I’ve seen old people ride around Wal-Mart in those electric carts with big baskets. It sort of looked like fun. I never had used one, not even after my knee surgery, but my back has been really bothering me lately, especially when I walk — very especially when I walk all over a big box store like a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The other day, I relented, decided to admit I am an old fogey and need to drive one of the elder four-wheelers. So, I got on one, but couldn’t figure out how to make it go. I pushed the yellow lever and nothing happened.
“You have to unplug it,” said one of the employees who happened to be on break. I hadn’t thought of that. She showed me the plug in back and how to fix the cord and I was ready to rumble. Off I went through the automatic doors and down the aisle.
The fun part wore off pretty quickly as I dodged people and people dodged me, giving me angry looks for getting in their way. Getting in their way? They were in my way! What is the matter with people? “Do you think I’m on this stupid cart because I want to be?”
Cutting in, cutting out, narrowly missing thoughtless people and flying shopping buggies. Sometimes I had to just stop and set there until some rude person finished browsing and decided to clear the path. “Get out of the way,” I screamed. Well, not really, but that is what I felt like doing.
I thought I could shop faster with a motorized cart, but actually I found it much slower. The cart had two speeds, go and stop. I jerked along, whizzing and screeching. What a way to shop. Any hope of shopping while sitting down was dashed as I found I could not reach what I wanted without standing up, or I could not get to what I wanted because someone had a shopping buggy parked in front of it.
“I wish this darn thing had a horn on it. I would blast them to kingdom come.”
People are incredibly rude to those with lesser abilities, I discovered. They do not want to be bothered with being nice, so they cut in front of you to avoid slowing down, or they ignore you to keep from being inconvenienced. They avoid eye contact and you become an invisible person.
I resisted the urge to wham into people and knock them out of my way. It was hard. I did finally learn to make the cart move slower so I could creep up on people who were in the way, sort of like bullying. Eventually, they seemed to get the point and move on.
The carts are pretty maneuverable. I guess they have to be to make the sharp turns and get down the narrow aisles. They will not pop wheelies, unfortunately (or fortunately) but you can get them going pretty fast when heading across the back of the store toward the garden center.
If you get into a spot that you can’t get out of, you can back up. They make a loud beeping sound when in reverse, like a garbage truck. However, it is hard enough to keep from running over people going frontwards, so I didn’t do much driving in reverse.
Driving a four-wheel cart is not nearly as convenient as I thought it would be. I’m still angry at the stupid lady in the shampoo aisle who would not let me through. She has no idea how close she was to death, or how lucky she is that I discovered reverse.
If you see me on a cart at Wal-Mart, stay out of my way if you value your life. Keeping control of my road rage may reach its limit any day now.
Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss