Colbert inspires Humphrey to push for cart legislation

Colbert inspires Humphrey to push for cart legislation

New N.C. House District 12 Rep. Chris Humphrey has hit the ground running in Raleigh.

"I will be drafting legislation that would make leaving a shopping cart in a parking lot a misdemeanor," Humphrey said during a press conference on Friday. "Anyone that would leave a shopping cart in a parking lot — sometimes just feet away from the cart-return area — is a menace to society and a threat to the fabric of our great nation.

“I believe this is a bipartisan issue that elected officials and citizens on both sides of the aisle can agree on."

Mike Smith, 47, moved to Lenoir County three years ago after living most of his life in Sunnyvale, N.C. He's a lifelong shopping cart repairman who knows firsthand how shopping carts are abused.

"It only takes a few seconds to push a cart up to the receptacle," Smith said. "Scientific studies have proven that people who don't return carts also double-dip chips at parties, carry on loud phone conversations in quiet restaurants, blast songs with profane lyrics at stoplights and take 10 minutes to order a burrito at a drive-thru.

“You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their shopping cart. I've seen some stuff in my line of work; terrible things."

Humphrey said cart abuse is a serious offense.

"During the campaign, I spoke to many voters in parking lots," Humphrey said. "One of the younger voters I spoke to was Kevin Morgan of La Grange. He was working his way through school with a part-time job at a grocery store. The day before we met he was attacked while retrieving a shopping cart from a hedge that turned out to be home to legions of fire ants, bees, wasps, snakes and a vacationing Stephen Colbert."

Morgan's wounds and ongoing nightmares after seeing the late-night host without makeup stuck with Humphrey, who has now made shopping cart reform the centerpiece of his administration.

According to the Center for American Retail Transparency (CART), an average of 1,000 carts are left stranded in parking lots every hour in the United States. To combat the issue, many companies are rumored to be secretly devising ways to weaponize the carts with the use of explosive ink. According to a 2018 article, Walmart has other plans for their shopping carts:

Walmart recently submitted a patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office called "System and Method for a Biometric Feedback Cart Handle," CBInsights reports. These innovative shopping cart handles would collect your biometric data, meaning your stress level, your body temperature, and heart rate — all while you're strolling through the aisles of your local store, filling your cart with Walmart's everyday low-priced items. — Betsy Mikel/ 

Once the shopping cart legislation is signed into law, Humphrey has his eye on another societal abomination.

"There's nothing worse than working in an office with someone who routinely cranks the heat up to 80 degrees — even in the summer," Humphrey said. "There could be flames shooting out of the air vents, but every day when they come in they start complaining about the heat out of habit.

“Stop dressing like you're going to a luau and put on a sweater."

Jon Dawson's humor columns are published weekly on Contact Jon at and

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