Had a bad day? Did someone tweak your last nerve? Is your boss a control freak? Did someone steal your purple magic marker? Are you sick and tired of being politically correct? Are you pent up? Youíve tried therapy, joined a gym, taken Yoga classes, done the aromatherapy, listened to relaxation tapes of waterfalls and chirping crickets, but nothingís worked. If this sounds like you, itís time to get on the bandwagon and join the thousands of women whoíve found a stimulating, fun, absolutely free way to release that pent-up anger and frustration without having to travel any further than the grocery store.
Remember what fun you had when you were a little kid at the fair, cruising around in a miniature bumper car, smashing your car into other kidsí cars? Wouldnít it be great to relive those happy memories? Well now you can, by joining the ranks of women whoíve taken up recreational grocery cart ramming.
"If Iím in a really foul mood and want to blow off steam, I jump into my car and head to the grocery store." says Julia, a serial bully. "I scope out the aisles looking for a mark. I look for someone who looks like sheís got a stick up her butt, someone with major attitude who pretends to be above the fray. But once you get Ďem going, theyíre hell on wheels. Then I goad her on: throw a douche product, a can of feminine hygiene spray, or some Preparation-H into her cart. Then I bump her cart. This is guaranteed to provoke her into a no- holds-barred-cart-clashing-contest. Instead of ramming her straight on with my cart, I T-boned her cart from the side. It was a blast."
According to the Fraternal Order of Grocery Cart Rammers, the grocery store is the perfect environment for relieving stress and releasing anger, since itís rife with aggressive, rude, intimidating behavior perpetrated by grocery cart bullies like Julia.
"Somebody needs to step up to the plate and go cart-to- cart with these people." says Zoe, a spokesperson for the organization.
"Just yesterday, in the frozen foods section, I had a run-in with a bully who sideswiped my cart." says Willow, a recreational grocery cart rammer. "Some people assume youíre a mark and that they can run roughshod over you. My motto is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. You have to stand your ground and give their cart a good hard shove. Which I did. Then she started imitating a horse---kicking up dirt with her foot . . . and braying." She laughs. "Can you imagine? She was egging me on at the Food-A-Rama. Most people will retreat when you ram their cart once." she explains. "But there are plenty of experienced cart rammers, like myself, who arenít easily intimidated. Weíre the in-your-face-with-my-cart-types who wonít hesitate to put some muscle into it and ram your cart with all weíve got. Then your opponent does the same, and before you know it a crowd gathers. Other shoppers are clapping and cheering: ĎRam-fest, Ram-fest, Ram-fest.í Some even take bets. Everybody enjoys a good cart fight. Itís cathartic."
"There is one caveat." she adds, "If the other shopper is built like a Sumo wrestler, or is bigger than you, itís best to retreat---unless you think you can take her. You win some. You lose some." she says, philosophically.
Like good sex, cart ramming is a great way to burn off calories, improve skin tone, get a great cardiovascular workout, and enjoy the rush of adrenalin and endorphins as you engage in cart-to-cart combat.
Not surprisingly, cart ramming can be addictive and often leads to the temptation to experiment with other equally aggressive, stress-reducing behaviors at the supermarket. Many cart rammers also enjoy produce hurling. Whether itís a bag of oranges, a bunch of broccoli, or an eggplant, once you get into the fruits and vegetables, youíre just a hop, skip, and a jump away from going hard core. The worst offenders will grab a melon or a cabbage and wing it at you full bore. "A pineapple is an excellent choice," says Dee, a member of Produce Throwers Anonymous, whose hair is pinned up and fanned out on top like a pineapple." because of its pointy, rough skin and tuft of tough pointed leaves at the top, it really packs a wallop."
"The coconut is the Cadillac of produce-hurling-fruits." says Barb, "Those suckers are rock hard." Barb speaks from experience having suffered several concussions after being hit on the head, one too many times by flying coconuts.
"If youíre into coconuts," she says, "get a good helmet."
"My favorite produce projectile is a cabbage." says Crystal, who was busted by the Produce Police, and who is now doing twelve weeks of community service educating consumers on the pros and cons of cabbage munching.
"Pro: If thereís someone in your life youíd like to cut loose, I recommend munching on a cabbage. As far as high-octane fumes go, you canít beat a cabbage. Your colon will shift into high gear, the end result being, gas that smells like rotten eggs. The stench is so foul, youíll smell like Pigpen, the Charlie Brown character who walks around puffing out sulfur fumes. Con: Never, ever eat cabbage before going on a hot date. You want your date to think your hot---not your colon."
But for some, neither cart ramming nor produce flinging takes the edge off. These are the hard core peeps who troll the frozen meat section in search of the perfect frozen turkey, chicken, or ham. "Honey, you havenít lived until youíve hurled a fifteen-pound-Butterball at someone whose tweaked your last nerve." says Roxanne.
"Throwing a melon is for lightweights." says Stella, another frozen-meat-aficionado. "Once youíve escalated to frozen meats, youíre running with the big dogs. But few people are scrappy enough to cut the mustard in frozen meats." says Rochelle.
"You need a damn good arm," says Stella, "and to be able to run like hell."