Posted by: Catadromy | November 24, 2010

Shopping Carts

I have come to the conclusion that some people have been raised by wolves.  They look the same as the rest of us—no fur, fangs, claws, yellow eyes—and they walk among us.  But…and this is important…they have no manners!

Yes, I’m referring to the Bane of the Rogue Shopping Cart.  You’ve all seen them, sitting there in the market parking lot, rolled up against the planter or taking up a valuable space; in Costco’s lot, propped up with the front wheels in the trees or just left in a parking space; or just rolling around helter skelter in any old parking lot, looking for a car (like mine) to roll into and dent.

Seriously.  How hard is it to roll the cart back to the car corral at the end of the row and put the cart there?  I was in the Costco lot not long ago and I was wheeling my cart to my car and I passed this guy off-loading into his car.  He was parked right next to the cart corral.  I mean, Right. Next. To. It.  Me, being me, I stopped by this car with my own cartful and asked if he was planning on placing his cart in the conveniently-located cart corral.  He said he would.  I thanked him and told him that stray carts were a huge pet peeve of mine.  He nodded in agreement.  As it turns out, what he was agreeing with was that I was a pain in the ass, because he left his cart in his parking space.

Another time, I was at the Post Office (side note, I love the Postal Service—so much better than FedEx, which suffers from a seeming inability to find my house.  I had to give the driver instructions from Google Maps to in order to have a package delivered.  The dispatcher even asked me if my house had moved.  I mean, I live in California, so the house does move from time to time, but it’s basically been in the same general location since 1953.) which shares a parking lot with a number of other stores, one of which is a Smart & Final, with shopping carts.  This parking lot is not in the best shape and is full of depressions and uneven spots.  I pulled in, nose to nose with another car whose driver was loading up the back with lots of stuff from a cart.  She pulled the cart around to the front of her car and put some stuff in the passenger area.  I got out of my car and asked her if she would please put her cart in the cart corral, which was directly behind her.  She said “Sure.’’  And got in her car and drove off, leaving her cart to roll into the front of my car.  So, I had to take her cart and put it in the cart corral so that it wouldn’t do any further damage to my car.

And I wasn’t even going into Smart & Final.  I was going to the Post Office.  Where they don’t use shopping carts.

Do I look like the shopping cart police?

Do I look like yo’ mama?

I’m tired of picking up after you.

Don’t make me come over there.

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Posted by: Catadromy | November 19, 2010

Coffee Names

I am a fan of Starbucks.  Not a fan so much of their frou-frou drinks, but I do love me a non-fat latte on occasion.  I even buy beans, which I have them grind for me, for use at home.  But when I want to treat myself, I’ll go out and have a non-fat latte, usually a grande.

What I don’t understand so much, though, is their predilection for asking your name so that they can write it on your cup.  My real name is uncommon enough so that I prefer not to give it out to every Tom, Dick and Barista who asks.  So I just say, ‘Susan’ when asked.  Even that gets twisted to ‘Suzen’, ‘Suzanne’, ‘Susie’ and other variations.  I am most definitely not a Susie.  Ask anyone who knows me.

One day, I was wandering in the neighborhood Hallmark store near my favorite Starbucks, when I ran into my friend Claudia.  I was clutching a grande cup with Susan written on it.  Of course, Claudia wanted to know what I was doing with a cup with someone else’s name on it.  So I explained my theory of coffee names (and I’m not the only one I know who does this) and then I said that I’ve always been tempted to tell the barista that my name is ‘Bitch’ just to see her reaction and to see if she’d actually write ‘Bitch’ on my cup.

After all, that’s what a lot of people call me.

Claudia and I were laughing so loudly that we were afraid the people in the Hallmark store were going to ask us to leave.  Those places are like church.

Posted by: Catadromy | November 15, 2010

I Hate People

I hate people.

When I say this, someone invariably says, ‘No you don’t, really.’  But I do.  Most of the sins that people commit (at least of late) have to do with their behavior in parking lots.

For example, today I had to go to Trader Joe’s to buy a replacement orchid plant.  This is something I have to do with sad frequency, as I am an orchid killer par excellence.  There was an article in the Home section of The New York Times last week about long-lived plants.  One of those was the phalenopsis; the article said they could live as long as 30 to 40 years.  Hah!  Not under my care, they don’t.  If one of my phalenopsis plants survives a couple of months, it’s a miracle.

But I digress.

Parking at TJ’s is always an adventure.  I think this is on purpose.  The parking lots are too small for the number of people who wish to shop there; it creates a sense of urgency and hypes the demand even higher.  Marketing 101.  I got lucky today and found a spot right away.  It was marked Compact and was on the end of a row, next to a concrete planter with shrubs.  I drive a smallish 4-door sedan.  I pulled in, tight against the planter on the driver’s side, and eased my way out of the car and went inside the market.  The space on my right was also marked Compact, but I was pulled tightly over to the left in my space and left tons of room next to me, because I knew what was coming.  And I was right.

It was nearly as crazy inside the market as it was in the parking lot.  But I got my plant—TJ’s has wonderful orchids and their prices are great—and some cut hydrangeas and a few other things and came back out into the parking lot to find a ginormous white SUV sitting in the space next to me, with her driver door open into the side of my car.  So, Lady Four Runner Who Parks in Compact Spaces—DIE!!!  Please.

My next stop was another parking lot.  I found a space right away, bounced into the store, got what I needed and then drove out of the parking lot.  Or tried to.  The parking lot was hardly full; it was late in the afternoon.  The car in front of me stopped to wait for another car pulling out of a space, holding up not only me, but a whole row of other cars.  There were a lot of empty spaces, but he had to wait for this. Particular. Space.  That out of the way, I continued up the row toward the exit.  Ahead of me were people on foot.  Walking like they were in the middle of a pedestrian mall, rather than a busy parking lot.  Not keeping to the part where the cars are parked, Oh No!  Walking just as pretty as you please, down the middle of the space meant for cars; specifically, my car.  With me in it.  Driving.

There’s a shopping mall I like to go to.  It’s close by and has stores I like.  The parking structure is multi-level and is pretty convenient to get into and out of and generally (other than holiday times) it’s easy to find a space.  There is, however, one serious exception.  There is a ramp leading up to the second level (where I usually park) and without fail, some moron will be sitting, waiting, blocking traffic—in both directions—waiting for a parking spot on the ramp, when there are beaucoup spots just up ahead.  I know there are, because I’m heading for them and I always find one.  The only solution, of course, is for mall management to outlaw parking on the ramp.  They won’t, of course, because that would be the logical, sensible thing to do.

Then, when I finally get past the ramp and am headed toward my preferred parking area—in the parking structure of a busy shopping mall—there are more pedestrians, moseying through the parking structure, as if they’re strolling through Central Park on a fine Spring day.

Get Out Of My Way.

Or become a hood ornament.

I hate people.

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