Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Quarter is Stuck in the Cart!

   Among the many things in life that don't make sense, here is Zoey (pictured) when she became emotionally attached to a plastic power ranger that Frank, her son, had chewed the head and limbs off of.

   Following the theme of things that don't make sense, here is another recent story that I hope makes you laugh a little.

   There is a smart little quarter system that some stores use to keep carts in an orderly herd near the door.  To use a cart you must insert a quarter which releases one cart from the metal gridlock.

   One day I made a quick stop at an Aldi store to pick up some groceries.  I carried my quarter as I walked toward the entrance and noticed a very normal looking man approaching the cart conglomeration.  I offered him my quarter for his cart, a typical occurrence with Aldi shoppers that saves us all a bit of time.

   "Oh no." he said firmly.
   At first I thought I'd misunderstood, maybe he also was going into the store.
   "No." he said. "See, my quarter is in here." he said, pointing to the trapped quarter on the cart handle.
   "Yes." I said. "Would you like my quarter instead?"
   "No." he kept walking toward the cart formation. "See, I need to get my quarter out. See?"
   "Yes." I said, now with an inquisitive playful face, holding my quarter up between my thumb and index finger. I thought he must be joking.
   By now there were two ladies nearby slowing down to listen in.
   "See!" he said as he removed his quarter from his cart.
   "Yes." I said, holding my quarter up to him, then inserting it into the same cart. "I see!"  I pulled the cart back out smiling at him the whole time.
   I looked over and noticed that one of the women, about to return her cart, had stopped cold.  Her mouth was hanging open in wonder.
   The man just walked away without every grinning or seeming to understand what I was trying to do by offering him a quarter for his cart.
   The other woman was entering the store along with me and she stared at me with complete puzzlement.
   "I'm just glad there are witnesses." I said, and we both started laughing.
   "I can't believe that guy." she said.  "Did that really just happen?...He was explaining the quarter system to you, but didn't want your quarter." 
   My new acquaintance, Jane, and I giggled down the whole first isle, and we guessed that we'd retell that story a hundred times.
  I smiled broadly for an entire hour with laughter just below the surface, and I thanked God for the random factor in life.  You just never know when something senseless will make your day!