I have seen the future… delicious and expensive



    I’m not at liberty to tell you where I’ve been the past few days, but I was able to smuggle out a few photos. In the top one is the pancake-making robot whose job it was to follow me around all day, providing me sustenance. And, in the bottom, is a small device that I encountered at a grocery store… Have you ever gone to grab a shopping cart, and thought, either, “This is way too easy,” or, “If only there were a place to store this quarter in my pocket until I’m done shopping?” Well, guess what? There’s now a solution – a little tiny box, welded to each shopping cart, with a convenient quarter-holder. And, to encourage people who, perhaps, don’t immediately see the value, they even made it mandatory! How cool is that?

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      1. tom mast
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        New Jersey?

      2. Posted October 5, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Was that at Aldi’s? My first year of law school (1994, gulp), I went to a store I had never heard of before (this was in WI, btw) called Aldi’s. I kept trying to pull a cart from the row of carts and it wouldn’t come out. Finally, some nice derelict guy told me that you had to put a quarter in but, he added conspiratorially, you got the quarter back if you returned the cart. I had fathomed stealing a shopping cart but apparently it was a thing so I put my quarter in and got my cart. True to the nice man’s word, the quarter was returned to me when I dutifully reracked the cart. ‘merica

      3. Elviscostello
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        How was the pancake? Looks a little dry. I love pancakes cooked on a griddle, with oil or butter, so the edges get really crispy.

      4. Jcp2
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 4:23 am | Permalink

        Those have been around for decades in Canada. It is supposed to encourage cart return to the cart corrals.

      5. wobblie
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

        The Kroger’s on Plymouth has radio controlled brakes. If you leave the parking lot with the cart, the front wheels lock up so you can’t push it back to the viaduct your camped under.

      6. Eel
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        I love being alive to see all of these advancements. Fuck jet packs. This is better.

      7. Posted October 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Yup. New Jersey. A little town called Newton… A close friend’s mother passed away after a 10+ year struggle with dementia, and I flew out for a couple of days to help out, attend the service, visit with old friends, drive by all of the places I still remember, etc. (I lived for about 10 years in New Jersey, after my family moved up from Atlanta in the late 70’s.)

        The coin-operated shopping carts were at a store called Shop Rite, right across the street from the Holiday Inn where I was introduced to the pancake robot. I was really puzzled by them.

        I may write more about the trip later. I’m still trying to process everything. And, to be honest, I don’t know if it’s the kind of stuff that I want to share. There are a lot of emotions wrapped up in revisiting your hometown after a few decades, and a lot of them, I’m thinking, should probably stay private.

      8. Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Can’t you just make stuff up?

      9. Idea Man
        Posted October 7, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        What you need is a coin-operated shopping cart that dispenses pancakes.

      10. Lynne
        Posted October 7, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        I admit it. I am the sort of person who leaves my cart out in the parking lot. That Save-a-Lot, or whatever it is, on Washtenaw has these kind of carts. I pay the quarter to get a cart but it is not worth a quarter to me to return the cart so I leave it in the lot. I figure someone else can get the quarter if they want it.

        Now a pancake machine. Well that is amazing!

      11. double anonymous
        Posted October 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Because of the Republican shutdown, all research on automated breakfast food robotics has been suspended.

      12. tom mast
        Posted October 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        My Mom is from Newton. And we used to spend time in the summer there.

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