There is a new sport taking hold over the country (at least wherever I am) that no one is talking about. It’s fun! It’s exciting! It’s challenging! And it actually serves a beneficial purpose! What is this sport I’m talking about? It’s a simple but challenging game of skill involving timing and hand-eye coordination. It’s a game that anyone can play but few (ok several) can master. It is (drum roll) Shopping Cart Bowling!
The premise is simple: take your shopping cart after you empty your groceries into your vehicle, find the nearest cart corral, take careful aim from across at least one lane in the parking lot, time it carefully, ensure the front of the cart is lined up and then give it a good shove. If the cart fully enters the corral, you win 10 points. If your cart crosses more than one traffic lane and enters the corral, give yourself 10 points for each lane. If the corral is not lined up straight with your position and you still get the cart fully into it without moving your start point you get 10 more points. If the cart you pushed fully enters the corral AND docks with another cart already in the corral you get 50 bonus points. For the docking to count, both carts have to be fully in the corral and your cart must be fully inserted into the first cart from the force of the initial push only. No helping it along…that would be cheating.
See? Simple, challenging and fun. It gets more difficult on windy days, but if you’re good at gauging wind drift, you can compensate. Give yourself 5 additional points if you get into the corral when the wind is greater than 10 mph. Heavy shopping days where the parking lot traffic is high is another challenge. You get a 100 point bonus for threading your cart between two moving cars and still getting it into the corral without hitting any cars. It goes without saying you lose your points for hitting cars, not to mention you can get sued. But, hey, no sport is without risk.
It’s fun to play and it serves a beneficial purpose as well. How many times have you pulling into a parking spot only to find that it has one or more shopping carts already parked there? Ever been to the store and found that, although the lot was relatively empty of cars, all the spots were full of carts? I realize it is not the patron’s job to clear carts, but they put the corrals there for a reason. It is bad enough that we sacrifice parking spots for the corrals in the first place, but to lose those spots and still more spots to carts not in the corrals is lunacy. I saw a Wal-Mart with a corral in every 10th parking spot. But if they are used, they keep the carts from taking up spaces and it keeps them from rolling idly into your door creating that unique art form—the ding-dent.
So, let’s keep parking places clear and have some fun at the same time. Play Shopping Cart Bowling the next time you go shopping. See if you can set the high score! If you are buying a lot of groceries, you can challenge your spouse to a one on one match.