A baby boomer’s supermarket driving test

A driving test… in a supermarket? Look, you know as well as we do, there are some from younger generations who wonder whether we can still drive at all. So Jerry Zezima, humor columnist for the Tribune News Service of Chicago, has come up with a driving test for baby boomers like none other. Reading it though, all we’re wondering is, would Jerry pass?

When you are my age (old enough to know better), your driving skills have probably diminished so much that you can barely operate the simplest of vehicles.

I refer, of course, to shopping carts.

Since I am the designated cart driver when I go grocery shopping with my wife, Sue, I have devised a test to help you safely navigate your local supermarket.

Jerry behind the… cart.

I came up with the idea when Sue and I went shopping recently and encountered so many rude, reckless and maddeningly clueless cart operators that they all should have been pulled over, given a hefty ticket and had their driver’s licenses suspended.

Good luck!


If you are in the produce aisle and are cut off by another cart driver who then goes at a snail’s pace, what should you do?

(a) Hit him with a cantaloupe.
(b) Pull out your cellphone and call 911.
(c) Leave your cart in the middle of the aisle and go home.

ANSWER: None of the above. Just stand there and fume. Or, better yet, forget the fruits and veggies and go to the next aisle. Who needs broccoli anyway?


Speaking of cellphones, should you text and drive in the supermarket?

ANSWER: Not unless your spouse isn’t with you and you need to call home every three minutes to ask where everything on your shopping list is.


Who drives worse, men or women?

ANSWER: Both can be pretty bad, but at least women know where they are going. That is why they are more likely to speed, weave in and out of traffic and create chaos in the frozen food section, where they often stop to get ice cream.

Men, for the most part, have absolutely no idea where they are going, what they are doing or why they are even in the supermarket, although most of them know instinctively where the beer is.


If you are the designated cart driver and you can’t keep up with your spouse on the way to the deli counter, or you have just been involved in a fender bender with a little old lady who is looking for prune juice, what should you do?

(a) Stand in the aisle and block traffic.
(b) Pull over to the side and block other shoppers from getting items you are standing in front of.
(c) Go immediately to the beer section.



What safety features are standard equipment in shopping carts?

ANSWER: None. Carts don’t have power steering, which makes them difficult to operate since they all have four wheels that go in different directions. Also, they don’t have backup cameras, which makes it difficult to see the cart that is parked right behind you.


Why aren’t there traffic cops in supermarkets?

ANSWER: Good question.


Why aren’t cart drivers required to have insurance?

ANSWER: Another good question.


Is parallel parking even possible in a supermarket?



What should you do if you are involved in an aisle rage incident?

ANSWER: See answer to Question 4.


When you are at the checkout counter, what should you do?

(a) Get in the express lane with more than the allotted 12 items.
(b) Realize you don’t have your debit card and struggle to find a pen so you can write a check.
(c) Take half an hour to bag your groceries.
(d) All of the above.



What should you do the next time you have to go to the supermarket?

ANSWER: Stay home and drink the beer you bought the last time you went shopping.

Copyright 2021 by Jerry Zezima


Jerry’s fifth book to make you laugh is “Every Day Is Saturday: Sleeping Late, Playing with the Grandchildren, Surviving the Quarantine, and Other Joys of Retirement.”

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