Electric plug in grocery store scooters
Mom & I had to go grocery shopping- for both our households. Unable to land a better offer, Jo decided to join us. We showed up at Winco at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon. Strike one. We've done the grocery store thing before. I can get mom's chair out of the trunk, assembled, get her into it, get Jo out, get Jo put into the baby carrier on my back, and be in the store in like 5 minutes flat. But today was a bit different. We needed to do HEAVY DUTY grocery shopping. Tillamook ice cream+asparagus+pastrami style grocery shopping.
So we get in, and mom has been wanting to use one of those electric plug in scooters they keep at the front of stores. I keep shooting her down. Logistically it seems like a bad plan. She persists, I give in. We park mom next to the scooter (which I can't figure out how to start) and I go off in search of Winco's finest. In Winco's defense, I really did fine a super nice woman.
We get back to mom and some old guy is making a decrepit slow-motion attempt to jack her scooter!!! I said, EXCUSE ME SIR! MY MOM IS WAITING FOR HELP TO GET INTO THIS SCOOTER! I mean seriously- she all but had her hand on the wire frame basket. And she's in a wheel chair- this sneaky guy slithered right up on his own two feet. He hurumphed about it and then walked away in search of his own plug in grocery store scooter. And just in case you were going to lose sleep over the old man, don't. I saw him scooting through the produce aisle not much later.
Ok fine, so mom's got the scooter and a five second tutorial on how to drive it. I think, "that's plenty of direction. That's how farm kids learn to drive, right? When they're like 8? We'll be fine." She scoots away looking quite smug and I scurry along, trying to guard her left side. Scratch that. I'm trying to guard OTHER PEOPLE from her left side. We made it almost to the bulk food section before she hit her first display. It was croutons- luckily they proved to be a resilient stacked food. I am happy to report that though we did some poorly planned (ODOT-esque) traffic stopping 6-point turns, we did not run anyone down. Though now that I think of it, Mom did go AWOL twice...which is plenty of time to hit or mame innocent shoppers...
80% of the way through the store we ran out of room in the front-trunk-basket of the plug in grocery store scooter. I guess it wasn't designed to hold $200 of dual-family groceries. Most problematic was that 18 bottle packs of Coors Light are merchandised about 83% of the way into the store. I was not leaving Winco without beer (and in fact, was considering a mid-shopping intermission to enjoy aforementioned beverage) so I rocked it Milwaukie-style: beer on top of chips, bread, mushrooms, and other squishable items.
Checking out at Winco is an interesting way for the store to clearly drive home their value proposition: Save lots of money on your groceries, cuz you're baggin' 'em yourself, sucka! The kind hearted customer service person surprised us at check out with mom's wheel chair. She had good intentions, but for a moment I just stared dumbfounded at the scene before me: mom in a scooter (with the coors I had protectively packed FIRST back into the basket), a half filled shopping cart, an empty wheel chair, and the conveyor belt backing up with unbagged groceries. I was quickly jolted back to reality thanks to my daughter, who had discovered in the previous 120 minutes that being packed on your mom's back positions you perfectly for such delights as back biting and hair pulling.
With groceries bagged and mom returned to her non-electric mobility device, we were finally ready to exit the store. I told mom to wait by the front door while I went to load our groceries into the car. I quickly realize I cannot fit $200 worth of groceries in the trunk because Mom's chair has to go there. An expletive may have slipped. While shoving groceries into the backseat and breaking whatever eggs the coors missed I see from the corner of my eye my MOM whizzing down the parking lot. "MOM! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!????" She throws her good foot down and artfully arcs towards the car, coming to a complete stop at the passenger side door. "I realized it was downhill" she tells me. I cringe at the thought of a left-side-neglecter crossing parking lot traffic.
And then, we got in the car, opened a bag of potato chips, and drove home. My only real regret was not taking a photo.