Writing

Shopping Cart Wipes

  • February 5, 2011

I love grocery shopping at Price Chopper. It’s not because they give me the lowest possible prices on commonly purchased items, or because they provide the best customer service. Heck, it’s not for any other reason other than the fact that they provide me with something other stores cannot… They provide much needed subtle entertainment.

While shopping there recently I noticed several changes. First, the pedestrian with hula hoop sign has been replaced with a boring generic No Parking sign. The latest fad at Price Chopper is disinfecting wipes that are provided for your convince (or inconvenience depending on your point of view) immediately once you enter through the automatic caution door. While I, having been involved in the medical field agree that at times disinfection is a very good idea for certain situations, I never could have ever imagined that it would make its way to the supermarket.

Personally, I think that they should worry more about keeping the store clean and their prices low than worrying about their shopping carts, which make several trips outside where they are shit on by birds, run through changing weather conditions, pushed around by homeless people picking soda bottles out of public trash receptacles, and so on. So all of this use that might have caused them to become unsanitary can quickly be corrected in seconds by simply wiping down the top handlebar part with a disinfecting wipe.

I think that this notion is just plain silly considering that the wipe is about the size of a grown man’s hand. Given the fact that there is limited disinfecting solution absorbed into one of these said wipes, it would take you several wipes and several minutes, for that matter, to completely disinfect one shopping cart. Of course, once the cart returns to its natural habitat, this process would need to be repeated once it came back into the store. All that wiping and disinfecting could amount to long lines of people with carts just waiting to get into the store!

If this sounds a bit excessive, if not completely ridiculous, it is. What they should really consider is moving the disinfecting wipe stand from the front door to right outside the restroom, where, in theory, one could watch and make sure that people who used the restroom wiped and disinfected their hands.

But let’s face it. Wipes are here to stay, like it or not. For example, while I was working at CHS Ambulance Services in Long Island and New York City, local hospitals were regimenting disinfecting patient beds and furniture using specially designed wipes that were the most elite and could not be found anywhere. Or so they tried to claim, perhaps to keep us from over-using or over-wiping.

So one day when my partner and I dropped off a patient at a local emergency room who suffered a broken ankle while working at a construction site, we put the patient in a wheel chair and set his foot up on a nearby chair. Moments after, he was taken to a waiting bed by a few nurses and wheeled away. My partner, whom we will not identify for the purposes of this article, then observed some janitorial people who had come along and placed the chair in a red biohazard bag and thrown it away.

My partner who found this to be amusing, told the guy about the wipes. She then commented that people’s naked asses sit on hospital beds day after day and nobody throws them out. And so the rest is history. No more are wipes limited to baby bottoms, they now wax our tables, disinfect our surfaces, clean our windshields, protect the finish on our automobiles, and now, make our shopping carts worthy of entry into our supermarkets.

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