Why is it that normally bright people drop several dozen IQ points when they drive into the grocery store parking lot? All of a sudden, theyre unable to park between two lines or comprehend that a white arrow means go this way. And why do peoples IQs further erode when they push a shopping cart? Shoppers become zombies, seemingly baffled by such complex items as lettuce or milk. Then they abandon their carts in the middle of the aisles. Maybe theres something up with the carts. Please sign me Anonymous Store Clerk.
Before we can explain the behaviors of the hungry public, someone needs to take a vacation. And that someone is not a bad-driving, cart-pushing undead consumer.
Time for a break. Go someplace nice and rent a condo for the week.
Then, when you go to the grocery store to stock up on provisions, you can drive like a simpleton, mindlessly loiter by the meats and ditch your cart while you look for cookies in the soup aisle.
Youll come back from your vacation rested, relaxed and ready to face the fact that its mostly locals, not tourists, who are grocery grobians.
Yup. Its us. We are the ones who drive dangerously, park poorly and are nonplused by nonsense.
So what is it about grocery parking lots that make some folks suddenly stupid?
Local store personnel and managers really didnt want to answer that question. At least not on the record.
One observer speculated that is was the hot weather more than bad design.
The more temperatures rise, the more peoples IQs seem to fall. Its been a hot summer.
That and there seems to be a lot of traffic in town, which creates more instances of buffoonery and ineptitude.
However, that doesnt explain how intelligence plunges when pushing a shopping cart.
Could there be something on the carts handles? Probably not, especially considering how many people wipe them down with antibacterial towelettes.
Maybe the sanitizer kills brain cells as well as 99.9 percent of germs.
A quick bit of field work quashed that notion. Action Line observed several people not swabbing their cart handles at north City Market. Just past the apple display, they promptly turned into zombies.
The problem of lethargy grows worse when cellphones ring.
Movement stops entirely, as the undead became utterly absorbed in meaningless private conversations in a public place.
Enough about zombie shoppers. Lets not put the cart before the hearse.
Instead, we turn to Mrs. Action Line, who has a theory about grocery-induced torpor. She thinks it has to do with the carts themselves.
Its not like they drive like a Porsche, she correctly points out.
Not that Mrs. Action Line knows what its like to drive a Porsche. Shes ridden in one once, a long time ago, before she became Mrs. Action Line. But thats another story.
The reason Mrs. Action Line is immune to the ill effects of shopping carts is that she learned to drive in a burnt orange Chevy Chevette, which had a tendency to stall for no apparent reason, even on the freeway.
What a piece of junk, she recalled. That car was so small it could fit in its own glove compartment.
She added, Driving a shopping cart is a piece of cake compared to driving that thing.
So theres the answer. If we all drove ugly, gutless late 70s subcompacts, grocery shopping would be easier.
But think of the parking lot. A sea of Chevettes as far as the eye can see.
Hmm. Dealing with a zombies yammering on their cellphones in front of the frozen waffles seems like a much better alternative.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you hang up and shop.