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September 12, 2007



I don't think there is anything more dangerous than old people on those scooters at the grocery store. I've considered taking a hidden camera to Wal-Mart and doing a "20/20" style investigative report on them.

"Old People and Their Scooters: America Under Attack!"

Fold My Laundry Please

My mother rides one of those scooters when she's having a "bad legs day". Something about those things makes people wreckless because she drives around, crashing into people and store displays with equal abandon and not a single apology ever escapes her lips. She even ran over her own dog once! (The dog was fine, by the way.) Scooters make people mad with power, I tell you. Mad with power!


In scouting there is a term called "blood circle" and it's used to describe the theoretical area around yourself when you're using a potentially dangerous tool...such as a knife. You try to honor that circle by keeping distance between yourself and bystanders so that no one gets injured while your're chopping wood or cutting vegetables for the stew. I think we draw those circles around ourselves in daily life too. I don't like walking in front of my 13-year old if he's pushing the cart at Target because he consistently loses track of where I am and runs over my heels. I sometimes think that people who cannot get around on their own any more are so jazzed about being able to get from Point A to Point B (and doing so in a faster way than they've been able to move in 25 years) that they forget how fragile the rest of us are. Sure...we can walk and run, but our bodies are no match for something as heavy as a Rascal. I think they lose their ability to honor the natural comfort zones between humans. I'm not sure why it is that they don't apologize for being reckless. The woman in the store never apologized for interrupting my conversation...nor for nearly flattening me with her cart.


I HATE those motorized chairs. I can't tell you how many times I've had my feet smashed into because some old bat (yes, I'm saying it) either can't watch where he/she's going or doesn't care. One time, while I was standing in an isle trying to get around two other carts who were blocking the exit and entrance, an old lady hit the back of my ankles and said, "MOVE!" I feel like flattening the tires on those things every time I walk by them.

Oh, The Joys

For some reason this takes me back to the early MTV Van Halen video (not a fan, I SWEAR) where the old woman barrels down the aisle yelling, "MY DOCTOR SAYS I NEED TO TAKE A LAXATIVE!!!!"


This post (and the comments!) make me grin from ear to ear. I may have to use one of the those carts at the store next time, JUST BECAUSE. ;)

(although that would put me on the equivalent of the gal who took the parking space...)


While never experiencing the wrath of the elderly on a motorized cart I do feel like I am risking my life every time I leave my home on Sundays when everyone in town who doesn't drive all week gets in their giant hunk of Detroit steel and ventures out. Just like the scooter except 4000 lb.


She just wants other people to share in the joy that is the scooter. By putting them in one, apparently.


Not only do you make me laugh out loud in this post, but your correct spelling of "pimiento" utterly charms me.

I wouldn't dream of taking you to task for relaying this story and all of its frightening details.

Old Guy

You young whippersnappers with your walking and your prancing about and your "Oh, I don't have to park in the handicapped spaces". Just you wait till you're my age and you get in one of those little scooters and you pass by all the cute young blonde chickies buying gum for their precious little University freshmen. See if you don't run over them, just to give them a taste of what's coming.

Now, who's up for a sponge bath? No? Someone want to spoon some porridge into me?

Kathy Gillen/ lessons from the laundry

While we insulate our children with bike helmets and learners permits, I bet the age-challenged don't have to pass any test to drive the scooters. I wouldn't trust my grandma on the scooter. Glad you survived the grocery store...it can always be a challenge...husbands just don't get the difficulty.


geez. You're a saint. 'Cause I would have lambasted the old fart. And not because, as you said, she is elderly or semi-handicapped. Because if she's healthy enough to drive a cart, albeit recklessly, and shout rudely to people, and generally glide and crash about on her own in a supermarket, well... she can damn well be responsible for her actions.

My alternative response to her would have been: "Here are your pimientos, madam. Just shove 'em wherever they fit best."

Nap Queen

OMG, that was hilarious. I can picture it like I was right there with you!!!

ann adams

Good grief. I haven't been run over yet (I'm still not so infirm that I can't get around the store under my own steam) but around here one scooter will stop to chat with another scooter - right in the intersection, effectively blocking all traffic.

I'm courteous by nature but sometimes I want to say like Eliza in My Fair Lady "move your bloomin arse".

jen from boston

I'm glad you were spared a full on hit & run by..Gladys? Dottie? (i feel like we should give her a name).

I have to tell you, I had to cover my mouth to stiffle my giggling about the visuals you created in this story (reading at work). Oh sweet Jesus, it was great.

Circle of Blood...man, that would be a great name of a speed metal band.


Oh boy, would my husband like to ban these scooters in stores! He is certain that the minute people get on them, they become drunk with a sense of uber-entitlement. I'm not sure I totally disagree. Most scooter-pilots drive down the middle of the aisle, act like they are Moses and you are the Red Sea, and stop when- and where ever they damn well please. Stores would score lots of points if they instituted scooter-use only hours or even scooter-free hours.


What an amusing post. I'm not going to comment on it's contents, other than to stand up and applaud wildly for this lovely turn of phrase:

"Our Lady of Pimientos and her vehicle of destruction."

That deserves a shrine!


I get tired of these scooter people (and I have watched perfectly mobile people walk across the parking lot then plant their big asses on them) asking me to "grab" everything for them.

Glad you survived.


I'm so glad you survived your drive by scooting. It does seem -and "this is in no way a sweeping criticism of the elderly.." that they use their advanced years to relieve themselves of manners.


Dude, I hear you. I live in a city where the median age is at least 20 years older than mine, which means the many, many octogenarians are pulling it way up.
And I truly think that many people believe because they are in their twilight years, the general rules of polite society, not to mention the more rigid rules of the road do not apply to them.


My grandma doesn't have a scooter, but we did borrow one at the local target once. I ran 10 feet ahead of her warning the other customers and protecting the small children.'Needless to say, I'm not taking grandma to Target again any time soon.

Kevin Charnas

Oh man oh man...I'm telling you...(besides this being brilliantly written and REALLY cracking me up - sorry...) some of these folks on these motored things need to be at the final destination of a small rocket. Nothing deadly, mind you...just something to wake them up...you know, blast the manners back into them.

Antique Mommy

I am a Wal-Mart shopper. I have a long and sordid history with electric cart ladies.

Cara in Exile

I see plenty of people who are my age but extremely large riding those carts at the local grocery. I admit I have looked down my nose at the things as I wobble my 8 1/2 months pregnant self into the store. I may be slow, and I may take forever to get out of the way, but I'm not that lazy. I probably would have moved quickly enough to have clobbered her with a frozen chicken if she had backed into me, though.


If you can't see to drive a car, then you really shouldn't be driving a scooter. Especially not in the stores that don't have enough sense to make the aisle/walkways wide enough for a cart, let alone these electric carts of death. And really, a little bit of manners would go a long way. I've been heard to tell my grandmother that she needs to remember those manners she always insisted I learn.

Glad you managed to escape relatively unharmed.

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