2014-05-02 / Columnists

Slice of Life

What’s With the Missing Carts?
By Beth Hanning

Waldbaum’s in the Rockaways has been the topic of more than one “Slice of Life.” My father often asks where people food shop when he enters on a certain day and it is not crowded. My husband ducks behind certain aisles to avoid speaking to people while trying to quickly get out of Waldbaum’s. The most recent topic regarding Waldbaum’s is the shopping carts. Where are they going? Who is taking them?

For many years I thought Howard Beach’s Waldbaum’s was a bit of a higher class Waldbaum’s because you could take the cart to your car (After you scoured your car for a quarter). I hated how in Rockaway you had to become Hercules and carry all of the packages, pay someone to assist you or leave your cart behind the metal bars and go drive your car back to load up the packages.

I recall being happy when the bosses of Waldbaum’s decided we could be trusted, when the metal bars came down and we could actually push the cart to the car and load up the packages. I should have known that my happiness would be short-lived. Since the Rockaway supermarket has reopened they have been struggling to keep the shopping carts within the confines of the parking lot. If you happen to try to go shopping on a peak hour such as after work or on the weekend you may have to become a stalker in the parking lot and wait until someone is finished using their cart.

There are two perks to the recent shortage of shopping carts: no cart means I carry a basket. The basket is considerably smaller than a cart, so I buy less and spend less money.

And no cart means no returning the cart to the “shopping cart station.” Something I did not think of when the bars came down. I have seen runaway carts causing property damage to vehicles all due to customers not returning their carts to the proper location. I will admit that more than once I have left my cart without returning it to the proper spot. So the whole stalking thing has benefitted me. (However in Rite-Aid the other day I left my cart and did not return it to the inside of the store. Not only did I leave the cart I allegedly hit someone’s car with my cart and they called me out on it!) My husband is a much better person than me. He says he parks close to the stations so it is easier to return the cart. This statement floored me because he does not return anything at home to its original spot…

Does anyone have the inside scoop on where the carts are going or who is taking them? I am a bit obsessed, especially since I just finished a Common Core Unit on “1984” focusing on privacy in America. The outcome: we do not have privacy in America, someone is always watching. Can’t a huge company like Waldbaum’s get some security or surveillance cameras?

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why dont they just bring them

why dont they just bring them inside at night?


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