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…and leave off the last “S” for “stolen”?

August 24th, 2011 · 39 comments

Allie in Ypsilanti, Michigan was walking into her local Target store when she noticed this little art installation on the sidewalk outside. Granted, she says, “The closest Wal-Mart is about two miles away, and I have no idea how the cart got there either.”

The chalk artist had also drawn purple arrows across the parking lot in the direction of the Wal-Mart, and while Allie says she didn’t check to see if the chalk lines extended all the way to the store, “drawing the arrows but not taking the cart back would have been pretty P-A.”

Thi [sic] is from Wal-Mart. How did it get here?

Meanwhile, Michi spotted this piece of guerilla knitwork chained to a post near NYU. (“It was, on inspection, empty.”)


related: To whoever left this cart here — you are precisely what is wrong with America!

extra credit: Why Wal-Mart’s current business model is doomed [AdAge]

FILED UNDER: Michigan · retail hell · WTF?

39 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Carrie

    Must be a really nasty Wal-Mart if the carts run away from it….

    Aug 24, 2011 at 8:57 pm   rating: 35  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Sam

      It actually is. The one in Ypsi is basically in a poor mall: Taco Bell, check cashing place, Harbor Freight and possibly a furniture rental store.

      Aug 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   megan johnson

      there is NOT a check cashing place…but there IS a big lot.

      Aug 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   divaandwriter bang

      Our local Target has a perfect solution. Nobody can remove any of their shopping carts, because the wheels automatically lock if you try to push the cart out the front door of the store.

      Unfortunately, the fact that all those nice red shopping carts can’t leave the store doesn’t make it any easier to find one when you need one.

      Aug 25, 2011 at 10:45 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   bookworm

      The QFCs in my area do the same thing. Whenever I see the rare cart lying around, I can never help but picture people lifting and carrying it all that way.

      Aug 25, 2011 at 10:59 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   The Elf

      But how else would I get my bookshelf, 50lbs of cat litter, new tent, two pairs of jeans, a coffee maker, my favorite shampoo, a bulk pack of toilet paper, automatic transmission fluid, a selection of frozen dinners, the latest bestseller, and some random shit I saw at the register to the car if I couldn’t take the cart to the parking lot?

      Aug 25, 2011 at 11:47 am   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   eve42

      Really though? Do you have to bring a small army with just to help haul your items to your car? Maybe I’m from the other side of the moon, but I did not know that there were shopping carts designed to not leave the store. Truly curious here!

      Aug 28, 2011 at 12:56 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #1.7   RP

      There’s a Walgreens near me with carts whose wheels lock like that but only if you try to take them out of the parking lot. You can take them out of the store, you just can’t waltz down the street with them.

      Sep 1, 2011 at 9:54 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #2   Quite Contrary

    The cart looks like it’s from Sam’s first store in Bentonville, Arkansas after a particularly rough winter.

    Aug 24, 2011 at 8:59 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #3   syd

    The shadow has a weiner.

    Aug 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm   rating: 49  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   CrabbyRabbit

      LOL Yes. Yes it does. I wouldn’t have noticed it. :)

      Aug 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   JetJackson

      Weiner sounds small… that thing looks like a Choad!

      Aug 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   Adriana

      I’m hoping it’s a fanny pack. And I think that’s the first time in human history that anyone has said that.

      Aug 25, 2011 at 11:03 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #4   Abdul

    A missing “S”, or an extra “I”? dun dun dun

    Aug 24, 2011 at 9:35 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #5   HannahB

    I used to work for a Kohls and it was amazing the different shopping carts people would bring in. There was a home depot nearby and people kept bringing in one of those huge children carts they have there, it was so big it didn’t fit down the aisles. We kept getting rid of it but people still brought it in and complaining it was to big thinking it was ours.

    Aug 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

  • #6   pony girl bang

    A PANote writer who is a Talking Heads fan.

    Aug 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Jimmy James

      This used to be a Wal-Mart, now there’s nothing but flowers.

      Aug 25, 2011 at 8:48 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   The Elf

      Looks like the cart let the days go by, let the water hold it down.

      Aug 25, 2011 at 9:37 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   FeRD bang

      And the last lines of the chorus explain how that cart could be found 2 miles from its home: “Once in a lifetime, Water flowing underground.”

      That’s right, Harriet Tubman smuggled the cart to Target!

      Aug 26, 2011 at 6:04 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #7   Mrs.Beasley bang

    The cart looks as if it has seen better days. A little too rusty even for Wal-Mart to want it back. Ypsi does have some homeless folks, so maybe the cart has been living on the street for a while, too.

    Bottom line: Who cares how it got there? Suggest the chalk-bearer minds his/her own beeswax.

    Aug 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #8   havingfitz

    How did it get here? Well, when a mommy cart and a daddy cart love each other very much…

    Aug 25, 2011 at 12:23 am   rating: 34  small thumbs up

  • #9   Get on your bikes and ride bang

    Why so sure the chalk writer is referring to the shopping cart? I see an arrow pointed directly at a small poo-like piece of crud (or is it a Goober? Raisinet? Ken’s shoe?). In any case I’ve seen uglier things come from Walmart, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Aug 25, 2011 at 12:37 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #10   MD bang

    Let me just say, I am in full and unwavering support of question marks rendered as sperm.

    It just gives a whole new angle to interrogatives…

    Aug 25, 2011 at 5:19 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #11   MD bang

    Oh wait, wait up!

    I have to add that our local Michaels probably used a good half dozen jumbo tubs of chalk, and their entire front entrance sidewalk cement, to sketch down this gorgeous ‘Welcome to Michaels / Welcome to Summer / Step into Fun!’ kind of thing. It was actually so beautiful, I felt bad walking on it to get into the store.

    I also know that with the employment options we’ve had here the past few *decades*, it was certainly laid down by a person with at least one university degree.

    And I couldn’t help but step into that person on their knees, scribbling furiously, and thinking:

    “I get PAID to play with CHALK!”

    (*While Shaking and Crying with pure glee*)


    “I get PAID to play with CHALK!”

    (*Just Crying*)

    Aug 25, 2011 at 5:37 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #12   Beesus

    I am secretly hoping this is the first in a series of art installations.

    “This is a tree? HOW OLD IS THIS TREE?”

    “This is your mom. WHY IS SHE CRYING?”

    Aug 25, 2011 at 8:53 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #13   Jimmy James

    Maybe someone found it one mile from Wal-Mart (and one mile from Target) and thought they were returning it to the right place.

    Aug 25, 2011 at 8:56 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Preemptive "Cool Story, Bro"

      Whoops. Comment below was supposed to go here.

      Aug 25, 2011 at 9:31 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #14   Preemptive "Cool Story, Bro"

    I definitely did this once- I found a cart a block or so from my apartment , and I said to myself, “I’m walking to Safeway anyway, I’ll return this while I’m at it. I’m so considerate!” Then I got there and realized with a sinking feeling that it matched none of the carts in the parking lot. I was leaving town the next day, so I don’t know if he was accepted by his new family, (maybe they could think of him as an exchange student?) or if he was left outside and ostracized like the cart above.

    Aug 25, 2011 at 8:59 am   rating: 30  small thumbs up

  • #15   Wade bang

    And you may find yourself sitting in a Walmart rack
    And you may find yourself in another part of Ypsilanti
    And you may find yourself beside the wall of a large Target store
    And you may find yourself by a hideous sign, with purple chalk arrows
    And you may ask yourself-Well…How did I get here?

    Aug 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   pony girl

      *holds up lighter*

      Aug 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #16   We shall speak anon

    Ypsilanti is “Itnalispy” backwards.

    Aug 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #17   Benjamin

    I lived at apartment complex once a long time ago, that was near a grocery store. I’d often watch people literally pushing their carts up the hill back to their house, than they would leave the cart in the parking lot of the complex.

    This story reminded me of that…

    Aug 29, 2011 at 2:30 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #18   Noelegy

    Pretty sure that’s crochet, not knitting, on that second basket.

    Aug 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #19   Mae

    I think that cart must have been done by Agata Olek, I saw another installation she did on another website a year or so ago and looked her up:

    It’s worth checking out.

    Aug 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   RP

      I agree, the crazy camo colors make it look like one of hers…that also means that Noelegy is right and that this is crochet, not knitting.

      Sep 1, 2011 at 9:51 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #20   Rei

    I never actually wonder why carts are in weird places around where I live. We have a serious lack of public transportation and if you have no car and can’t afford a taxi it would honestly be the only logical choice if you had to carry a huge amount of groceries and couldn’t afford one of those collapsible carts. :/

    Aug 31, 2011 at 9:48 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   RP

      Not to mention those collapsible carts are hard to find if you can’t get one online. I was asking around on how to find one for a *year* before I found someone who actually bought their cart themselves and could tell me where to get one. Everyone else I talked to had gotten theirs as a gift or in a yard sale or something.

      Sep 1, 2011 at 9:46 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #21   Cris

    That is crocheted, not knit.

    Sep 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #22   Kate

    It had to be the Ypsi trolls….. that what we told the police when they came to tow the washtenaw golf club’s golfcart from our front yard …. 2 miles away :D

    Sep 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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