Consider the humble shopping cart — if you never have maybe you should. Always reliably ready and waiting by the sliding doors. But what if they weren’t? What if, when the doors slid open, the cart bay stood vacant? What if some negligent employee had forgotten to bring them in and they had run…err… rolled away in the night? Back into the forest, back to their natural habitat? What would you do? Well it’s not like your lazy arse is going to carry your own groceries. Nor will you offer to aid bag boys as they plan an expedition to retrieve the stray herd. No you’d simply go somewhere else.

Luckily shopping carts are dependable, though oft underappreciated. Yes, right there as you enter the grocery or retail store. Patiently waiting to carry your burdens and enhance your shopping experience. Then you’re yanking them viciously from their family and friends embrace. Pushing or pulling them along, using and abusing. Filling them up with your wants, needs and necessities; never once bothering to ask if they want anything. They’ll never ask.

You trust them explicitly whether you realize it or not. Here, hold my purchases. Here, carry my coat. Here, hold my purse. Here, hold my baby, now keep an eye on him while I pick my fabric softener. Here, give me a ride. Here, stave off those grocery ninjas whilst I check my coupons. And then… when all is said and done, you return them roughly to their point of origin. Shove them mercilessly into an outdoor corral. Or simply abandon them on an asphalt plateau without a second thought.

It seems that the only time anyone takes note of a shopping cart is when it’s not in its natural environment. Anywhere other than within or directly outside of a store its presence just seems out of place, strange and somewhat unnerving. Especially if one just shows up in your backyard drunk and convinced your home is their respectable grocery.

Of course you may already have a shopping cart in your backyard… if you’re a homeless person. This is a weird stereotype because in reality rarely do you see homeless folks with shopping carts. In addition if it’s in their backyard they can’t exactly be homeless now can they?

Case in point, there are actually two retired shopping carts at the House O’ Saw. Don’t worry they’re not stolen — they’re rescues. The first was drug from the woods, refurbished and given as a gift to my daughter one Xmas along with a pair of pink boxing gloves, set of crutches and the entire Jackass series on DVD. It now resides in the basement and is used for transporting tools, buckets and personal items in the event of flooding. In the event the water level ever exceeds the buggy’s basket…we’re moving.

Another, much older cart (No.39 from, Big M Mart?) and factory dumpster find, sits dormant in the backyard. Upon hearing about or actually seeing it brings curiosity, mocking and cynical inquiry,“Why the hell do you have a shopping cart?” Better question, “Why don’t you?”

The cart is living the second life, as an act of recycling, as opposed to yet another wasted contribution to a landfill. But what can you use an old shopping cart for? Well, it serves as a basket for the grandson’s outdoor toys. A place to let wet shoes, cleaning rags and mops dry, it’s like a giant dish drainer (but we do not drain them with it). It can hold a laundry basket, so you don’t have to bend when hanging clothes. Be used to collect and transport fallen limbs to the fire pit. Of course it helps when bringing in the groceries and aside from the obvious it serves many other useful functions. And yet there is skepticism.

Why is it that so many people pass negative judgment when someone successfully repurposes something? How ironic is it that those whom mock and laugh the hardest are those who consider themselves environmentally friendly and globally conscious?

Look around morons; we live on a planet with finite and rapidly dwindling resources. Any and every effort to avoid waste on any level should be applauded. Sadly by the time you figure this out we’ll all be homeless and shopping carts find little purpose in outer space.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS or E-mail me directly at [email protected]. Hope to hear from you, until then try and stay focused. See ya!