If This Woman Can Return Her Cart, The Rest Of Us Need To Do Better

by Christine Organ
Originally Published: 
LEFT: Walmart/Facebook; RIGHT: YouTube

Not all heroes wear capes, folks.

Sometimes they walk around among us mortals doing amazing and heroic things, like returning their damn grocery cart during the middle of an epic rainstorm.

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Thanks to a viral video, we all can appreciate the valiant efforts of Sue Johnson, the elderly woman who braved a freaking monsoon to return her cart after shopping at Walmart in West Virginia.

The retail giant was so impressed that they gave her the title of “A Walmart Legend” and awarded her with online grocery pickup once a week for a full year.

But like a true hero, Johnson was quick to dismiss her valiant efforts, saying “All I did was the right thing. I mean I didn’t do anything special except I got wet.”

And truth be told, she’s right. Returning your grocery cart is Human Decency 101. It’s kind of the bare minimum of not being an asshole.

Circle up, friends. It’s time for some real talk.

These are tough times, I know, and life is confusing as hell. Does the toilet paper go over or under? How does one pronounce the word bougie? Are plastic straws the devil or NBD? I can’t keep up anymore.

But one thing is certain. The tried and true rule of “don’t be an asshole” still holds true. It’s been around for damn near centuries. In fact, I think the golden rule of “do to others as you’d want done to you” was originally written as “don’t be a dick.”

I had always assumed the “don’t be an asshole” standard was well understood to include the unwritten rule to return your shopping cart. But nope. Turns out I was wrong. Because there are swaths of people — large swaths, I tell you — who think returning a cart is optional at best. How is this even a debate?

And what’s worse? Some people use their kids as the excuse.

Look. Being a parent doesn’t give you an excuse to act like an entitled asshole. Of course, we all deserve a little grace now and then, but parenthood doesn’t give us free pass to be punks. We aren’t allowed to ignore rules of common decency just because we’re trying to raise tiny humans.

(And please save me the it’s-unsafe-to-leave-your-kids-in-the-car-for-10-seconds argument, because it’s far more dangerous to drive to the grocery store than it is to leave your kids in a locked car in your line of sight for a few seconds. SECONDS.)

Since there seems to be some confusion, let’s break it down:

You’re with a crying baby and a tantruming toddler? Buckle them into their carseats, lock the car (or carry them with you), and return the cart.

Feeling kinda lazy? Park close to the corral, and return the cart.

Caught in the middle of a torrential rainstorm? Pull a Sue Johnson and return. the. cart.

Of course, there are some exceptions, but these are pretty well known. People with disabilities get a pass. If you’re in imminent danger, by all means, leave the cart and GTFO of there. And if it’s the Zombie Apocalypse, all rules go out the window.

But it’s just a cart, what’s the big deal?, some people say. Well, aside from the fact that it creates driving hazards and causes damage to other cars, it also sets a bad example for our kids by demonstrating poor manners.

Folks, COME ON. This isn’t complicated.

Return. Your. Damn. Cart. Be like Sue Johnson!

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