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Shopping cart return program (1) Fri, Dec 30, 2005
ShopRite has been utilizing an amazing shopping cart return program for years:  Use a quarter to get a cart; get your quarter back when you return the cart.  It's unbelievable how well this works.  You insert your quarter into a machine on the cart's handle, and this unlocks the cart from the stack.  You do your shopping and load all your stuff in your car.  Then you return the cart to the stack by inserting the lock back into the machine on the handle.  Your quarter pops out.  Just visit any ShopRite parking lot to see how well it works.  All the carts are in stacks and in cages.  There are no stray carts in the entire parking lot. 

I bet this idea received some pretty harsh criticism when it was brought up at some big, important ShopRite meeting.  "So you really believe people would go through the trouble of walking across a parking lot in the freezing cold so they could get their quarter back?  And you expect us to invest millions of dollars in this?  Get out of my face and out of my life forever, you stupid, squirrelly little engineer!"  (I'm hoping it was an engineer's idea.  That would bring great pride to my people.  In reality, it was probably a gymnast or the president of the United States, two professions I can't relate to.) 

I'm no exception to the system.  I always get my quarter back.  If it was a penny, I wouldn't care.  A nickel or dime, I'd justify leaving it.  But a quarter?  I would run a marathon for a quarter.  I would eat mud and drink bleach for a quarter.  I would kill a man for quarter.  Well, maybe not kill.  But I might violently beat and maim. 

So anyway, kudos to ShopRite for its reliance on people's cheapness. #business

M R ducks (5) Fri, Dec 30, 2005
My aunt Mary Jane mentions the "M R ducks" thing pretty frequently.  She says it's part of the Iowa Basic Skills Test, but it can be attributed to any dumb-sounding group. 

Original
M R ducks
M R not
O S A R
C M wangs?
L I B! M R ducks

M R snakes
M R not
O S A R
C M B D eyes?
L I B! M R snakes

M R mice
M R not
O S A R
C M E D B D feet?
L I B! M R mice

M R farmers
M R not
O S A R
C M M T pockets
L I B! M R farmers

M R puppies
M R not
O S A R
C M P N
L I B! M R puppies
Translation
Them are ducks
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them wings?
Well I'll be!  Them are ducks

Them are snakes
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them beady eyes?
Well I'll be!  Them are snakes

Them are mice
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them itty bitty feet?
Well I'll be!  Them are mice

Them are farmers
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them empty pockets?
Well I'll be!  Them are farmers

Them are puppies
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them peeing?
Well I'll be!  Them are puppies

I found a new one while searching for this.  It's a conversation between two Swedes at a restaurant. 

Original
F U N E X?
S V F X
F U N E M?
S V F M
O K M N X!
Translation
Have you any eggs?
Yes, we have eggs
Have you any ham?
Yes, we have ham
Ok, ham and eggs!
#language