great!” Fool me once … “Ok, I’ll just walk out to the front and try to find his car.”

Clearly there are just some lessons I am immune to learning from.  Happen to you?

YES … I can see you!

Having had my license for just over a decade now, I feel qualified to bring you this news flash.

Attention: Despite popular belief, just because you are inside of you car does not mean that I can no longer see you!

Neither tinted windows nor excessive speed can immunize you.

I commute at least 50 miles a day in traffic ranging from 3-80mph and have become quite the connoisseur of observing the driving habits of those around me – this is mostly a defense mechanism due to the plethora of overtly inept recipients of a California driver’s license.

Albeit undocumented, my research has determined that most drivers can be grouped into one, if not many of the following groups:

The Gold Miner – You can hardly wait for the coveted moment when the false sense of security your car provides you kicks in and you can reach for the sky and venture off on a picking excursion of epic portion. The ironic part is when you finish you never fail to look down at your finger and then into the rear view mirror to make sure you’re ‘clear’. Next time look out the window next to you and there it is; YES … I can see you!

The American Idol – “…and the Britney song was on …” I get it, the road rhythm creates a nice vibrato, the steering wheel doubles as a drum set and your radio can broadcast at a volume just higher than your ears can hear your actual pitch. All that aside, next time you find yourself in mid head bang during the third chorus of an epic ballad, turn and look out the window next to you and there it is; YES … I can see you!

The Jerry Springer – Indubitably, life is stressful. In your exemplary display of multi-tasking you take on some of the biggest arguments behind the wheel. This is often packaged into an impressive finger gesture and hands-free device four-letter word shouting display. I know it is quite a cozy little cubby of anger there in your car, but seriously; look out the window next to you and there it is. YES … I can see you!

The Procreator – As if the ‘kids on board’ yellow triangle dangling in your minivan’s hatchback window didn’t give it away, then your flailing limbs aimed toward the back seats did. Junior wasn’t happy that you made him get into the car in the first place and no amount of assistance can help him calm down now. Put down the Capri Sun, turn up Raffi and face forward please. Oh, and turn your head to the side and look out the window next to you, YES … I can see you!

Now, I know that this is not a fully encompassing description of all motorists but it is what I believe to be an accurate account of what we all must cope with whenever we take to the roadways. This time of year so many of us are traveling via car to see our friends and family so please be safe and if you are so inclined, turn and look out the window next to you …..