The Harlingen HEBing of Seattle

Posted by Brandon |

While I was living down in Harlingen, Texas a few years ago I noticed a troubling problem at local supermarkets. Nobody seemed to be able to put away a shopping cart. There were always hundreds of shopping carts spread throughout the parking lots. Often these carts were sitting less than five feet away from a cart return or an entrance to the store. Sometimes carts were smack dab in the middle of parking spaces. In fact I'd say about a third of the parking spaces at the one HEB were blocked because of these vagrant carts.

I always thought it was a poor reflection on the citizens of Harlingen that they were too lazy to walk an extra few feet to a cart return or an entrance. I had never seen anything like it anywhere else. In Washington, New York and Ohio, the three other states I had lived in, I never saw parking lots littered with runaway carts. However, it was 110 degrees with 90% humidity in Harlingen, so I was willing to give them some slack and blame it on the weather. I sure as hell didn't want to return my cart and yet I found the strength to get it back home safely.

Recently I've noticed this problem manifesting itself here in Seattle. It seems to be gaining hold of shoppers at the Ballard Fred Meyer and other supermarket parking lots throughout the region. I just counted seven carts sitting just outside of the entrance to Freddy's merely five feet away from being put away. On numerous occasions I have seen people just leave their cart right in the middle of a parking space or shove it up onto one of the sidewalks. Carts are now routinely floating around randomly throughout parking lots.

This is a challenge to you Seattle. Please don't turn into the people of South Texas. Trust me, you do not want to end up being like Harlingen. Nothing good can come of it. This lazy shit has got to stop. Seattle was recently named one of the most fit cities in the country and it doesn't get that hot here, so quit being so damn lazy and move your ass. It's not going to kill you to walk that cart an extra five, ten, fifteen or even, god forbid, twenty feet to a cart return.