Stealing Grocery Carts

One of the best pranks I ever played in college was the night we put a grocery cart on top of Jayne Montgomery’s car.

Providing halftime entertainment for intramural football! Lisa & me, Fall 1981

It was the spring of 1981 and I was pledging a sorority. 

Whatever prompted me, along with my two new friends, Lisa and Dita, to drive down to the grocery store near campus and nab a grocery cart in the first place, I’ll never know.  Probably just the fact that we were 19 and you do stupid things like that when you’re pledging.

Lisa drove this two-door blue and white Grand Prix, straight out of the late 70s.  A classic if you were a pimp or just into low riders. All it needed was a bobble-head Chihuahua looking out the back glass.  If you took a corner too fast, the door on the driver’s side flew open, which was even more dangerous since the doors were about six feet long.  

We pulled into the Super Duper parking lot and – yes, the grocery store was actually called Super Duper – we spotted a cart in a remote corner of the parking lot where we wouldn’t get caught stealing it.  We weren’t very far from campus and it was late, so we decided that someone would ride on the passenger side with the door open and hold onto the cart while rolling it down the street. 

Guess who got elected.

Of course we stole a cart whose wheels jammed. 

The wind sheer created by the six foot door being open helped hold the cart in place, but still, Lisa could only drive about ten miles an hour.  Talk about wide load.  At that time of night not many people were out on Judge Ely Boulevard, the four lane street that took us back to campus. 

But we still got honks, and glares, and a couple of middle fingers.  

Finally we crept into the parking lot of the dorm and spotted an old member’s car.  How we got it on top of her car, I’ll never know.  But we did.  Not just on the hood, on the top. 

Nobody touched it all weekend.  Sometimes people stood staring at it like a traveling exhibit from the Museum of Modern Art.  

This past Sunday I drove to Houston and spent the night at Lisa’s house.  

Monday morning we got up and I rode with Lisa again.  In a newer car.  With a door that stays shut.  And she drove us to a funeral for a dear friend’s mother.

You just never know where stealing grocery carts is going to lead. 

Lisa & me, June 2011




12 Comments Add yours

  1. Kelvin says:

    Hooliganism! Were you not driving the family truckster to college at this time?

    1. sallygary says:

      I was driving the “tank” – the yellow Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon with woodgrain paneling and a moon roof! It was the exact same car as the one Chevy Chase trades in at the beginning of the movie, “Vacation.” But on this trip, we were in Lisa’s “pimp-mobile!”

  2. Brenda Foster says:

    I do not remember this story, but I do remember the GATA half time shows. What a blast. And as I look at the latest photo of you and Lisa, I would say time has been your friend. You both are beautiful, not only outwardly, but inwardly as well. Love you!!

    1. sallygary says:

      Oh, thanks Brenda – if only you’d have joined me in the halftime shows! Love you, too!

  3. Alyssa says:

    I can totally see the car driving down Judge Ely! So fun! Great story!!

    1. sallygary says:

      It WAS fun riding in that car – kinda like being on a land barge!

  4. Marla says:

    Wow, Sally! You are a really great writer. It sure was a blessing getting to know you this past weekend. And thanks for blessing our church family with your courageous story. Blessings to you!

    1. sallygary says:

      Thanks, Marla – and I was the one who was blessed being with all of you. What an incredible weekend! I need some more of those brownies….really.

  5. theotherlisa1125 says:

    I honestly don’t believe I did that! We did have a lot of fun pledging! Good memories…

    1. sallygary says:

      Oh yeah, you did that. Lots of stories around pledging. Maybe sometime I’ll write about when we stole Woofer’s car, parked it by the GATA fountain with a ‘for sale’ sign and hid the keys in the soap dispenser in the bathroom in the basement of McKenzie…..’member that?!

      1. Lisa McVey says:

        Oh… Yes, I do remember that. Sorry, Woofer.

      2. sallygary says:

        Poor Woofer. I don’t know if we ever got those keys out of the soap dispenser or not. She was kinda mean to us during pledging, though…..

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