Hump Day: Sorry Virginia, there really is no shopping cart fairy

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

As much as I like Christmas – and I like it a lot – I’m not a fan of decorating early. Sure, I start listening to online holiday music way too soon in the year, but it’s really for mood-setting reasons as opposed to celebrating the yuletide.

To put it simply, listening to soft, traditional Christmas music puts me in a good mood. When I work, it’s playing at a very low volume in the background. I can barely hear it, but it sets an ambiance of calm in an otherwise hectic world of never-ending deadlines and demands, both personal and business.

Because I’m pretty open about listening to Christmas music practically year round, friends are sometimes surprised when I express dismay at people who decorate for the holiday in October and November anytime before Remembrance Day, really. I mean, good heavens, how long can you stand looking at a Christmas tree, anyway? If the decorations have time to get dusty, the tree’s been up for far too long!

My tree is usually not up before December 10. I wait until the 12th month gets into the double digits before dragging the artificial tree upstairs and unpacking the shiny and glittery baubles for another year. Everything is usually taken down before New Year’s Day. I want to start the new year with a tidy house.

Already, a neighbour has a Christmas decoration on their front door. I joked on Facebook the other day that friends should wait an hour and then call 911. Just tell the police to look for the fresh grave in the neighbour’s back yard, I wrote. Ya gotta give me time to dig the hole and fill it in, after all. I suppose I could ask the kids down the street to help, but I’m pretty sure their parents have rules about helping to dig secret graves.

Parents can be so strict these days! Digging graves for psycho neighbours didn’t hurt me as a kid and it won’t hurt them, either! Twitch. Blink.

Fall is here in all its glory. It seems like the tree in my back yard went from green to naked in only a few days. I hate it when trees do that. They’ve got some nerve – almost as much nerve as people who leave shopping carts in the middle of mall or grocery store parking lots.

If there’s something that infuriates me, it’s that! Once in awhile, I’ll see someone just blatantly leave their emptied cart in between cars, just waiting for someone to come along and hit it into another car. I feel like going up to them and giving them a piece of mind, but I’d probably end up going overboard, so I keep my trap shut. “Beloved, handsome columnist jailed for parking lot incident” is not a headline I want to see.

And I don’t mean someone who has difficulty walking or a mother with three screaming kids at her feet. I’m talking about perfectly able-bodied people who are just too lazy to put the cart back in one of those collection stalls. Who do you think puts them away? The Shopping Cart Fairy?

If there really is a Shopping Cart Fairy, that must be the worst of all the fairy-type jobs available; well, right up there with the Tooth Fairy, that is. Can you imagine having to sneak into some toothless kid’s bedroom like some stalker and shove your hand under their pillow, grab some disgusting tooth and then leave some money? How nerve-wracking would that be? You’d need nerves of steel – or chloroform.

Speaking of chloroform, I would have liked to have had a few bottles of the stuff this past weekend when Facebook went crazy with a stupid hoax about Tim Hortons giving away $25 gift certificates in honour of their anniversary. The number of people who got sucked into that scam was just breathtaking. Now, there are the usual suspects on Facebook who regularly fall for every hoax going, but this one even caught more careful people off guard.

My news feed filled with dozens upon dozens of people I knew re-posting the link for a chance – they thought – of winning a $25 gift certificate. Actually, what it was was some unknown group wanting people to fill in their surveys, likely so they could sell the information gathered to some sketchy company under the guise of consumer research.

Pet peeves; we all have them. Christmas decorations up too early. Trees that go from all dressed to completely nude in days. People who leave their shopping carts in the middle of parking lots. Those who constantly fall for any hoax they see.

I also have a newfound affinity for those who need to park in handicapped spots. Since my father now uses a walker, I got a handicapped parking permit to use when he’s with me and needs to leave the car. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve seen someone parked in a handicapped spot ‘just waiting’ for someone to come out of the store.

I have to admit, I’ve been tempted to use the permit when my father’s not with me just to score a sweet spot right next to a door, but I’d never use it. That would be an awful and atrocious thing to do. I do have to admit though, those parking spots right next to the door are something else. The price you pay for the privilege, though, isn’t really worth it.

If you see me dressed up as the Tooth Fairy wearing a Santa hat and going around slamming shopping carts into cars parked illegally in handicapped spots, you’ll know I’ll have finally gone off the deep end. It was only a matter of time.

2 Responses to Hump Day: Sorry Virginia, there really is no shopping cart fairy