Aimee and I went to pick some stuff up from Wal-Mart last night. Ok, it was a lot of stuff. So much, in fact, that when we checked out I grabbed a second cart to put our groceries into. While I was waiting for Aimee’s turn in line, I sat on a bench at the end of the checkout. It wasn’t long before my eyes wandered to the piece of metal dangling from the bottom of the cart to the floor. “What could it be?”, I wondered.
When Aimee finally arrived at the checkout, she caught me fixated on the bottom of the cart. “Are you ok"?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just wondering why there’s a lightning rod on this cart”, I responded. It was just a hunch but it was also the only logical reason for the piece of metal. It just wasn’t clear to me what it was for.
Aimee clarified that for me. “Oh! What a great idea! I hate getting shocked by the cart!” That solved the mystery. Wal-Mart found a way to ground its carts, despite their rubber wheels. It really surprised me that any company would worry about something as minor as an occasional static shock to its customers. It made me wonder if they are concerned that shoppers are being conditioned to experience physical pain when they shop at a Wal-Mart.