Monday, July 31, 2006

And Some Stupid Things Just Stupid At You. Stupidly.

Stupid Things That Shouldn't be as Lame as They Are, But There You Go:

"Theft Proof" Shopping Carts

I don't know if they have these where you all live, but around L.A., grocery stores have started using these carts that have locking wheels. Why? So you can't take them out of the parking lot.

Great. Really. I totally support you keeping the carts on your property and so passing the savings on to me, Large Grocery Store Chain. Really.

But don't put up signs saying it's "for your convenience!" Unless you find a way to make it "convenient". For me.

I'm talking to YOU PaBillions.

Because these carts don't actually work the way they say they do. If they really only locked up as they edged out of the lot, I wouldn't have a problem. Heck, since I don't take them out of the lot, I'd just have to take the store's word for it that they locked up at all.

Instead, they lock up as much as a car length and a half inside the perimeter of the parking lot. Which means if you can only find a spot along the outer edge of the parking lot, the cart locks up in the middle of the driving lane, 4-8 feet from the back of your car. If you were heading to your car at a diagonal across the lot, you could be even further than that when the stupid cart refuses to budge.

Oh sure, you can drag the paralyzed cart along to your car, but if it's absolutely full of groceries and giant dog food bags and stuff, I can't. Believe me, I've tried. So there I am, sprinting back and forth between the cart and the open trunk of my car, trying to shovel bags of groceries in as quickly as possible while the ever patient, polite and understanding L.A. Shoppers scream at me as if I am merely choosing to unload my groceries this way. To annoy them. Because I saw them coming and I personally hate them. Which may all be true, but if it were up to me, I'd pick a way to annoy them that required far less effort on my part. Trust me.

And the fun continues. The cart doesn't just automatically unlock when it gets back within the "safe zone", so you have to drag it catty whompus back across the lot all the way to the store, because you're not the kind of jerk who will leave the immobilized cart in front of the cart return chute. Even to annoy the stupid store that instituted the locking cart wheels in the first place. Or to annoy the livid L.A. Shopper who finally parked her barge three spaces down. Although it would be fun to see how she likes having to womanhandle a locked wheeled shopping cart around the parking lot while I honk and scream at her. But I don't. Because I am humane.

And thus the universe will find me wrasslin' it back to the store. And also thusly, mid-wrassle, the ever charming and already annoyed L.A. Shoppers will find me muttering bad words in front of their kids. I'd have felt worse about this, once I'd noticed the wee wide-eyed ones, if these weren't the same bad words their dear, sweet, Mommy had used mere moments before while "encouraging" me to move "my" bleepity bleeping cart.

Sorry. Didn't see you back there, kiddies. Ask your Sailor Mouth Mommy how to spell that, when you get a chance.

Speed Bumps

Within the last six months, speed bumps on residential streets here in L.A. have proliferated. For some reason, they're putting up signs that say "speed humps". Maybe "humps" are less incendiary than "bumps". Whatever, every street in our neighborhood has them now except ours, and that's only because we're on a cul de sac.

Every! Street!

Look, when I was little, we lived on and played on and in busy streets. Our folks taught us how to be careful, and there was hell to pay if we weren't. Our folks didn't order the city to put in speed bumps for "our children's safety". Besides, every parent in L.A. is too paranoid about child molesters and kidnappers to let their kids play out in their front yards anyway, much less anywhere near the streets. We've got hundreds of kids in our neighborhood. You hear them, but never see them. Ever. So how, exactly, are these speed bumps/humps keeping them safe? Are you really telling me that, without these asphalt carbuncles, the cars will careen along your street at an "insane" 32 mph, jump the curb, and fly over your 6 foot cinderblock wall, hitting your child on your rubber padded, safety council tested swing set?

And the crazy thing is, the people who are driving so fast through the other neighborhoods all over L.A., forcing them to also put in the speed pustules to protect their kids? They're the parents from our neighborhood.

Next: speed bumps on the freeway. 'Cause, hey, we have to drive our kids around on those.


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