How To Find Something To Write About

I’ve had people ask, ‘How do you find something to write about every week?  Don’t you run out of topics?’

Actually it is a lot easier than you may think.  All you need to do is to be observant about the world around you.  On any given day, I’m sure you have encountered something that so amazed you, so disturbed you, or so angered you that you immediately needed to tell your friends about it.  Writing a blog is really nothing more than putting those thoughts to paper (well, electronic paper) rather than merely telling someone about what you saw.

For example, today my wife and I were coming out of a Walmart store and as we were getting to our car, I saw one of the Walmart employees going around the parking lot collecting shopping carts.  No, that was not the thing that was unusually although some days when there are more carts in the parking lot than in the store, you may think that.  Actually, the thing that got us upset was that this Walmart employee would pick out the trash left in the cart and throw it on the ground in the parking lot.  In fact, there was one cart that had several empty cardboard boxes, empty shopping bags, packaging material with the item removed and other miscellaneous trash.  He just picked it all out of the card and simply dumped it on the ground.

We probably should have taken a video of it and then sent the video to the store manager at the very least, but alas, I didn’t think of it at the time.  However, this is not the first time that we have seen poor parking lot behavior and I’m sure it will not the be last.

Over the years, I’ve seen people empty their shopping carts and then simply give them a hard shove to push them away from their car.  At least one time, I’ve seen the cart go rolling across the lot until a parked car jumped in front of it to stop it.  Did the person who pushed the cart rush over to parked car to see if it was damaged.  Well, they did jump into their own car and then… drove the other way.

But it is not just about the people who let their shopping carts attempt to fly home.  The funny ones, at least to me, are the people in the gym attire who leave their shopping carts next to their car after emptying them rather than taking them to one of those shopping cart collection areas even though the closest one was less than 30 feet away.  I guess they were just too much in a hurry to get to the gym than to take their cart 30 feet over to the collection area.  I guess that was just too strenuous.

I like the one grocery store, Aldi’s, that makes you put a quarter in a locking box before you can pull a shopping cart out of their storage area.  Does it really cost you a quarter to use a shopping cart?  Well only if you don’t return the cart.  If you return the cart back to the storage area, the quarter pops back out.  You rarely see shopping carts left in the parking lot of this store and when someone leaves their cart in the lot, someone quickly grabs it to take it back to the storage area (or to use it themselves) just to collect the quarter.  I have to wonder if more stores did this whether there would be fewer abandoned shopping carts getting hit by cars.

Of course, as long as we are talking about shopping carts, how about all those shopping carts with wheels that do not roll or are locking pointing a direction different than the one in which you are trying to push the cart.  What about carts with who knows what smeared over the handle bar or that have wheels that are ‘flat’ on one side because someone tried to push the cart outside of the parking lot area and the wheels locked.

But seriously, going back to shopping carts and trash, there is one incident I can think of that tops the Walmart employee picking trash out of a cart and throwing it on the ground.  That incident occurred when I saw a person push the cart along the side of their car.  They then opened the rear side door behind the driver’s seat and started pulling out bags of trash and placing them in the car.  They then push the cart over a little more into the empty spot next to their car, got in their car and left the parking lot.

Ok, that was before 9-11 and the fear of people leaving bombs everywhere.  I’m sure if someone did that today and if the parking lot cameras, which are getting to be more prevalent, got the person on tape, they would soon be visited by representatives from Homeland Security.

I suppose I am a bit unusually in that whenever I go to a store and see a shopping cart near to where we park, I will usually go get it and push it back to the store or at least to the nearest shopping cart collection area.  Imagine a world in which everyone did that and no longer would we have shopping carts damaged by those cart-hating parked cars.  Perhaps that is just a dream.

Anyway, that is how you can take something that you notice as part of your normal daily activity, twist it a bit and turn it into a blog post.  Be observant.  If you see something that you feel you just have to share with someone else, then blog about it instead.

C’ya next time.


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