The Grocery Cart Guy

I used to think that random people just talked to me (and told me all kinds of bizarre or personal things) because I look like a friendly person. As I’ve gotten older I realize that I bring it on myself. When a random person says something to me I tend to respond… and not with an uh-huh or a semi-smile but more often-than-not I’ll actually pop out a question. You see, I think people are just fascinating, and even though once I open the question can of worms I often want to shut it, I just can’t stop doing it.

Man with cart

A fews evenings ago,  I took a trip to the local Winn Dixie (doesn’t that sound so Southern? There was a Piggly Wiggly in my town too – but it closed a month after we moved here) to do a bit of pre-Thanksgiving grocery shopping. I do want to let you know… the Sunday evening before Thanksgiving is a GREAT time to shop. The store wasn’t busy at all! After filling my cart (picture so heavy I had a hard time turning corners – I blame it all on that big frozen bird) I paid and headed out to my car to load my groceries. It was dark out but the grocery store parking lot was very well-lit so all was good. There was an employee, a young man, maybe early 20’s, a little soft, quite tall, wearing glasses, collecting carts in the parking lot. He saw me head to my car and came my way to wait for my cart. He said to me, “did you have a nice day… I mean did you have a good evening shopping?” I said, “Yes, and how is your evening?” You see – question! The conversation then moved on. He went on to tell me that all was fine except that they (Winn Dixie) started scheduling him for 9 hour shifts. I then made second fatal mistake and asked another question (which shows interest in said cart pushers life) “Do you get a longer break if you work more hours?” I did really want to know – I wanted to make sure this poor boy wasn’t getting pushed around by the man. He let me know he does get a longer break and then… the conversation moved on to more interesting matter. He went on to tell me (imagine his voice – not too southern of an accent – just a touch – and really just kind of nerdy. I know that’s a totally judgemental thing to say but by saying that I bet you can hear it in your head), “you know, I can push 20 carts which is the equivalent of 80 pounds of mass (or some such gibberish). The doctor told me that because  of an over abundance of calcium my bones have 15% more mass than most which makes me stronger than most. I’m also able to pop all my joints out and put them right back in. It makes it very easy to get out of tight spaces. I’ve been able to spy on my friends in all kinds of places and they never know.” Outside I’m saying things like, “uh huh, that’s cool, really?” but inside I’m thinking why would you spy on your friends and why do you need to get out of tight spaces and why did you go into a tight space to begin with? I finished loading and said, “have a good night”. He took my cart but kept chatting and only moved on when I pointed out that he was blocking traffic and should move out of the way of an oncoming car. And then, the grande finale. From across the parking lot, just as I was about to enter my car, he said, “See, look at this.” And I looked. He proceeded to pop his shoulder out of its socket so his arm just dangled and then pick it up and pop it back in. “AHHH, why did you have to show me that?” I said, with a grimace on my face. Realizing he went a little too far he said, “Oh, sorry,” and then I got in my car and went home.

I got home and told my partner in crime about my experience and he said, “sounds like a story for your blog.”


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jennifer on November 24, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Wow, what a strange guy. It makes me think that he probably wouldn’t be the type to have many friends to spy on. Hopefully you’ll never find him neatly tucked into the shrubs in your front yard!


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