going off and there’s a cigarette still burning

November 29, 2011

Yesterday I put together my first shopping cart. It’s one of those undersized wire carts that the little old asian ladies pull laundry and recyclables around in, and I was super glad to have it because I have to go grocery shopping for the entire office each week and there are really only so many twenty pound bag half mile hikes I was born with the potential for successfully completing. Eventually I was going to have to start jettisoning flats of Clif bars and cartons of soy creamer along my trek like an overloaded lorry named Gretel.

So I ordered myself an office shopping cart, and it came in the mail, and there was much rejoicing at the impending easiness of life. Too soon, my hamsters.

For when the shopping cart was with joy and expectation removed from its box, lo it became apparent that there was still work to do. It came resplendent with two wheels attached, and two wheels stuck shoddy in a plastic bag with sundry pins and washers. There was mourning.

There was also a distinct lack of assembly instructions, and so for a moment there was panic as well.

Then I remembered that I am about to be twenty eight years old, and it does not really get more responsible for one’s own cart wheels than that, and I bravely sharpened up my mind and began to muck around the springs and washers.

Rapidly it became apparent to me that something was not adding up. I am fairly well acquainted with wheels and the process by which they go round, and it seemed to me that there ought to be something else in that little plastic bag of parts, something very like an axel?

I had myself a coffee break, by which I mean I sat on the floor surrounded by my cart flotsam and drank black coffee viciously and deliberately in its general direction.

I decided that there absolutely HAD to be an axel. This situation was just not going to work without an axel. And I made up my mind that I would either find that axel, or I would make a very persuasive complaint letter to the manufacturer, the burden of which would be their obligation to present me with a new, axeled, and fully assembled shopping cart.

I picked up that cart, and I shook it a little bit for spite, and something rattled. Hm, I thought, a looseness. A something somewhere that is not screwed down…and I looked at it verrry closely, and suddenly I realized that neatly camouflaged within the bars of the cart there was an identical yet extra bar, twist tied onto its brethren. AHA! I thought, and I twisted it free and sure enough, it was An Axel.

The moral of the story is that when one is faced with obstacles, one must drink coffee; the beauty of the story is that when I have all the necessary pieces I can assemble the shit out of some shopping cart wheels in under four minutes; and the end of the story is that everybody got their favorite foods and a case of Sierra Nevada, because the greatest invention in the entire history of mankind may be roasted coffee beans, but the wheel is right the hell up there.

I am


One Response to “going off and there’s a cigarette still burning”

  1. Thank you for your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.


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