The Root Of A Larger Problem

Everybody knows how I feel about people who don’t return their shopping carts.

I can’t stand them. And yes. I judge the shit out of them.

I am not talking about senior citizens who can barely walk. I’m not talking about the physically challenged. I’m not talking about moms who go shopping with a newborn and two kids under the age of 5.

I am talking about able bodied adults with no children in tow who are not in a rush.

They comprise approximately 90% of the people who do not return their carts.

I know this because I watch you. I watch all of you.

And I am bothered by you.


Because what you are doing affects me.

If you want to be lazy and sit in your car with your blinker on for five minutes waiting while someone loads all their stuff in their car rather than walking twenty more feet from a parking space that’s open but a little farther away, that’s fine. Go for it.

Quite frankly, I don’t get that either. I mean, you’d get inside the store faster if you just pulled into the space that was a little farther away.

But whatever.

Your opposition to walking as few steps as possible to get to your destination doesn’t affect me. So sit there as long as you want.

But the decision to not return your cart affects other people.

Yesterday I posted this picture on Facebook.

Yeah. I got a fucking t-shirt.

It’s kind of a joke.

But not really.

Someone commented when I posted that picture,

You do realize that is actually someone’s job to go get them? Hello? Wow!

Real world problems….


Ummmmm… HELLO. WOW.

This is a real world problem.

And people who believe it’s not their responsibility to return their carts are at the root of it. Forget the obesity epidemic that we have going on.

We have an epidemic of people not thinking about other people. Of people only out for themselves. Of people not taking care of the planet, and of people not taking care of other people.

And yes. I believe that as human beings, we have an obligation to look out for other people.

Another woman said,

I blame the grocery stores. They are the lazy ones.

What. The fuck.


PEOPLE.  The reason grocery stores had to start hiring more employees to return the carts is because so many people stopped returning them. It wasn’t always a thing.

This is a new thing. A holy-shit-people-are-lazy-slobs thing.

I asked my 71-year-old mom if I was off base. I asked her if, back in the day, she never had to return her cart. If people followed her around like she was Queen Elizabeth, just waiting to clean up after her.

I knew what the answer was.

No. They didn’t.

Sure, stores need to send someone out to the cart corral to collect the carts every so often. But those people shouldn’t have to walk all around the parking lot continuously for eight hours a day because people are fucking self-centered and lazy.

Oh yeah. I called all you non-cart returners self-centered and lazy.

Then there was this woman:

I can see how grocery carts are priority since all important issues on the planet have been solved.

No, this isn’t murder. It’s not cancer. It’s not terrorism. It’s not child abuse or sexual assault or suicide.

But (in)equality and hate crimes and bigotry and the lack of treating people with basic human decency are issues in this country. So is bullying. Entitlement. And not the desire, but the exponentially growing demand for instant gratification.

It’s disturbing.

And yes.

I think those are MAJOR issues that are at the root of many of our society’s problems right now.

And while returning your cart isn’t anything close to bullying, it’s thoughtless. It’s rude. It’s inconsiderate. And it’s symptomatic of a much larger societal problem.

But those are also things we can change. Right now.

We may not have the cure for cancer.

We may not have the solution to end terrorism.

But these are basic kindergarten principles.

Have respect for your surroundings. Have respect for other people. Put things back where you found them. Clean your shit up. And don’t be an asshole.

Peoples’ refusal to return their carts takes up dozens of parking spaces.

It puts dents and scratches in cars.

By needing to hire people to clean up after you, it ultimately results in higher prices at the grocery store.

It is also indicative of a larger fundamental issue.

That you really just don’t give a fuck.

And yeah.

I think not giving a fuck is a pretty big world problem.

Lucky for you, you have the power to change that.

One shopping cart at a time.


Return Your Shopping Cart T-Shirt. Join the Movement.

please take  10 seconds to vote for me 🙂


8 replies
  1. Deanna
    Deanna says:

    Even the mother with 2 kids and an infant can return her cart. It’s called getting as close to a cart corral as possible. I did it. My friends did it. And then you strap your kids in the car…and walk the 20 feet to the cart corral and return the cart (less if you get lucky enough to park NEXT TO the corral)

    A. You can GET a cart easily to put your kids in.
    B. You can RETURN it easily because it’s right there.

    common sense.

  2. Courtney
    Courtney says:

    I try parking right next to the corral. I have my daughter buckle up while I’m putting groceries in the car so she doesn’t wander too far and I’ll take 4 steps and return the cart to the corral. Works great for us 👍

  3. Momma_of_littles
    Momma_of_littles says:

    I’m in Canada and in a lot of the big stores (Walmart for example) you have to insert a dollar coin to unlock the cart, then when you return it, you get the dollar back. I understand that only solves that one little “surface problem” of actually not returning the cart and doesn’t solve the larger problem of people only thinking of themselves. I was just wondering if any stores in the US also do that.

  4. Kim
    Kim says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST. It really is annoying.

    I grew up with a mom who would spend an extra 15 minutes after any shopping trip corralling carts that had been left. And as I got older, she forced my brother and I to join in. Now, I do the same thing.

    BUT I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO DO IT. For goodness sakes, the cart collection is usually only a few spots away. I just don’t get the laziness and self absorption. I mean, If you don’t do it, someone will have to.

    And it really bugs me when people argue that there are bigger things to worry about when you have any grievance. Of course there is still war, famine, poverty – but that doesn’t mean we can’t get bent out of shape about carts all over the parking lot.

    Keep on keeping on.

  5. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    I find it super weird that so many people were offended by your Facebook post. Who are these people? The shopping cart mafia? Or maybe they just spend their days getting defensive over minor criticism. “Why aren’t there any pens in the pen drawer? Nobody puts them away.” WTF DO YOU NEED PENS FOR?? I SUPPOSE YOU’RE A MAJOR CELEBRITY WHO MIGHT NEED TO SIGN AN AUTOGRAPH ANY MINUTE! THE ENTIRE WORLD NEEDS TO BOW TO YOU AND YOUR INSATIABLE DEMAND FOR PENS! THERE ARE STARVING CHILDREN IN THE WORLD, BUT BY ALL MEANS, LET’S DEAL WITH THE PEN CRISIS FIRST!

    “Ummm…I just needed a pen.”


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