Shopping Cart Of Love: The Play



Shopping Cart of Love: The Play
1990 Christine Lavin

ACT ONE

The note said "Darling...
I hate to tell you this way,
But I've run off with your Roommate,
Signed - Your Fiance".
I sat down and cried.
What else could I do?
That's when I noticed that my CarKeys were missing to,
And so was my favorite sweater,
And my TV
And My Stereo!
My whole life crumbled before my eyes.
Where was I to go?

I ran to the Supermarket
In a blinding rage
Craving foods I have not touched since I was
Twelve years of age.
'Cuz not only did my man run out today
My boss let me go
I have been depressed before
But never quite this low
Yes I guess I've been depressed
But ever this low? NO!

And I ran up and down the aisles of the supermarket
crying and shaking and pulling things off the shelves
based solely on their carbohydrate, calorie and cholesterol count.
I didn't go overboard.
Just enough to get me through the night.
So I threw my purchases down on the conveyer belt
They rolled up to the checkout girl
She looked at them
She looked at me
and she said...

Hey Lady can't you read?
The sign here says express.
I'll check you out if you have got
Ten items or less.
But you've got
2 4 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 things right here
If you want me to check you through
Put three things back my dear.

Well NO! I said defiantly
Trying not to shake
Then she said "Sweetheart, you don't need those
Hostess Twinkies, You don't need that Coffee Cake
And why those Famous Amos cookies
Let me tell you they're grossly overpriced
Put three things back
Those are the rules
I'm asking you real nice".

But I just couldn't so she said
"Ok well then, put back those Frozen Pizza's
or that box of Pudding on a Stick
Why just looking at all these calories
Makes my stomach want to flip".
But I refused to back down
She refused to check me through
The line behind me was growing longer
And angrier too.
The line behind me was growing longer
There was pushing and shoving and cursing and swearing too.

Look I'm not trying to make trouble I said to her
But I'm having the worse kind of day
See today I lost my job, my car, my TV, my Stereo,
My favorite sweater, my roommate, not to mention my Fiance.

But she shook her head and shouted
"Three things have GOT TO GO - Those are the Rules"
oh please please please I begged
She bellowed "NO"
please please please please please please please I begged
But she said "NO"

And she was enjoying the power trip of it all

Because then all the Cashiers
In Solidarity shut down
The sudden empty silence
Was an eerie spooky sound
And all the customers started screaming
Especially those with Frozen Foods
The manager came running
He was in an ugly mood.
Yes the manager came running
He was ugly
So was his mood.

Well now I tried explaining to him my situation about my Job
my Fiance, My Car but he didn't give me half a chance he just said...

Who the Hell do you Think you are?
My whole store is paralyzed all on account of you
Now Manhattan is going hungry
Because you won't follow rules
Yes Manhattan is gonna starve tonight
Because of stupid, selfish, solipsistic you.

I didn't know what that meant either. I didn't know
why he was using such a big word on me but it was because he
really hated his job as Store Manager. He would just sit in the
back room every day, reading the dictionary and then taking the
"It pays to increase your word power" test in Readers Digest
Magazine.  This has nothing to do with the song but since it's
a play I did a little character development.

Well I know by now I must have looked pitiful
Tears were streaming down my face
He was not moved
He did not think mine was a special case.
So he grabbed me
And he dragged me
As as I was sobbing toward the door
When a soft voice whispered
"I've got seven items, I'll take three of yours"

gasp

Well I turned
And I looked at
The handsomest man I've ever seen
Golden Hair, Tweed Suit, a bow tie
Eyes the bluest green.
Well the checkout girl was furious
But what else could she do?
She checked both our items
And he said "Let me carry them for you"
Ya She checked all of our items
He even paid for mine too.

He did. And he carried them up to my apartment.
And he put them down on my table (well he put them
down on the ironing board that I use as my table)
and he looked around my apartment and he said
"You look like the kind of woman who shouldn't be having
Dinner by herself tonight" which I think was his way of saying
"You look like you can't cook!" But I let that go by.
And he said "Please, allow me to take you out for dinner tonight.
I would like to take you out to the Quilted Giraffe.
And I thought to myself "Quilted Giraffe! That's the most expensive
restaurant in New York City! Why would he want to take me there?"
So I said to him "Why are you being so nice to me? I don't even
know you. I'm having such a terrible day!" and he said "Well
I've got to do something to cheer myself up. You say today, I lost
my job and when I came home from work, I found a note stuck to
my refrigerator from my Fiance and she had run off with somebody
else". And I said "Are you kidding? The same thing happened
to me!" and he said "Yes - I'm kidding!"  I am so gullible it
makes me so mad sometimes...

But he did make me laugh. So I thought "Okay - I'll go out and have
dinner with him. I'll eat that food I can't pronounce. I'll drink
that expensive wine. It was an incredible meal. It was the kind
of meal you read about in Cosmopolitan Magazine. And it totally
totally changed my life. Though, some things are still the same...

I still do my grocery shopping
In that same grocery store
But you won't find me standing in the
Express Line anymore.
Because I no longer shop for one
I shop for two you see
And today my doctor tells me
I'm shopping for three
Yes today I get the good word
I'm shopping for three.

Now... technically the song could be over here, but there's a couple
of loose ends and since this is a play, I've written another act!

ACT TWO

Well my roommate and my fiance
Remember them? They stole my car?
Well my car broke down that night
And in a blinding thunderstorm they hitchhiked back
And they had a terrible fight.
They did not see that '68 Chevy
Come speeding around the curve
And who was that behind the wheel?
That nasty checkout girl.

I know you're thinking "What an unbelievable coincidence"!
But guess who was sitting next to her? Her fiance! The store
manager. And what were they doing? They were having a
terrible fight. It was like an epidemic that night.
See, he was furious with her because she wouldn't check
through the woman with the thirteen items and paralyzed the
store. And she was so mad at him, because he let the guy with
the bow tie pay for the thirteen items and they both got out of
the store and escaped. She thought they should have been arrested
and then executed in front of a firing squad. And when he didn't
agree. She knew that they were incompatible and she was just
inconsolable. And she was gonna drive her car right into those
two strangers, which happen to be my roommate and my fiance,
standing in the blinding thunderstorm. All four of them were
gonna die in a fiery wreck. She was gonna drive the Chevy off
the levy but the levy was wet.

In truth, that's how I would have ended this song in my younger
more unsophisticated days but it's time for a kinder, a gentler
ending.

Well the checkout girl slammed on the brakes
Stopped in time
She offered them a ride
My fiance fell in love with her
The store manager made my roommate his bride
And now she works stocking kitty litter
In the cat food aisle
When I see her on my shopping sprees
I flash my sweetest smile.
"Hi... Ya the Quilted Giraffe AGAIN last night...
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...."

Well the moral of this story
Is one can never tell
What could be in store for you
On your local grocery shelf
And sometimes you've got to break the rules
If someone breaks your heart
And if you're lucky
Love might fall into your shopping cart!

updated: 10 years ago