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July 1st, 2004

What I Need: A List Holder

When I’m food shopping, I can never quite figure out where to put my shopping list and pen. Sometimes I hold it between my hand and the handle of the shopping cart, but that’s not always convenient if I need both hands to grab an item. Sometimes I’ll keep them in my pocket, but end up crossing items off in groups rather than as I buy them. My thought: why haven’t any shopping cart manufacturers attached a paper holder and pen to their carts yet? You know, similar to the ones that people used to stick to their windshields (less fancy versios of this item).

While they’ve managed to add drink holders to the carts, something I’ve never actually seen anyone hold a drink in, they haven’t figured out that while people don’t usually drink while shopping, they’re always crossing items off of thier shopping lists. And those drink holders aren’t good shopping list holders, either. I’ve tried.

It wouldn’t have to be fancy. Just a simple plastic piece with a simple clip on the top and an attached pen. Put it on the handle of the cart or on the top of the folding seat in the cart and you’d have one of the most handy inventions ever.

Someone here must have connections with a shopping cart manufacturer. Slip them the URL for this Ping and let’s get this thing made.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday July 1, 2004 -- 10:46:04 am
Also wanted: a good place for a coupon holder. Some carts do have the small tray next to two (!) cupholders, but that's kind of useless when you have nearly 1 billion coupons.



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday July 1, 2004 -- 1:33:13 pm
You can get fancy and high tech with this idea. If they had some sort of device that would read a flash drive, you could make your grocery list on some compatible software on your PC at home and then load it into the shopping cart. The shopping cart could have a little LCD screen to show your list. You could then check off items just by pressing a button. The software could also keep track of how much you spend and inform you of better deals even. You could compare prices from different grocers and even, perhaps, check prices before going to the store on the internet. Wouldn't it be great if you could just input the items you want on some website that would then find the cheapest price for you, and tell you which stores to go to? In my experience, grocery shopping online takes longer than grocery shopping in person. You still have to shop online, which takes a lot of time, but once you're done shopping online, you still have to actually go shopping. It's very redundant.

A little software device like this would be helpful indeed.



FROM: Bill
DATE: Thursday July 1, 2004 -- 2:18:57 pm
My local Jewel (suburban chicago) has the cup holders built into the carts, theres a Starbucks built into the store also though and i have seen the young mom types utilizing the holders.

On another note, how about those kid carts with the Little Tykes things attached where the kids can ride in the front.



FROM: Bill
DATE: Thursday July 1, 2004 -- 2:18:57 pm
My local Jewel (suburban chicago) has the cup holders built into the carts, theres a Starbucks built into the store also though and i have seen the young mom types utilizing the holders.

On another note, how about those kid carts with the Little Tykes things attached where the kids can ride in the front.



FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday July 1, 2004 -- 5:46:07 pm
Paul, I agree about the coupons. I have already left a trail through the store and gone back to retrieve them a la Hansel and Gretel.

I often worry (not too much!) that when I hand my coupons to the cashier, I will give her/him my list! Here! See if I missed anything. Thanks!



FROM: Kate
DATE: Thursday July 1, 2004 -- 8:32:27 pm
Well, if we're adding things to shopping carts, I still think they need horns.



FROM:
DATE: Tuesday July 6, 2004 -- 3:44:49 pm
On another note, how about those kid carts with the Little Tykes things attached where the kids can ride in the front.

Ever look inside one of those? The little kids just sneeze and drool and snot all over the inside of those things--their grubby little hands stuck with sticky candy getting all over it trapping filth and germs! What parent in their right mind would put their kid in there? As far as I can tell, there is no store manager who cleans and details those things. Seriously, next time you're in the store, especially a grocery store that is otherwise so clean you could eat off the floor, take a peek inside one of those. You'll be lucky if you don't barf.



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday July 6, 2004 -- 3:45:57 pm
The above warning to otherwise conscientious parents was submitted by me!



FROM: EAG
DATE: Tuesday July 20, 2004 -- 12:58:11 pm
I live in the UK, where the Waitrose supermarket change has exactly what you're looking for. A small clipboard is attached to the handle of the cart. Not sure it holds a pen - but it is really useful for the list.



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday July 21, 2004 -- 12:48:25 am
EAG -- you've got to send a picture!



FROM: Rafael
DATE: Tuesday August 3, 2004 -- 4:54:37 pm
There is a chain of stores called Albertsons here in Seattle

I went to Albertsons’ last Friday which is a chain of grocery stores here in Seattle. Anyway I have not been to this store in a long time it was totally by accident. I got there grabbed a shopping cart paid no attention to the new the cup holders on the cart…actually what I was thinking was BFD just like all the other shopping carts, however that is not so. While I was empting my shopping cart…that is when it hit be OMG this is a BFD, what I was looking at right between the cup holders was an actual tray (6” X 4”) with a lip on it. Just perfect for a shopping list, coupons and even a pen to rest comfortably ;)

Ryan, I will make it a point to visit that store again this week and I’ll snag a picture so you can post it.



FROM: mel
DATE: Wednesday August 11, 2004 -- 1:48:09 pm
I can't say that I have ever brought a list to the grocery store, however, I have utilized the cupholder on many, many occasions, especially at the stores with a coffee shop inside.



FROM: Rafael
DATE: Monday August 16, 2004 -- 1:26:25 pm
Hey Ryan, I emailed (ping address) last week, not sure if you got them or not...it was fun getting them. The first time I went my camera batteries where dead. Finally got a few shoots the 3rd time. I’m so glad that none of the shoppers called the cops on me, thinking that I was a bomber...whew!

If you did not get them please email with the address you want me to forward them to.



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday August 17, 2004 -- 1:05:07 pm
Speaking of Albertson's and photos, I would just like to mention that I bought some 400 speed Albertson's packaged film from ebay (there are no Albertson's where I live) just because I got it for about 25 cents a roll. I got my photos back and Albertson's film is awesome, high quality film. I looked all over the negatives to see if I could identify a brand name (most grocery store brands are either Agfa or 3M, by the way) but there was no such mark. Too bad. So, even if I wanted more Albertson's film, no grocery list holder for my grocery list saying "Albertson's film" would help me without an Albertson's around.



FROM: Bob McCarty [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday February 6, 2006 -- 10:09:57 am
Recently, I wrote a piece about a new product idea for grocery stores in my humor blog. Thought your readers might enjoy reading this post. The portion about shopping carts begins about two-thirds of the way down. Enjoy!

MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR PRODUCT IDEAS

I’ll bet everyone has known someone who went on to achieve great success in one field or another. Some people know people who became famous locally. Others know people who went on to become household names. I’m one of those.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, my claim to fame is that I was a college classmate of Garth Brooks. Yes, for three years, he was just another guy sitting through classes with me at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Surprisingly, after graduation, we both went the country route.

Garth became a legend in country music, while I began serving my country as an Air Force officer. Today, more than 20 years after graduation, Garth no longer feels obligated to work. I do.

After more than six years as an Air Force public affairs officer, I resigned my commission to return to civilian life and launch a carousel of a career: I opened and closed a retail computer store; I managed back-to-back unsuccessful congressional campaigns; I worked as a commissioned salesman; and, finally, I returned to work much like what I did in the Air Force – public relations. That ended in 2005 and, today, I like to think of myself as an “idea guy.”

Yes, I enjoy coming up with ideas for new products. I like to think of them as multi-million-dollar product ideas, many of which are just about ready to take off!

I’m going to share some of these ideas with you now, because each of you checked the terms and conditions box on this web site which, basically, means you agreed not to steal my ideas. So let’s get started.

After reading about these multi-million-dollar product ideas, you’ll notice that the majority of them develop out of a merger of two seemingly unrelated things. For example, multi-million-dollar product idea number one combines all the best aspects of NASCAR™ with the thing I hate most about grocery shopping.

NASCAR™, of course, is America’s fastest-growing and most-popular spectator sport. For those of you who don’t know about NASCAR™, here’s a basic overview: NASCAR™ is a sport that involves racing high-powered, advertisement-covered cars ‘round and ‘round an oval-shaped track as many as 500 times while tens of thousands of people sit in the stands, drinking beer, eating hotdogs and drinking more beer until someone wins…the race, that is.

Now, the thing I hate most about grocery shopping is the shopping cart, a device that was developed in the late 1930s and patented in 1940 by Sylvan Goldman of Oklahoma City. Now, I don’t hate the shopping cart because of where it was invented or by whom. After all, I was born and raised in the Sooner State. The reason I hate the shopping cart is this: I can’t remember the last time I went to a store and found a shopping cart that worked – you know, four good wheels, no wobbles, no independent steering and no unannounced, screeching stops.

Now, a lot of you are thinking you know what I’m going to show you – and you might be right. So, let’s see.

Close your eyes and try to imagine these two seemingly-unrelated items coming together as one…dare to imagine the shopping cart of the future…the NASCARt™!

The shopping cart of the future was designed by the people at NASCAR™ and is capable of pushing the envelope at 200 miles per hour in the produce section without a single malfunction of the wheel assembly.

Thanks to a steel-reinforced roll bar safety cage, any baby on board this buggy will escape uninjured should its driver lose control on Aisle 9. And, just like the real race cars, each NASCARt™ will be plastered with advertisements, making it a true, rolling profit centers for store owners. With the NASCARt™, everyone wins – even you ladies!

You see, thanks to NASCARts™, your husbands – or significant others as the case may be – might finally experience the joy of shopping, thanks to the NASCARt™…but I doubt it.

My second multi-million-dollar product idea came to me as I was flipping through the cable channels one night last fall. Again, it’s the result of seeing two products as one.

On one channel, I saw a commercial talking about a big race coming up at the NASCAR™ speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. A few channels later, I saw that New Orleans chef, Emeril, doing his show on the food network.

Now, Emeril was preparing something he called “kicked up escargot domes with duxelles and foie gras” which, roughly translated, is snails. As I watched him prepare it – bam! – this idea hit me!

First of all, I know the folks who sell escargot would love to sell more of it. After all, that’s why they’re in business. I also know that the average fan in the stands at the speedway in Martinsville, Virginia, isn’t what I would call “the target market” for escargot. Snails maybe. Escargot? Never. But when we change the name up a bit – bam! – it just might sell at the track.

Now, close your eyes, put those inspirations together and join me as we dare to imagine the newest fast-food sensation sweeping the racing world: NASCARgo™! Just like the race cars, NASCARgo™ will delight racing fans. Sold in little car-shaped boxes plastered with advertisements, NASCARgo™ is sure to satisfy even the most discriminating NASCAR™ fan who, by the way, does not actually exist!

The third and final idea I’m going to share with you is one that I think I can really clean up on. Bear with me, though, because it involves three things instead of just two.

Now, guys, if you’re like most of the guys I know, you have a wife – or a significant other – who’s involved in scrapbooking. For those of you who don’t know what scrapbookin’ – also known as “croppin’” – is, here’s the scoop: it’s a lame hobby ladies use as an excuse to get together at each other’s houses once a week – or more often – to cut and glue and drink and eat and drink and decorate family photos and such. When they’re done – and they’re never done – they’ve turned family memories into cra_ – err, uh – scrapbooks.

Now, stop reading if you’ve never written a note on a 3M Post-It Note™ and stuck it up on the fridge, on a window pane, on the headboard of the bed or somewhere in your home or place of business. If you have, keep reading.

Again, stop reading if you’ve never used toilet paper, because you won’t understand anything from this point forward…unless, maybe, if you’re a NASCAR™ fan.

Now, I don’t know about you, but a lot of guys tell me privately that their wives are spending way too much money on all kinds of expensive cra_ – err, uh – expensive stuff related to croppin’. At the same time, I know for a fact that a guy can pick up a Charmin Ultra Mega-Roll™ at the Wal-Mart for under five bucks.

Now, here’s where the 3M Post-It Note™ angle comes into play. There’s a new type of photo paper called 3M Post-It Note™ Picture Paper. After you print a photo on this type of paper, you can peel the back off and end up with a photo you can stick to anything – and I mean anything! Now for the brilliant part.

Friend, instead of letting your lady spend all her money on expensive croppin’ stuff at these girl-talk parties, just tell her to have the family photos printed on sticky-back picture paper. Then, instead of having to spend hour after hour gluing photos onto those expensive scrap-book pages, she can just peel and stick the photos onto this, a kind of scrap-book on a roll that I call “the scroll.”

She should be able to fit 400 precious photos onto each mega roll. And, since nine out of ten photos most people take look like crap anyway, hey (insert flushing sound here), problem solved!

[Note: More humorous articles like this one can be found at my blog: http://www.bobmccartyhumor.blogspot.com].

Copyright © 2006 Bob McCarty, L.L.C.



FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday February 6, 2006 -- 11:01:24 am
That has very little to do with the Ping, and very much to do with just promoting your own website.

I like that you're an LLC, though. I'm changing my last name to "LLC" and my first name to "Copyright ©".



Chris November 25, 2009, 2:52 pm

Have you seen the List Caddy? It was my wife’s idea. This might be a solution for your original problem. http://www.listcaddy.com

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