#318 The perfect long distance shopping cart return

Ready, aim, fire.

After dumping piles of frozen pizzas and melting ice cream into your trunk it’s time to turn around and fire the shopping cart into the big pile on the other side of the lot. Sure, sure, you could always walk over, but there’s something much more satisfying about sending it flying thirty feet and having it loudly crash straight into the other carts.


Photo from: here

49 thoughts on “#318 The perfect long distance shopping cart return

  1. ooooohh, good one. I fancy myself a bit of a trolley sharp-shooter. Mind you, it can be an extremely hazardous and expensive pursuit. Particularly if you get a trolley with a gammy wheel which sends it careering into the back of some poor chump’s volvo instead. Ouch.

    1. I’m a go-carter all the way. Gotta cross that metal strip finish line and jump off before you hit the other carts.

  2. That’s why I never park in the vicinity of the return stalls. Have you ever seen the commercial where the guy does a flying tackle at the shopping cart? Don’t try me.

    1. Oh, you got that right, Trixie! It’s like the Frisbee thrust, only on a much bigger scale and with that much more risk of knocking someone over. When it’s done right — AWESOME!

    1. I like to think it’s more for immature people, which suits me just fine. Maturity is so highly overrated. I like to stay in the 14-15 year old range myself.

  3. I think it’s nicer when someone is on their way into the store and asks if they can have your trolley – you’ve done a good deed and you’ve got rid of the cart without having to step away from your car.

  4. Good one…. never tried it but I guess it should be fun… we definitely be trying this the next time am at the store :)

  5. Two words: No Frills. People are too cheap to play ghost driver shopping carts – they want their quarters back, dang it!

  6. I agree 120% with Mouse!
    I’m a cheap shopper, No Frills and Fresh Co and if they charge you for your cart, I am walking it ALL THE WAY BACK to get my quarter.
    Brilliant really…

    1. PAY for a shopping cart?!? I’ve never heard of such a thing. I suppose if I had to pay I would want the most out of my cart as well

    2. Man, I haven’t seen a quarter cart in ages…(and how you can buy those special keychains that replace quarters) but really that’s when you start cart barganing and sell your cart to your car neighbor for a quarter and laziness

    3. They tried that quarter thing when I was a kid but it only lasted a couple years. It was great when you found a cart that someone was to lazy to return and scored a quarter. I think they stopped doing it because people were getting annoyed with the panhandlers offering to take their carts for them.

    4. It’s a quarter for you guys? At Superstore in my city it’s a dollar! It seems to work…. but it’s a pain!

  7. Not awesome.
    I always park my cart neatly (that is, tucking it inside the cart in front of it), and I often straighten out the tangled mess of carts other people leave because they’re too lazy to park them the right way. Not only out of consideration for the person who has to stack them and carry them back, but also because loose carts are more likely to roll out and hit other cars.
    Sorry to be a party pooper, but this is one of my pet peeves.

    1. this is exactly what i thought of! sure, “bowling with shopping carts” is a good time, but shopping cart races, scooter style = THE BEST!!!

  8. I like combining the long-distance return with the ride-on: Get going pretty fast, see how close you can get to the cart return, jump off at the last second while pretending you’re avoiding an explosion. It helps if you make the explosion sounds yourself though.

    1. Yup! This is the way I do it.. I’m a bit of a nervous nelly at the prospect of winging my cart across the parking lot, but I’m a big fan of riding on the back of it, pushing off with one foot to really get going, and then jumping off just before you crash into the “cart pile”..

      And the self-made explosion sounds really give it that “hollywood” vibe.. :)

      1. I’m a nervous nelly, too. It always tempts me — I want to shove it from afar but almost always end up walking / running it all but a foot or so and then living large with a baby version of the LDSCR. The exception is a deserted parking lot. Then it doesn’t matter if it goes askew / fails miserably and I have to follow up by chasing it down and putting it in its place.

  9. … Its all fun and games until you send that cart flying into a straight off-the-lot BMW boxster while the owner is still in the car…
    Nonetheless, awesome when it works.

  10. If you like that. you should watch casus belli (2010) a short movie from the Greek director Georgios Zois, where a shopping cart makes a very veryy long road trip to find a suitable receiver…

  11. Thanks, Neil. I’ve been reading for a while, but now commenting for the first time. Thanks to all other commenters. Read them all. Had no idea people were so excited about carts. I miss the days of bare, “snow-less” parking lots. I look forward to doing my “push and run” (about 3 or 4 good steps) and jump on with both feet (seeing how far I can go) speeding down the parking lot aisle before I put the cart away. In those couple of seconds, I’m 10 years old again. Thanks for reminding me how fun that is.

  12. In grad school, I worked at a grocery store, and I used to have to get carts. It was NOT fun. I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who puts their cart in the cart area.

    As a result of my past work experience, I usually get my cart out of the lot. I figure that’s one less cart for that poor soul to have to retrieve…

    (I also remember hitting a woman’s car with about five carts. It was raining and I was pulling a load and she sped up in front of me. The load was too long for me to grab the ones in the front, so they kept moving after I stopped; and 5 carts hit her car. She looked at me like she wanted to say something. I gave her my CBW “BRING IT!” look, since it was HER fault for not waiting… she kept driving. Really, you’re in your warm car, and I’m in the rain with a load of carts and you couldn’t wait 15 seconds for me to pass??? WHATEVA, that’s why your car got hit….)

    1. I’m glad to see that there’s at least one other person who doesn’t think this is awesome. At the grocery store where I shop, there are two different sized carts, plus a few huge ones shaped like a car for little kids. The cart returns are wide enough for 3 carts. Common sense says you make one row of regular carts, one row of little carts, and one row of car-carts (or overflow of the regular carts), but people hardly ever do it. It’s not hard! But most people just throw them in haphazardly without regard to stacking or crookedness. It drives me crazy! Sure, it’s better than leaving them loose in the parking lot, but just barely. /rant

  13. Oh come on, “1000 Awesome Things”?? It should include awesome things…ordinary or special, but trashing someone else’s property? And maybe damaging a car?

    Have more imagination and style, people.

  14. I was parked one time waiting for my grandmother to pick some stuff up, and the lot was mostly empty. A car slightly uphill from me drove off, bumping ever so slightly a cart parked next to it. The cart started to slowly roll down the lot, in the general direction of a car about 200 yards away. I watch it approach, and noticed that the driver of that car was also waiting for someone. He sat with the window down, arm on the door, smoking a cigarette. The cart kept rolling his way, and after a while I realized it was going to impact directly on his door. I was too far away to warn him, so I started leaning on the horn more and more frantically. At the last second he looked my way, saw the cart, and was able to stop it with an outstretched arm. That was awesome. Then he tried to rid himself of the cart, pushing it away several times only to have it roll back to him. Finally he twisted it so that it fell on its side, and later drove off with it like that. Less awesome. Even though this happened 31 years ago (1980), it’s still stuck in my mind, which is kind of awesome in itself.


    Only people who have no consideration for the property of other people would be this immature.

    Haha my laziness hit a BMW/SUV/Volvo/Car nicer than mine. Haha I’m so cool!

    No you’re stupid, disrespectful, and frankly putting yourself in the position to be FINED for property damage.

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