Hope's Corner: Beware of Shopping Carts

"Shopping carts are not exactly evil. They are victims of mistaken identity," writes Jackie Hope.

Jackie Hope BW.jpg
Jackie Hope is the longest running Dickinson Press contributor and columnist. Hope's Corner is a weekly humorous column with a message of hope.
Contributed / For The Dickinson Press

It is a little-known fact that grocery shopping carts are haunted. Most of them are haunted by trouble-making poltergeists. Poltergeists are the things that mess up houses and make noises all night. Poltergeists probably are all 13 years old, forever. Because why else would shopping carts be so cantankerous when you try to get them to do what you want?

Shopping carts are not exactly evil. They are victims of mistaken identity. In Great Britain and Australia shopping carts are called trolleys. Now, everyone knows that trolleys are those cute cable cars that go up and down the hills in San Francisco. Trolleys are electric-powered and are big enough to carry a dozen or so people. They spend their lives outside, sight-seeing.

No wonder American shopping carts have developed an attitude. They get pushed around by humans, and the only sights they get to see are car trunks and truck boxes. They carry Charmin, donuts, and toddlers back and forth through stores hundreds of times a day. They don’t even get to wear bells like trolley cars have. Don’t you suppose they are exceedingly envious of British trolley carts, and think that their British cousins get electric motors, bells, and loads of respect?

In some southern parts of the United States, shopping carts are called buggies. Again, everybody knows that buggies get hitched to horses, and get to carry people wearing old-timey costumes during Fourth of July parades. Buggies are painted and polished, and only have to work on holidays or at fun family events. Again, shopping carts must think that their southern brothers and sisters get lots of pampering and personal days off, compared to the hard working rusted and dented carts of the North.

It is easy to understand how shopping carts of the Northland have let themselves go and have become haunted by nasty poltergeists. What with trolleys and buggies robbing them of their identities, it is not surprising that they are hanging around with that rough crowd of ghosts at the local haunts.


I have actually seen zombie shopping carts. Ones that were pushed into the lake, or otherwise abandoned. They were reanimated as lawn ornaments and as theater props. In fact, there was once talk of putting me into one and wheeling me across the stage during a DSU musical. I refused. I knew that a zombie shopping cart would eat my brain.

There are probably herds of rogue shopping carts out in the Badlands. Carts from Albertson’s and K-Mart and White Drug. They lost their purposes in life when their stores were closed. The thought of unwanted carts roaming the buttes in search of cart pushers makes my brain hurt.

So what do we do at the grocery store when our carts misbehave and roll the wrong way? Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!

Jackie Hope is the longest running Dickinson Press contributor and columnist. "Hope's Corner" is a weekly humorous column centered on a message of hope for residents in southwest North Dakota.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dickinson Press, nor Forum ownership.

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