The Very Best Walmart Cart Ever (A True Story)

I went grocery shopping at Walmart a few days ago. Going to Walmart is always an adventure, usually not a good one. I get “Walmarted” a lot. Are you familiar with that term? To put it simply, to get “Walmarted” means the very item you went to purchase at Walmart is out of stock. It happens to me often.

But oh, blessed day, this is not one of those stories! Instead, this is was a joyous event. A moment to be treasured.

Bad Walmart shopping carts

In my experience, Walmart shopping carts are terrible 90% of the time. Or, maybe, it’s my own bad luck that dooms me every time I shop there. I try to mix it up, never getting a cart from the same spot to reduce my chances of getting the WORST SHOPPING CART in the land. Alas! My brilliant plan rarely works. I inevitably end up with the cart with one wonky wheel.

You know the cart I’m talking about. It has the one wheel that doesn’t reach the ground. It spins around randomly while the other three wheels try to pick up the slack. And then when you finally have some level of control over the three-wheeled cart, the wonky wheel decides to finally touch the ground, but it deviously decides to go the opposite direction of the other three wheels. Chaos ensues. That is my typical Walmart experience.

The blessed Walmart shopping cart

This recent trip was different. On this trip, I was blessed beyond measure. As I tend to do, I parked close to a cart receptacle but decided to wait until I was in the store to select my cart. As I entered the first set of automatic doors and headed towards the carts, an elderly gentlemen pushed a cart towards me. He then uttered a few, simple words that changed my life. (That’s probably hyperbole, but it’s a pretty big deal.)

“Here you go, young man. This is the best cart I’ve ever used.”

I thanked him and took the cart and pushed it through the second set of automatic doors. I noticed a difference immediately. It felt like I was floating above the clouds; gliding with a grace and elegance heretofore denied me during any previous Walmart visit in my life. As God as my witness, it was a magical and transcendent moment.

The rest of my shopping trip is a blur. I was in a daze or pure and unbridled contentment. Never before have I felt this way at Walmart. It was glorious. I finished with my shopping list, paid for my items, and exited the store. After unloading my groceries into my vehicle, I walked my cart to the receptacle like a decent human being. (If you leave your shopping cart in parking spaces, in the middle of the parking lot, or anywhere other than the specified areas, you are the literal worst, and we all loathe you.)

It was then I saw a young couple getting out of their vehicle and steeling their hearts for the coming horrors of Walmart. Suddenly the famous words of Uncle Ben Parker (Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s uncle) resonated in my heart and soul. “With great power comes great responsibility.” I was duty bound to follow in the footsteps of the elderly man who graciously gifted me the greatest shopping cart of all time.

I hesitantly approached the couple and asked them if they needed a cart. I added, and this is a direct quote, “I don’t want to oversell it, but this is the best shopping cart I have ever used.” They looked at me just as you would expect, like I was a little crazy, though they did seem amused by my passion. They thanked me for the cart and headed towards the store.

I returned to my vehicle and silently hoped they would continue the legacy by personally gifting that shopping cart to a fellow shopper. It was too good of a cart to simply return to the bin. It would be cruel and wrong to hide this particular light under a bushel. In my mind, I imagine that this cart, from time immemorial, has been shared from one shopper to another, blessings flowing down upon each and every one.

If I were a preacher, this would make a fantastic sermon illustration. I am not a preacher so I will leave it open to interpretation. I will only say, ponder these words. This is the way, walk in it.

Phill Lytle
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Phill Lytle

Phill Lytle loves Jesus, his wife, his kids, his family, his friends, his church, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, 80s rock, the Tennessee Titans, Brandon Sanderson books, Whiteheart, Band of Brothers, Thai food, the Nashville Predators, music, books, movies, TV, writing, pizza, vacation...

5 thoughts on “The Very Best Walmart Cart Ever (A True Story)

  • July 26, 2023 at 11:49 am

    I would add that the absolute worst is when a wheel sticks like it has an invisible brake on it!

    • July 26, 2023 at 12:21 pm


  • July 26, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    This was a riveting and entertaining story. At first I thought you were going to tell about the grocery carts in Maplewood in the mid 1990s. Thanks for brightening my day!

    • July 26, 2023 at 2:27 pm

      I will save that particular story for another day. I’m not sure I’m ready to relive that trauma!

  • July 28, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    When I was 16 I started working part time at my local A&P store. I took out groceries for customers and returned the cart inside. We of had the “bad” cart problem. I often was saddled with the “woogity-woogity” wheeled cart. Time changes nothing it seems! I enjoy the lessons learned in these articles!


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