I went to the grocery store yesterday. (Golf clap, please... I really dislike going grocery shopping by myself).
It was during the peak time of the day for shopping, right after work, so the store was the floor of the NYSE, all vying over the same grocery stock.
Now I've studied Thomistic philosophy, at length, and I know that an inanimate object does not and cannot have a will. But Thomas never met a grocery cart with a wonky wheel before. There is no pushing them around; they will dictate precisely where you can and cannot go. In this case, there would be nothing but right turns during this shopping experience.
I wanted to put the danged thing back, but the herd was ushering me along and there was no place for a legal U-Turn. So I made peace with the cart, charted out a course through the store that would only take right turns, and turned my attention to finding a banana left without black spots. Slim pickins, but I waded through the fruit flies and troop of customers who had morphed into banana-loving-monkeys and managed to get a just-ripe bunch, then moved on to the onions.
When there are that many people in a store, you have to leave your cart in a semi-clear zone (in front of the tofu display), shimmy down an aisle, grab what you need and beeline back to the mother ship. So on my quest for Portabella mushrooms, that's what I did.
The rest of the trip was harried but mostly uneventful, until I examined my cart and noticed there were only three bananas in there!! WHO in this herd of miscreants had the AUDACITY to steal my just-ripe bananas OUT OF MY CART?!!
I tsk tsked, shook my head, prayed for the state of this sorry world, and headed back to the bananas. But there was something red in my cart.
When I have a garden teeming with them, why on earth would I have bought tomatoes??
And pears?? They're not in season, yet. They'd be little flavorless chunks of cardboard this time of year.
Just then I turned my cart left; I had broken the will of that wheel... but no!!! Instantaneously it hit me like a paparazzi flash. I felt the proverbial sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I had stolen someone else's cart.
Sure enough, there parked in front of the lonely tofu, was my cart with a beautiful bunch of bananas, untouched.
I learned something important from this epicurean episode.
If you think you've tamed a wild grocery cart... you've got the wrong one.