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  • Writer's pictureKatie

The Shopping Cart That Could... Sing?

This was the fourth and final short story I made for YWW. The prompts I used were: a shopping cart that sings when you push it, and a pun. Since it was the last story, I wanted my family to give me prompts as well, so it ended up being pretty crazy. Sadly, I missed one of my sisters' prompts. She wanted to add ants to the story and I forgot them entirely! Oh well, she liked it anyway. This story is a reminder that attitudes are contagious. Having a cheerful attitude even in trying times can soften the hardest of hearts.


The Shopping Cart that Could… Sing?

The day was not going my way. I didn’t want to be shopping, I wanted to be at home, listening to music, and reading the biographies of various important people. Those kinds of things never caused trouble and never had adventures. Now, here I was, having to interact with people, and choose what was better. Cheaper? Or the best brand?

I headed into Walmart and grabbed the closest cart on hand. To my horror, it squeaked. “Stop squeaking!” I said, a little nervous that people would look at me funny. No one noticed my squeaking cart. “I beg your pardon!” said the cart, in a cheerfully rattling voice. I almost shoved it down the aisle to run from the store, but I held on. The shopping had to get done. “I was not squeaking; I was warming up my singing voice. And, if you would kindly continue pushing, my wheels would be able to continue singing.” I continued pushing, but not for the sake of the cart. “The hunger in my crate/ is something I can’t sate/ It is my only state, / A never-ending trait.” By this time I had decided the cart was a girl, based on the tremulous, high-pitched singing coming from her. Her last note was rather painful and wobbly. “Could you sing any worse?” I asked sarcastically. “Oh, absolutely,” she answered. “I can get better, but if you would like me to get worse, I’ll sing worse.” She paused. “I usually save it for annoying people,” She whispered. “You’re not an annoying person though. I don’t know why you’d want me to sing worse.” “I don’t!” “Oh. Then why did you ask me to?” “I didn’t!” I realized, feeling aghast, that I was whispering to a shopping cart. Pursing my lips, I began to push again. This was not a good day. A good day consisted of a quiet house, eight hours of my online job, and some educational reading in the evening. This was a day off though, so that meant reading all day. “The shoppers are great/ And some come in late/ And I have to wait/ To fill up my crate/ “Sometimes I sing loud!” She hit a particularly high note. “Don’t sing loud!” I urged with a hiss. She just kept going. “Way out in a crowd/ But some say that’s proud/ And then I feel cowed.” I stopped to pick something up, before turning to go check out. I was eager to be done with this ‘singing cart’. “Cowed?” I asked with disdain. “Hey!” She spoke. “It rhymed.” “You are terrible at rhyming.” “I know how that goes/ And nobody knows/ That singing just throws/ Me into repose.” I pulled up to the checkout counter. “You know,” said the cart. “I always like it when people use me. I never have to pay for anything I get. That, and I never have to do maintenance on the stuff. When the TV breaks, not my problem, but I still get to watch it plenty.” I sighed, but took the stuff out of the cart and set it on the conveyor belt, glad that the cashier didn’t seem to notice the obnoxious cart. “You okay?” asked the cashier. “I’m fine, just ready to be home,” I answered quickly. “You and the rest of us.” She said as she finished scanning my stuff. I paid, loaded the bags back into the cart, and headed out to the car. “I’m rolling along/ Just singing a song/ Not playing Ping-Pong/ I can’t sing it wrong.” I disagreed with that last part but said nothing. The Walmart was set on a hill. It was small and so was its parking lot. Down the hill, were some houses, and past the houses, only woods. I unloaded the cart into my car. “You know, you loaded me up more than a camel with no hump can carry. I’m glad I’m empty, although, now I’m hungry again.” “There is no such thing as a camel with no hump,” I said condescendingly. “Of course there is. It’s called a Humphrey. Someone was telling that to a friend once. It made them laugh. That’s what I was trying to get you to do before you left me. You seem so grumpy.” I grunted. “See, you just proved my point!” I said nothing.

I took her to a cart drop-off. I had a bag of snacks on my arm that dangled close to the trashcan as I tried to push the cart between the metal poles. Then, her wheel caught on a loose piece of asphalt. My hand slipped. Off fell the bag into the trashcan, and suddenly, the wheel that was stuck broke off and started rolling down the hill with supernatural speed. This, of course, made the cart sing with ferocity. “My wheel has said bye/ To me and I sigh/ Oh please do not fly/ Away from me I/ Have never yet lied/ So now I will try/ To yell that I NEED YOU!” I glanced up alarmed. She hadn’t rhymed! This was bad. She was all fallen over, and the magazine that I’d left in there was splayed on the ground and flapping in the wind. I quickly bent over the dumpster and grabbed my bag of snacks. Throwing it into the cart I yelled, “I’ll be back!” and raced down the hill after the runaway wheel. The wind was flying through my hair, what little there was, and my upper body was going faster than my stumbling feet. Nevertheless, I was determined to get that wheel. What possessed me, I’ll never know, but, somehow, I felt bad for that cart. I hadn’t been very nice, and she’d been cheerful the whole time. I’ll admit, I was a bad runner. I must have looked a fright running wildly down that hill. I just barely stopped before slamming into a tree at the bottom, arms flailing, and mouth gaping. I was Out. Of. Shape. A cat streaked past me. It plunged into the underbrush of the woods while I wondered where the wheel had gone. A moment later, it came back out, swatting the wheel which was half its size with its paws. It rolled the wheel to me, sat back, and meowed. Then it turned to lick its tail. That’s when I noticed the cat had a blackberry branch stuck to its short stub of a tail. I freed the cat and started the laborious climb back up the hill. It turned out, that the wheel was just a snap-on, and I had the cart fixed quickly. I pushed her in between the metal poles, being careful to avoid the loose piece of asphalt. “Remember the babies’ loud crying/ I sang to them while they were sighing/ But louder they cried for my trying/ and then my poor wheels felt like frying.” “Frying?” I asked, aware that I no longer disdained the cart. “Hey! It rhymed. Besides, that’s my celebration song.” I couldn’t help myself. I laughed. Somehow, this cart which was subject to the whims of the shoppers and her squeaky wheels could still be cheerful even thinking about sad things. I laughed so long, that my stomach hurt and my eyes were streaming tears. Shoppers walked by sending me strange glances, but I didn’t notice. Maybe, an adventurous day wasn’t so bad after all. I dried up my tears and picked up my bag of snacks. “I’ll come back to see you/ Then I’ll sing with you too.” The cart gasped. “You sing and you’re happy/ And you are not snappy/ I’ll wait on my part/ For you at Walmart.”

Don't forget to put what you thought about the story in the comments! Even if it's criticism ; )

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2 Comments


Guest
Feb 25, 2023

This is hilarious!

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Katie
Katie
Apr 03, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much! I'm sorry I missed this til now!

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