Event: Did grocery shopping while riding in a motorized handicap cart
While in the car driving home Friday night after hanging out with friends, I was suddenly hit with a craving for ice cream. It was after 11pm and no ice cream stores were open, so I tried to convince myself an apple would be just as satisfying. Unfortunately, my stomach won the battle and before I knew it I was pulling into my neighborhood grocery store, which just so happens to be open 24 hours. Lucky me.
As I walked in, almost skipping with excitement that a banana split was in my very near future, I noticed how empty a grocery store was at 11:15 at night. There were a handful of checkers hanging out and they all greeted me as I skipped by. Making my way down the first aisle, I realized I would need a cart or basket because after all, I was buying ice cream and all the fixin's. Making my way back towards the front of the store, I was scanning the checkout lanes for baskets and that's when I saw it. A free-standing, unattended motorized handicap cart. From this point forward, it needs to be noted that an alien jumped into my body, hijacked the real me and took over for the next 30 minutes. I cannot be held responsible for my actions.
Upon seeing the motorized cart, I suddenly decided that I had a terribly twisted ankle so I began to limp. No one was watching (hardly anyone was in the store) but I was convinced there was a hidden camera in the ceiling so I had to get my act together and quick. My limp became a full on I-can't-put-any-weight-on-my-left-ankle (or is it my right ankle?) so I was literally hopping on one foot as I approached the cart. I was committed at this point, so I pushed the power button...and...nothing happened. Shit! What in the hell am I doing? My palms started to sweat and at that moment, the nicest little checker guy walked over. I panicked and quickly said, "How late are you open?" He replied, "Until Thanksgiving." That cracked us both up, and the alien in me regained consciousness and said, "I did something to my ankle and just can't make it around the store without some help. Can I use this cart?" As the LIES were flying out of my mouth, I couldn't believe what was happening. Who am I? What am I saying? But now I'm knee deep into the lie of the century, so I kept going. The sweet checker said, "This cart dies all the time. Let's go get one of these." About 30 feet away he pointed to a row of handicap carts. Keeping up with my extravagant lie, I pulled out the fakest limp anyone has ever seen and made my way over to the cart. As he unplugged my new ride, he said to me, "So what happened?" And without pause, I launched into a story about how I was walking out my front door this morning on my way to work (which I never do) and I miscalculated the depth of the step and just slid right off, twisting my ankle. I then went so far as to SHOW HIM my ankle, as if either of us were going to see anything resembling a bruise! Sweetly, he told me I shouldn't worry - it probably wasn't broken because I wouldn't be able to put any weight on it if it were. Oh geez. I'm lying to the All-American Boy Scout of checkers. This is a train wreck.
I hopped onto my motorized handicap cart and made my way down the first aisle. Mortified, humiliated and cracking up the entire way, my first stop was the milk aisle. I pulled up right in front of the display, but had to get out of the cart to reach the milk. The fake limp was in its finest form and now I'm doing it in front of other shoppers. I started to feel bad about what I was doing and thought surely people were onto me, so I exaggerated the limp because I wanted to make damn sure people knew I was in serious need of medical attention. That's when I got back into the cart and discovered it would no longer go in a forward direction. The only direction I could go was backwards. Karma.
I backed out of the milk aisle, missing another shopper within an inch of her life, and giving it one more shot, I gently pushed on the forward button and thankfully the cart corrected itself and we were back in business. I then made my way through the majority of the store loading up the cart with ice cream, cotton balls and a dozen other things that WEREN'T on the list. I even went down the First Aid aisle (conveniently in front of my new checker friend) to look at ace bandages for my ankle. Whew. That really sold it.
When it came time to check out, I panicked at the thought of maneuvering through the checkout aisle, so I returned the cart to its home, gathered my groceries in my arms and hopped back to the check out aisle. I cannot believe I did all of this with a straight face.
As I checked out, my new friend asked if I needed help to my car. I told him I thought I could handle it, so I took the bags, said goodnight, and hopped out of the store all the way to the parking lot.