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Some pushing grocery-cart confusion

Seems like a number of folks in Durango don’t understand what you should do with shopping carts when they are finished using them. Durango should host a shopping-cart etiquette course. I’m tired of having carts take up parking spaces and being run into my car. – Gary Thrash

Local grocers share your torment. Every day, dozens of times, clerks must scour the lots to retrieve the runaways.

“Once people put their hands on the shopping cart, something happens to their ability to think,” a supermarket supervisor shared anonymously.

“The sanitary wipes for the handles must contain a substance that kills brain cells as well as germs.”

What really gets to one courtesy clerk is how some shoppers will go to great lengths to deposit their cart in the landscaping.

“They maneuver the cart carefully, then lift the front or make the cart do a wheelie over the curb. Then they shimmy it into the island and leave,” she said.

“It would have been easier just to take it to the cart corral. It never ceases to amaze me.”

Not even the cart corral is immune from idiocy, one north City Market clerk explained.

“People will often see us out in the parking lot rounding up carts, so they just push the cart toward us as we’re standing there,” the clerk explained.

“We’re downhill, the cart picks up speed and its route isn’t predictable. It can smash into other cars or crash into us,” the clerk said, rolling her eyes.

“We joke that the reflective safety vests we are required to wear are not to protect us but to provide drivers with a better target,” she said.

But its not the carts that don’t make it back to the corral that irks many a manager. It’s the carts that don’t make it back to the store.

Each cart costs more than $400, so it’s a foregone conclusion when food fourgons are gone – store managers get cranky.

“In some cities, grocery carts have devices that lock the wheels when they are pushed outside of the store perimeter,” a manager said.

So let’s declare the rest of March to be Durango Returns Grocery Carts Month.

We’d be in good company, too. This month has a number of food-related designations.

Not only is March National Frozen Food Month and National Celery Month, it’s National Noodle Month, National Flour Month and National Sauce Month.

Curiously, in the United Kingdom, March is also National Veggie Month.

Britain commemorating vegetables? That sounds bloody suspicious.

Perhaps the Brits call it Veggie Month because National Stringy Tasteless Roots and Overboiled Wilted Cabbage Month wouldn’t fit on the Her Majesty’s calendar.

Keep calm and carry on.

durango colorado

Not to dwell on accessory dwelling units, but the topic continues to increase the density of the Mea Culpa Mailbag.

One anonymous observer says ADU landlords should be required to spread the wealth with rent redistribution.

“If a property owner is allowed to ‘subdivide’ his backyard with an ADU, shouldn’t that slumlord give the newly minted income to the surrounding neighbors? After all, it’s the neighbors who pay the price of having a rental next door.”

Many readers – including David McHenry – suggested the ADU issue is important enough to be put to a vote.

David also sees ADUs as an issue that focuses on the symptoms and not the cure.

“What is being lost in this rush to provide even more rundown rental property in Durango is any discussion of living wages, something that would make it possible for (renters) to actually own property here.”

He also bristles at the notion of housing entitlement, particularly in desirable locations such as downtown Durango.

“If I decide that I want to move to Telluride, Palm Desert or Maui, is someone supposed to rent an affordable place to me just because I want to live there?”

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you celebrate the Ides of March with a Caesar Salad.