Survival of The Fittest Shopper
©Lisa Barker

It happens all the time.  People speed and chat on the phone while they eat lunch—all behind the wheel.  They have no problem multi-tasking in the car.  But put them behind a shopping cart at Walmart and these same people can’t walk and browse at the same time.

You can see the drool dangling off their chins and the vacant look in their eyes and you’re stuck behind them as they feebly try to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other.

Oh, I love shopping in a packed store.  My rear end must look like a shopping cart receptacle because people repeatedly try to park theirs in it.  It must be an unwritten rule that states that fellow shoppers who stop to look at merchandise are targets.

And it’s not like I stopped suddenly or that I’m being rammed forcibly from behind.  I’m reading birthday cards and the next thing I know I’m being sodomized.  The corner of a shopping cart is pressed against me even though I’m standing to the side while there is this whole aisle this other shopper could use to get around me.

But, no, she’s looking at the same merchandise as if she can see right through me and continues to push her way to it.  At this point I can either start climbing the card racks or ask her kindly if she would like to remove her cart from my derriere.  I get that vacant look again.

What, am I shopping with the undead?

People who defy Darwin’s theory of evolution surround me.  They are neither stronger nor brighter than a cumquat and probably couldn’t cause any harm on their own, but once they group together, look out.

I am the fourth person in line at one of the crowded registers.  I’ve waited patiently for twenty minutes.  Suddenly there is a woman with five kids standing beside me edging closer to the front of my cart.  She refuses to look at me as if by not seeing me she’s doing no wrong.

Next, her kids start grabbing at candy and gum and she tries to use that to further claim a place ahead of me in line, little by little pressing ahead until I finally block her by shoving my cart directly into the man ahead of me.

I don’t know what planet she’s from, but here on earth line jumping is a universal no-no.  She slowly wanders back to the end of the line and I clamp down on my tongue before mocking her feigned mental disability.

Hey, I’ve got a screaming kid on my left and right and neither belongs to me.  I want out of there.

Jelly Mom™ is written by Lisa Barker, author of “Just Because Your Kids Drive You Insane…Doesn’t Mean You Are A Bad Parent!” and syndicated through Martin-Ola Press/Parent To Parent. To publish Jelly Mom, buy the book or leave comments, please visit

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