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Parking Your Foot Right In Your Mouth

, , , , , , , | Right | December 6, 2022

There’s a supermarket located in a strip mall that has eight other stores in it. My wife and I shop there frequently since it’s on our route home after work. About ten years ago, the supermarket expanded, adding on to the right side of their building, which expanded its footprint by about 30% but also took away some parking spots that were located between it and a fast food place next door.

About a month or so before they completed construction, the mall owner redid the parking lot. They slightly reconfigured it, adding some more spaces to make up for the ones that were lost from the expansion of the supermarket. They completely repaved it, repainted all the lines that defined the parking spots and lanes, etc. Most importantly for this story, they removed all the shopping cart return cages that had been there for decades.

This story takes place a little more than five years after all of that. I have to grab a few things in the supermarket one day when my wife is off work, so she isn’t with me. As is now the custom, since there are no cart return cages anymore, I leave my empty shopping cart in an empty parking spot. That’s when this guy, who apparently thinks he is the “cart police”, aggressively approaches me.

Guy: “Hey, you! A**hole! Please have the d*** courtesy to put your cart away properly. What the h*** is wrong with you?!”

Me: *Incredulously* “Excuse me?”

Guy: “Oh, Christ, another idiot. Put your cart in the return slots like you’re supposed to! Don’t leave them in the middle of the parking lot for someone to run into!”

Me: “Okay, certainly. Would you kindly point me in the direction of the cart return slots?”

Guy: “Oh, for Christ’s sake. Everyone knows they’re over—” *points to where one used to be* “—there…” *Turns to his left* “Um, no, over th— Um…” *Points to another section of the lot* “Over there. Ah, no.”

He finally realizes that there ARE NO cart returns.

Me: “Yeah, Mr. Know-It-All, the mall owner removed all the cart return cages over five years ago when they redid the parking lot.”

Now with his foot firmly shoved in his mouth, as it were, the guy attempts to mumble out a half-hearted apology of sorts.

Guy: “Oh, yeah, well, um… I, uh, don’t know… Uh, when… Why did they… Um…”

Me: “I believe the words you are looking for are, ‘I apologize for being such a rude a**hat.’”

Guy: “Yeah. I, um, yeah… Sorry, buddy.”

He quickly scooted off to his car, leaving me standing there shaking my head at his abject cluelessness. Way to pay attention to your surroundings there, “buddy”.

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