Right of Way

Remember to always stay on the right side of the road. It’s a good idea to make sure your visible, reflectors aren’t required but they don’t hurt either. Keep in mind to always give warnings before turns. Lastly when navigation in the wine isle, keep her steady. Any veering here could be very costly.

There are lots of rules in on the roads and it seems to me, with the time we spend educating people on how to drive on the concrete and asphalt, little is spent on how to drive on the tile and lamanated wood of the supermarket. I’m here, as always, to help you with all your questions. I’m going to do my best to provide a quick primer for the proper etiquette in the supermarket isles.

First off is simple right of way. The cart is king in the supermarket. This wheeled wire menace is both your best friend and worst enemy in the supermarket. Without it the trip would be near impossible, and you would be stuck carrying all those goods by yourself. With it you are a lumbering idiot, being pulled left and right according to its fitful whims. Remember if your cart is behaving properly, right of way goes to the person currently simulating the Exxon Valdez. No one wants to be party to a log cabin spill on isle eight.

When turning remember to either make eye contact or noise. I find that a running prattle of talking is a great advantage in the supermarket. It is essential people know where you are. I’m much more aware of the mother with the screaming child than the quiet well dress gentleman smelling tomatoes.

Always look behind you before backing up after selecting a product from the shelf. I cannot relay the number of embarrassing bumps because of not looking first. No one will listen to your side after you've knocked some poor soul into the soup can pyramid.

The produce isle is near impossible to navigate. I've seen more accidents and angry people in produce than in any other section of the supermarket. My advice is simple, skip it. Buy either canned or frozen produce. If your lucky enough to have a willing accomplice that will get your produce for you, don't brag to the rest of us.

If you’re brave enough you can chose the basket. Baskets have zero right of way. As such they must do their best to maneuver around the carts. The basket is the motorcycle of the supermarket. I find the basket great for weaving past the two cart pileups, label readers, deli talkers, frozen food window foggers and sauce gazers. It also is good for someone like me who is goes from isle ten to isle one and then back to isle eleven. The cart is no asset for the less than systematic approach to the supermarket.

Once at the checkout there are a number of simple rules to follow. Stay with you food. No one likes the wandering shopper. Or worse the ‘I forgot to get a can of tuna on the back isle and will be back after making everyone wait’ shopper. Use the dividers. I don’t want your smelly soap or organic peas on my bill. Your child can play later. You should work the ATM machine, not your nine-year-old.

That's pretty much it. The mysteries of the supermarket should be less daunting for you now. See, wth a few simple rules we can all get along in the isle.

My suggestion box is always open. Any pointers I might have missed?


J Crew said...

I firmly believe that these rules should be on the door of each supermarket. I would only add that I think on purpose the carts are made with that one wheel that doesn't quite roll smoothly. I think what they do is when they are finished in production and rolling fine that they then take a 6-10 pound sledge and hit one of the wheels until slightly bent and then they ship it to your supermarket.

Anomie-Atlanta said...

I was at the Asian Market yesterday and encountered the worst traffic snarl I've seen since Hong Kong in the produce isle. Perhaps, people drive carts much as they drive cars?

kludge said...

JCrew -

I think your right! I cannot recall the last time I got a cart at the market that rolled smoothly!

kludge said...


I agree, no changes just because they went indoors.

Additionaly people get very uptight about produce. I believe that folks think that there is only ONE good piece of fruit and if they don't fight for it, they will be munching brusied mangosteen.

Ando said...

In police SWAT teams they have a rule that where ever your eyes go, the barrell of your gun must also go. No looking over here, while pointing your MP-5 over there. I believe a similar rule needs to be implemented in grocery stores. You look where the cart looks. There's nothing worse than being hit in the achilles tendon by some absent minded shopper who continued to roll forward while looking for a can of deviled ham on the top shelf.

kludge said...


An excellent rule. I 'm soo with you!

I think if you brough your MP-5 you might also get this point across!

Ando said...

Done and done.

Brian said...

These are some of the reasons I hate going to our local store...and the fact that it is a Wal-Mart makes it worse. If i do have to venture into this abyss of shopping it is best to do it late, as close to closing as possible, this way you can avoid the traffic.

kludge said...


I'm sorry...

Walmart takes this whole experience and mutilplies it by a factor of 10. I have zero tips for you... beside possibly online shopping?

Brendan said...

There you go, making another smelly soap crack... what did it ever do to you?!

Also, Also, I think I'm going through some withdrawels over the recent lack of embarassing story posts... :-)

kludge said...


I noticed this morning that the soap in my master bathroom is a mositurizing smelly soap! of all the nerve!

What has been happening with the embarassing posts?! The well isn't dry, I've just missed them.

I'll be posting one this weekend. No Really!!

SJ said...

These rules are so true - and yes, Wal-Mart does take it to a whole different level! As my uncle used to say, those people who shop on Saturday mornings at Wal-Mart are the people who don't get to town often. Hence the reason to avoid it - they don't have the cart driving skills down to an art.

Nothing drives me nuts more than those who won't use the dividers and those who remember one thing they have to run to get while you are standing there waiting for them to get that last thing.

Great thoughts Kludge

Jason said...

The shopping cart rules are excellent. You should publish a British version. Where everybody trolls along on the 'left' side of the aisles in their 'trolleys'. . .as they're called there.

kludge said...


Thanks for stopping by and thanks for this new useless fact for my ever expanding repository. Trolley.

BTW I always enjoy reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

You missed a rule - The shopping cart is not intended as a weapon and should not be used to batter the ankles of the person in front of you. I have had several people creep up my ankles with their cart. I actually had a full out war in line one time where the woman kept not-so-gently nudging me with her cart while I was wiaitng for my items to be rung up. Slowly..I was ending up in the aisle. So I started pushing back. This went on until my bags were securely in arms - I did not have a cart as I am strictly a basket carrier.

kludge said...

Great Rule!

Your right I should I though of that one!

Thanks for stopping by...whoever you are! :)