Homeless Tough on Grocery Carts

(Flop Alley) Grocery cart abuse at the hands of street people has reached epidemic proportions here this winter, leaving authority figures perplexed as to what, if any, action can be taken to alleviate the problem. Despite strict warnings and heightened security in parking lots an average of 8 to 10 food buggies disappear each day in an assortment of cities across this country.

     The carts are used for  the transport and storage of all kinds of personal belongings, aluminum cans, blankets, tools, urban survival gear, rescued kittens  and, yes, food items. To many of the wandering, desperate homeless people the carts are their world, their security and often even their identity. Stolen or simply borrowed indefinitely, they represent a sense of mobility to the disenfranchised but a breakdown of social order to the rest of us.

     “These carts are not provided to be used in this way,” said a spokesperson for one of the nation’s giant food cartels. They are for the temporary convenience of our paying customers. They are private property and are not intended for any other use. Deployment of these carts for joy rides will not be tolerated!”

     The spokesperson went on to say that he knew of one vagrant who had amassed over 35 grocery carts and had hidden them in an abandoned basement.

     “She had about three she used for cruising and the others were apparently for parts. Two were nicely customized and one reflected primitive experiments with wind generated power.”

     A gov’ment source was quick to echo the alarm.

     “One can well mark the status of a society by how it takes care of its grocery carts,” stressed an agent from the Department of Final Affairs. “These rolling devices are provided through the kindness of the supermarket bosses. When one is stolen we all pay. Sadly, these barbaric people often misuse the carts, ruthlessly trashing the steering mechanisms beyond repair. Then they abandon the provender chariots in so many back alleys in so many bad neighborhoods.”

     The homeless themselves admit that they substitute a wrecked cart with a new one whenever they pass by an unlighted parking lot of an inattentive grocery employee. Officials warn that if the present crisis is not resolved consumers may see rental fees and identity checks required for the use of the grocery carts.

     Human rights groups say the homeless should not be held accountable in that the calorie carriage thefts are only a tragic symptom of a much larger disease…that of corporate greed, inadequate mental health services and an heavy-handed distribution of wealth. They add that if consumers would be more responsible, by using wheelbarrows or sleds to haul their loot, or balancing their groceries in a straw basket atop their heads, the problem would diminish overnight.

     “I am so tired of listening to this liberal drivel,” said the Final Affairs source. “The Committee for Accidental Impartiality has undressed this issue countless times and found the homeless to be guilty of criminal trespass, pandering, conspiracy to deface, smuggling, sabotage, espionage, urban revolution, creating a nuisance, theft, and trafficking in stolen merchandise. Back in the good old days they punished cattle rustlers with the hangman’s noose. I think it’s high time we got tough on these law breakers too.”

     Stopping short of connecting the homeless to international terrorism he said, “Just see how you or your sweet little grandmother feels when you get stuck with one of these lame, funky contraptions in a crowded produce aisle.”

     One homeless man told us that although he was ashamed of staling carts it gave him something to do since he couldn’t find a job.

     “It’s the thrill of the chase,’ he smiled. “It’s a challenge. I will be happy to repay the food brokers for their losses just as soon as I wake up rich,” he smiled, “or at least get a paycheck.”

Kashmir Horseshoe

Filed Under: Soft News


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