Friday, July 08, 2005

Hell on wheels...... 

Ok, I had only been to the grocery store once in the past three months for regular shopping. Just couldn't walk that far, so Dan had to do it for me. But now that I will no longer be working, I need to compare prices so save some money, so I decided it was time to put in an appearance.

Instead of going at night like usual when they're stocking shelves, I went in the middle of the afternoon because I wanted to have someone around to tell me how the electric carts worked. Yep, I've been wanting to use one for months, but was afraid if I asked for assistance, I might get that "but you don't look sick" lecture. Besides, I wasn't very confident about my cart-driving ability.

I lucked out when I entered the store right behind someone who was parking one of the carts. She saw how slowly I was walking and asked me if I needed the cart. I said yes but that I wasn't sure how they worked, and she told me how to make it go.

I was still nervous, but took a deep breath and pushed the lever. The cart moved way slower than I was expecting and had a tight turning radius, so I actually got the hang of it while I was still in the produce section (I always go there first).

The only thing I didn't know was that it had two speeds. I found that out after my hand started hurting from holding the left hand lever and I decided to try the right and started speeding down the aisle! So when I had gotten what I wanted from a particular aisle, I could zip on over to the next one if I watched carefully for oncoming pedestrians.

One major disadvantage is that the cart is low to the ground, making it very difficult to reach anything on a high shelf, and for some reason, a lot of the gluten free products are up high. So I still need Dan with me to put the groceries in a regular cart and to lift stuff like gallon jugs. But now I don't have to skip whole sections of the store to save energy: I can shop in every aisle if I want to and even backtrack easily if I forgot something.

Amazingly, I didn't smack into anything until I tried to park before I left the store. There were a few occasions where people would leave their shopping carts unattended in the middle of an aisle and Dan would have to move them for me, but most people gave me enough room. And I got a few odd looks, I guess because most people are expecting to see someone elderly driving these things, but I just smiled at them and usually got a smile back.

The best part, though, was that aside from increased pain in my hands from operating the levers, I still had energy when I left the store! I was able to broil some fish for lunch when I got home. I should have started using these carts a lonnnnnng time ago.

So now that I've conquered the grocery store, I'm psyched enough to try Target next. I promise I won't pop any wheelies. But I've gotta admit I REALLY like the fast speed on the cart.....wheeeeeeee!

Maybe for my next trip I should get some aviator goggles and a long scarf? Or maybe a leather biker outfit. Yeah, I could see me dressed all in black, revving my cart like a motorcycle.

At any rate, it's good for me to have a means to get around those gigantic stores.

Autoimmune girl / Linda from the spoon board here - saw that you had a website - your posts there were so amusing thought I'd check out your website. My mom has heart and lung disease, so she uses these carts occasionally - talk about hell on wheels! Mom is 77, and pretty good at it now, but she's still pretty funny- I stay behind her tho. I'd like to try them once in a while. The thing I don't get is that you have to go to the customer service desk to get the key, then go back to the cart, then park the cart, then return the key - so yea, you still need 2. I'd like to have the regular grocery carts that have the kid seats in them, but have a bench, instead of the 2 kid seats, then mom could ride, I could push and we could get a decent amount of groceries and I could be really tired by the time we get home from pushing her, the groceries and unloading everything!!!!
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