Friday, July 22, 2011

Shopping Carts and The Coming Zombie Apocalypse

I know what your thinking. "What do shopping carts (or buggies, if your from the South) have to do with the coming Zombie apocalypse?" Others might be thinking, "What Zombie apocalypse?" My answer to this is: "What? have you been living under a rock? Come on, we all know it's on the way."

Okay. Enough of that. I don't want you to think I'm crazy. But, when the Zombie apocalypse does arrive, you'll realize I'm crazy like a fox because I'll be prepared with this valuable shopping cart survival knowledge.

First, a little history ...

The shopping cart had a very humble beginning way back in 1937. when Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain, was thinking of ways to get his customers to buy more groceries. He had an epiphany while looking at a folding wooden chair and, shazam, the first shopping cart was invented.

The shopping cart did not catch on right away. Women did not like it because it reminded them of a baby carriage. Men simply would not use it because it made them feel, "effeminate." It wasn't until the mid-1940's that the shopping cart caught on. And, by the mid-1950's people were already stealing them and finding ways to strap their children inside of them while they shopped.

It did not take long for the shopping cart to become part of Americana with pictures of mothers pushing their child around in a grocery store, seemingly going about their wifely duties with zealous joy. Remember, this was before the women's rights movement. Nowadays, the man pushes the cart while his wife simply walks alongside, removing his testicles from her purse and waving them in front of him once in awhile to keep him moving. Many European countries thwarted shopping cart theft by making people pay for temporary use. I remember paying for the use of a shopping cart at the local Herties store while living in Germany. The cart rental was one deutchmark, the cart was smaller than its American counterpart, and all four wheels swiveled, making it difficult to maneuver around the store, or play shopping cart demolition derby in the parking lot. (Not that I ever did anything like that. Sorry about your bicycle, John.)


I feel sorry for Europeans because, when the Zombie apocalypse comes, they'll all be at a disadvantage with their puny free-wheeling carts. Especially if those desiring the use of a cart must leave a deposit. I mean, who's gonna have loose change rattling around in their pocket during the Zombie apocalypse?

That's where we Americans are going to have the advantage. Our shopping carts are huge and, even though most have an engineered weight limit of one hundred-fifty pounds, I've seen carts withstand much more then that at my local Wal-Mart store. And then there's the motorized shopping carts. You just know those things can withstand some serious weight. I've seen people riding around on those, I swear were exceeding the structural limitations of the two-foot thick cement floor.

Survival Usage

Again, I know what your thinking. I'm tellin' ya'. I'm like a freakin' fortune teller! but seriously, You're probably wondering how, exactly, the common shopping cart is going to ensure your survival during the Zombie apocalypse.

I believe the shopping cart will be indispensable during the coming invasion. First and foremost, when Zombies have invaded your home, and you are forced to flee into urbania to live on the streets, the shopping cart can  carry most of your worldly belongings.

Tired of pushing that cart all over town, while doing your best to stay just a step ahead of the Zombie horde? (Yeah, it's a good thing Zombies don't move real fast, at least the one's in the movies.)

With just a few simple modifications, your cart can become a fast means of transportation. How fast you say? As fast as you can peddle. Be cautioned, this invention still has a few bugs, namely turning or steering of any kind.

With a simple search on the Internet and a few items taken from, the now abandoned, hardware store, your shopping cart can also become a means of shelter and warmth. The picture on the right shows just how easy it is to turn your shopping cart into a luxury abode, able to house all your belongings; and maybe a family of four, as long as you huddle inside real tight. Just remember, Zombies are stupid, and if you hide inside your enclosed shopping cart for the night, they probably will not know you are there. Don't hold me to that last statement as it has not been thoroughly tested using real Zombies at this time.

And that's not all. Can't find a cooking grid to cook your survival food? Just tip your shopping cart over and, viola, you have a grill. Caution: Picture shows shopping cart cooking use, pre-Zombie apocalypse. Do not cook meat in the open after the Zombie apocalypse because everyone knows that raw meat, and especially the smell of cooking brains, attracts Zombies.

What's the point?

What's the point of this post, you might ask? Well, first and foremost, I hope you decide, through this post, to get your shopping cart now. They are readily available and easy to throw into the back of your truck. Don't have a truck? That's okay. The sturdy metal or plastic shopping cart is easily tied to a car, or even a bicycle, for transport back to your Zombie-proof lair.

Oh, and one more thing. All the aforementioned advice is for those fortunate enough to live in an urban area during the coming Zombie apocalypse. Mostly, because shopping carts don't roll too good on the dirt. Those of us unfortunate enough to live in suburbia, or even the country, will have to rely on our stockpile of guns, four-wheel trucks, and our seemingly endless supply of canned boiled peanuts.

Good luck urbanites. I hope you're prepared. I know I am.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Author Interview: L.K. Watts

Today I would like to highlight a new author on the scene. Laura Watts is the author of the wonderful book: Confessions of a Backpacker: My Adventure Down Under. Laura wrote a kind of travelling memoir of her time living and working in Australia. It's a good read, funny, poignant, and even heart wrenching at times. Here's a few questions Laura answered so we can all get to know her a little better:

1. When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
When my travelling days were over and I decided I wanted to write a book about my experiences. It was only as I began to write that I realised how much I actually enjoyed the process, and decided to write other books.
2. Is this the only job you’ve had?
I wish it was! I’ve done quite a few things from working in a psychiatric ward to working in pubs. My favourite job other than this has been working in a library.
3. Have other work experiences made you more determined to follow a writing career?
Definitely. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as working for yourself. You’re the one in control; you don’t have to answer to anyone else. That’s the best bit.
4. What genre do you write?

At the moment I am currently writing a memoir about my days travelling Canada. My first book is also a memoir about travelling Australia and New Zealand.
5. Have you written under more than one genre?

No, not yet but I plan to do so. After my current book I want to take a break from writing so I can spend more time reading different kinds of books to decide what genre I want to write in next.
6. Where do you get your inspiration for writing?
Everywhere! I have a very active imagination which is the best thing to have while writing, but it can be frustrating when I want to switch off my brain to go to sleep. As for getting inspiration for my first books, I kept a detailed diary of both travelling accounts.
7. Do you ever dream of your next book?

I don’t think I ever sleep enough to dream! Sometimes I’ll have dreams, which will inspire stories to go into my next book, but I don’t ever dream about the actual book.
8. Describe the highlight of your writing career.

Definitely selling books on Amazon. That has been fantastic.
9. Have there ever been moments where you’ve wanted to give up?

Absolutely not. This has been one of best things to ever happen to me. I am not giving up on it at all.
10. What’s been the worst thing to happen to you regarding your writing?

I think the stress of having to constantly market, it’s never ending. I didn’t realise at the time when I was writing how much work I would have to do after releasing the book.
11. Have you always believed in yourself, or have you let negative comments get you down?

I take no notice of nasty comments if they are just meant to be spiteful. Constructive criticism is another matter entirely, I can listen to that no problem because I can learn from past mistakes.
12. Who is the author you’d most like to be and why?

I like being me, even if I don’t sell millions of books. I’m very proud of my achievement. I didn’t know at first whether I would come this far.
13. Can you name the drawbacks to being a writer?

Definitely! The lack of time for doing anything else with your life.
That’s why if you want to become a writer you must enjoy it because you don’t have a lot of time for anything else. That’s a major downside if you have a family.
14. What’s your typical writing day?

Well, I usually work a 6-7 day week. I’m always doing something. Most of the time I write in the mornings and then spend the rest of the afternoon marketing. I sometime work at night too, depending on what I am doing. Sometimes I’ll market for the whole of the day, other days I’ll spend mostly writing. It’s pretty full on.
15. What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?

You’ll have to read my first book to find that one out!
16. What do you do when you finish writing a book?

Have a glass of wine to celebrate, and try to have a day to myself to relax a bit. Then it’s straight on to my next book.
17. Do you hire an editor or do you do that job yourself?

I hire a professional editor, I wouldn’t want to publish anything if it wasn’t edited to a high standard. It can be a costly process but I believe every penny is worth it in the long run.
18. What do you do when you receive criticism of your work?

Take it on board if it’s constructive. Otherwise, if it’s nasty I just ignore it.

19. What’s your best tip for other writers?

Listen to constructive criticism. You’re never going to learn otherwise.
20. What’s been the most helpful advice you’ve ever received?

To do plenty of research on the topics you want to know. If you plan and research, you’ll do well.

Please support this author and take a look at her book: Confessions of a Backpacker: My Adventure Down Under

It's so easy to give the book a chance at just $0.99 USD by following any of the links below.

Amazon (US)
Amazon (UK)

Visit Laura's Blog:
LK Watts Confessions