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Shopping cart theory and practice

The next time you go to a grocery store, think of a regular shopping cart as more than a rattling basket that blocks your parking space.

In the 1930s, American grocery stores Invented by Sylvan Goldman The predecessor of a modern shopping cart with a foldable frame fixed to a series of wheels. He wanted to be able to buy more groceries if people didn’t have to carry heavy baskets when shopping.

And They did..

But over the decades, shopping carts have evolved from being commonplace to being the center of management for any grocery store.

Like below Campbell’s soup It has become an unlikely icon of subculture celebrating a common purpose.

Shopping cart Book And films, and their use were investigated Magazine column Classrooms are then used as a tool to explain how humans behave in public. They found a suspicious niche on the internet. YouTube show star, Followed by 500,000 people. They also influenced musicians: The constant sound of carts rolling down the street was an inspiration for both sound and language. Neil Young’s 1994 song “Safeway Cart”.

They are also annoying. Lawmakers and shopkeepers across the United States are struggling to prevent carts from being stolen, left in disabled parking lots, left on sidewalks, left at bus stops, and falling into streams.

2005, cart Infiltrate the British MuseumIt was when artist Banksy paired up with a cave man in a prehistoric fake rock art piece and sneaked a rock into the gallery for a few days unnoticed.

Another Banksy work, the painting “Show Me the Monet,” has been incorporated. Abandoned cart Originally.I put it up for auction About $ 10 million During December.

John H. Leanhard, A professor of technology history at the University of Houston, described the shopping cart as a “genius inspiration” that changed life in the United States. episode Of his public radio show “The Engines of Our Ingenuity”.

Decades after its broadcast in 1995, Dr. Leanhard is still trying to explain how the practical origins of shopping carts have spread to cultural attractions.

“They reflect us,” he said in an interview. “We want to walk. We want to carry. And now we are helping to walk and carry. And as our walking and carrying are mentally related to moving the wheels. Become.”

“That is, mediocre technology is very important,” he said.

2009 movie “cartIndicates the “symbiotic relationship” between humans and shopping carts, as Dr. Leanhardt calls it.

In this movie, the shopping cart is given a unique spirit, avoiding the dangers of the city while looking for a boy who has forgotten his jacket in his basket. Kurt then blocks the oncoming vehicle and saves the boy’s life.

Jesse RostenThe director said the idea came when he and a friend found a cart that had fallen in the parking lot. A sad song was played on the radio passing by the car, increasing the likelihood of a movie-like melancholy. did.

“We laughed all the way home and imagined the inside story of this crappy cart fighting the world,” he said. “I’ve seen abandoned shopping carts around the world. This movie is one movie about how carts get to that place.”

A portrait of the wild cart is from the 2006 book “Missing Shopping Cart in East North America: Local Identification Guide

Buffalo artist Julian Montague, behind the book, spent seven years taking pictures of carts everywhere, including dumpsters, alleys, and on the lawn. “It’s a strange object,” he said.

“Someone can take it somewhere and cut off the wheels or bring the laundry to the basement,” he said. “Unlike plastic bags, it has multiple lives. I will. “

Some people steal. Others leave them wherever they like.

Private companies are becoming creative.In California, a lost cart Report on hotline To a company that specializes in repatriation to their store area.

In the supermarket chain ALDI, shoppers unlock the cart in a quarter and return it when the cart is returned. Some customers leave quarters in their cart for use by:

Kate Kirkpatrick, ALDI’s Director of Communications, said: “As a result, we rarely run into the problem of carts not being returned.”

Seth Sanders, 20, a 20-year-old Safeway clerk in Bellingham, Washington, often avoids cars when she’s cleaning up carts that have been left behind in parking spaces or pushed down into huge parking lots. I see it.

His estimate is that about a quarter of customers don’t mind returning carts. This means spending a lot of time returning carts between bagging groceries, cleaning, and finding products for customers.

Mr. Sanders has roughly handled carts in the cold, in the rain, and in the smoke. Forest fireA customer hurriedly pushed the cart towards himself with enough force to hurt his leg.

“I want to say it’s almost selfish,” he said. “It’s a kind of personality test. It’s our job to catch people, but if it helps, if it helps. I hope it helps you even a little. “

Of course, there is a reason for loose shopping carts.

In Scientific American’s 2017 columnAnthropologist Crystal Decosta investigated why people did not return the cart. It “Beat the nerve“She wrote in the follow-up.

With over 2,000 comments Magazine Facebook pageSome say they are afraid to leave their children alone, suffer from disabilities, and are afraid that someone’s work will become obsolete.Within the last year, so-called Shopping cart theory has been the object of worship on Reddit and other social media sites. This theory assumes that the decision to return Kurt is the ultimate test of moral character and a person’s self-government ability.

This is a theory fully accepted by the Video Vigilante known as: Kurt Narks, A self-proclaimed executioner who confronts shoppers trying to leave without returning the cart. The series has about 500,000 followers on Facebook and YouTube.

Shopping cart theory has reached academia — when you consider junior high school to be academia. Students at the University of Lausanne in Tennessee were recently asked by Greg Glover, director of social and emotional learning at the school: Analyze it in a class of critical thinking..

One student told anyone who noticed a selfish cart to return it as is. Another warned against rushing to make a decision. Mr Glover agreed.

“It’s now a common idea that people who leave their shopping carts lacking values ​​and morals,” he said. But that belief “does not allow growth or grace.”

In April, the shopping cart theory was cited. coverage A proposed state law that fines shoppers who do not return their carts.

Paul Alonson, a disabled ombudsman in New Jersey, brought the idea to state senator Kristin Corrado. He said the state needs to deter shoppers who abandon their carts in the large space designated for the disabled.

Senator Corrado Introduced Senate Bill No. 3705, If you do this, you will be fined $ 250.

“Apparently, it’s like a pet that frustrates many people,” she said.

Kelly Boyd, 41, from Hamilton Township, NJ, has been in a wheelchair since she was nine. Kurt blocking her path.

So Boyd said he had to move out of the way in a van or drive away and use two spaces to get out. That has led to angry notes left in her car and clashes with other drivers.

“Everything I do as a person with a disability takes time and it’s more frustrating to have to deal with it,” said Boyd. “It’s amazing that some people don’t care. That is. “

This is not the only state law that addresses shopping cart nuisance. In some places, such as Los Angeles and Clark County, Nevada, you need wheels that lock when your cart is far away from the store.Some cities in Washington Fine the store For selfish carts, and Other cities are paying attention..

Last year, a supervisory board in Fairfax County, Virginia, said:Visual confusion “ I was at a loss for the cart Proposal to impose a $ 500 fine For those who take away from the store’s property.

Jeffrey C. McKay told a colleague’s supervisor during the session, “This is a real problem.” However, others on the committee struggled financially and used carts to home food. He insisted on penalizing those who brought them home or carried their belongings.

One of the overseers, Dalia A. Palchik, said it was her childhood experience.

According to Partik, when she and her three siblings often went to the store with their mother when they immigrated from Argentina in 1989, they pushed the cart to a rental house on the edge of Fairfax City. They didn’t have a car.

During the discussion, my memory came back to life. “That was one of the embarrassing things I had when I was a kid,” she said in an interview. “Why do we criminalize people trying to go to the grocery store?”

The ordinance is still under consideration.



Shopping cart theory and practice

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