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  • This seems like the best word for describing those people whose job it is to drive shopping carts back into stores from parking lots. (See also cowpoke. Another possibility is cartpunch.) This thought made me, for the first time in my life, want to make a short film.

    July 30, 2009

  • Oh, you must document the life of the cartpoke, chained. It's crying out for a place in history.

    July 30, 2009

  • I mean, think about the cartpokes in their little Target baseball caps and reflective vests, driving the carts down the trail, far behind a golf-cart-driving guy named "Cookie" who drives ahead every morning to find a good camping spot and cooks beans. They cartpokes use cattle dogs to help keep the stragglers in line. Maybe they ride Segways. The carts cross rivers, and when they get nervous, like before thunderstorms, they could stampede. The carts lose some weight on the trail, so they have to be fattened up before sale, or they turn into hand-baskets, which bring a lower price.

    July 30, 2009

  • Clearly, you've given this a lot of thought.

    July 30, 2009

  • Instead of lowing, the carts could squeak their wheels. Some of them could get angsty and rear up on their hind wheels. ... Do you think the cartpokes would sing to the carts to calm them? And fire their barcode-scanner guns in the air as they ride into town behind the herd?

    July 30, 2009

  • Sure they would. They'd pick up their old guitars, or maybe mandolins, and lull them to sleep with old chestnuts like this one:

    A cartpoke's life is a dreary, dreary life;

    Some say it's free from care.

    Rounding up the shopping carts from morning till night,

    In the middle of the parking lot so bare.

    Half past four the noisy cook will roar,

    "Whoop a whoop a hey!"

    Slowly you will rise with sleepy feeling eyes,

    The sweet, dreamy night passed way.

    The cartpoke's life is a drear, dreary life;

    He's driven through heat and cold.

    While the rich man's sleeping on his velvet couch,

    Dreaming of his silver and gold.

    The cartpoke's life is a dreary, dreary life;

    He's riding through the heat and cold

    I used to run about now I stay home,

    So I guess I'm getting old.

    July 30, 2009

  • Ooh, nice. Maybe harmonicas too!

    I would change "prairie" to "parking lot," though.

    July 30, 2009

  • Last time I heard (which was about 2001, frankly, because a dude drove a convoy of trolleys into my scooter and I went to report it to the shopping centre management) a cartpoke was referred to around these parts as a trolley return service operator.

    July 30, 2009

  • ... see? Cartpoke or cartpunch is way pithier.

    Dude shoulda gotten him some cattle dogs.

    July 30, 2009

  • *plays harmonica softly*

    Parking lot it is.

    July 30, 2009

  • Cartle dogs, surely.

    July 31, 2009

  • Of course. Cartle dogs it is.

    July 31, 2009

  • An elderly cart, with one bad wheel, would just roll in circles. The corners of a faded sales flier in his belly flip up and down in the breeze.

    August 1, 2009

  • I found a real-life story of a cartpoke! See a retail catastrophe of Biblical proportions.

    August 17, 2009

  • I'm sooooo adding this to my cattle list.

    July 20, 2011