Brooksville, VT – Breaking the calm of a late fall afternoon, Jordan McTownish left his shopping cart smack in the middle of the local Phil’s Organics parking lot.
The slowly lilting cart was narrowly missed by a backing-out blue Toyota Prius, and then careened slowly into a parked neon green Toyota Prius.
“Sure, it’s annoying that the cart was left out,” mused shopper Francine Dawson, as she loaded organic squash into the trunk of her fire-engine red Prius. “But look – the shopping cart return is only thirty five feet away. It must have been an emergency.”
“I hope his mom is okay,” said Georgia Halpern, rolling down the window of her puce-and-hot-pink-striped Prius as she pulled up, munching on an organic bar of raw oats, whole almonds, and live fungus. “Or maybe his house was on fire and he had to try to save his pet hamster. What if…what if his child stuck a hand in the sink disposal? Oooh,” she shivered.
“If I had to guess, he probably remembered that he left a bonfire going in his backyard, right next to where he stores the extra tanks of propane for his barbecue, the stack of fireworks for New Years, and the IKEA bins of extra plastic explosive for his backyard Navy SEAL training course,” conjectured local landscape architect and Prius collector Hank Coulter, as he finished his weekly soymilk run.
Town Sheriff Sam Smith disagreed, stepping out of his police cruiser Prius V and spitting out the piece of tree bark he was chewing in order to tell the small crowd that had now gathered: “I bet his garden’s retainin’ wall collapsed, and his gosh-dern rhododendron bushes were crushin’ his petunias. Not to mention, the pond would have gone, too, flooded his garage - which is prob’ly full of loose-leaf hundred-dollar bills and a Gutenberg bible – and then dried up, so it was no longer cooling the nucular reactor he maybe has in his side yard.”
After a bit, a local Good Samaritan pushed the cart in the direction of the return pen, but it bounced off a coquelicot Prius and came to rest against a camouflage-patterned Prius C.