Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification

Have you ever pulled into the parking spot at Stop&Shop/Price Chopper/Market Basket/Wegman's/Hannaford/Too many to list/Tops/Whole Foods/Many More and found a stray cart occupying your spot?  Or gone for a scenic hike only to notice a shopping cart nesting nearby?  Have you ever wondered how to distinguish between these species to correctly identify each type of cart?

Me neither.

But apparently, someone was so intrigued by shopping carts that they wrote whole book about it.  I'm not kidding.  Check it out.  I read through some reviews and was suitably pleased by the amount of wittiness:

Or, check out the most helpful critical review:

Sometimes I'm glad that the rest of the race is capable of good humor. Check out these other awesome reviews, but this time not found by me and my genius-ness but by some random interweb person.  But since I feel like this whole post is stealing from other people's weird ideas, behold:

Flyergirl13's Field Identification Guide to Stray Shopping Carts

Shoppingcartus caementum-incola
Photo of shoppingcartus caementum-incola in its natural habitat, by a renowned wilderness photographer.
This species of the genus shoppingcartus is most commonly found in parking lots, as it's Latin species name implies.  It's diet consists mostly of old gum, dropped groceries, and the souls of small children whose mothers don't allow them to ride it down the hill in the lot.
This species of cart is very territorial and often will not allow any man-made objects to enter its area, often clearly marked by yellow lines.  They are usually not vicious, but will bite your vehicle if you get too close and provoke it.  Wresting or hand-to-cart combat not recommended.

Shoppingcartus saltus-incola

This species of shopping cart lives in the deciduous forests of Eastern North America.  It's habitat is within the leafy confines of a forest.  There, it scrounges for food, usually berries or nuts.  It will often find another cart nearby and make a nest.  The female is dominant in these relationships, given that she will often know more about wilderness survival.  They are friendly and usually welcome visitors, with no marked territory.

Editor's Note:
At this point in the book, the author took a trip to Ohio to go to an awesome amusement park (Cedar Point.  Been there?  It's fairly amazing.) and will be unable to complete the field guide in its entirety at this time (because I don't feel like spending my time in close proximity to roller coasters by sitting at the hotel computer writing about shopping carts.  Sorry).  The author send her most sincere regards for being unable to complete this book, and promises a follow-up post, so that you will not be left unable to identify certain species of wild shopping cart.  The author wishes you the best from three hundred feet in the air.  We hope you enjoy this first installment of Flyergirl13's Field Identification Guide to Stray Shopping Carts.


  1. So random but so good! Loved it :)

  2. Good investigation about so many different type of carts. They all are operateable with normal common sense, however only problem is common sense is not very common.

    Interesting post--

  3. There are some extremely well "reviews" on the Amazon site. Sometimes it's hard to tell if they're legitimate or not with some.


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Please leave a comment
Or I'll sic a velociraptor on you