An epic battle against ‘sloth and laziness’

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Oh, what a beautiful Sunday morning it was. Birds chirped after digesting their morning meal courtesy of the trash strewn throughout the parking lot.

The sun rose slowly over the north side, casting a golden glow on a sea of grocery carts — or buggies, depending on your native tongue.

Everywhere are buggies — except where they are supposed to go!

“Sloth and laziness,” as a wise nuclear scientist once said at a public forum bemoaning the habits of a Warren County girls softball team’s parents.

“Sloth” is defined as a reluctance to work or make an effort. “Laziness” is defined as the quality of being unwilling to work or use energy.

Yes… and Yes. Why, for the love of all things decent, put the carts back in their right places? (Yes, I am aware that I have used both carts and buggies in this narrative and that was on purpose. I don’t know which one is Southern and don’t want Rex Jones or Carl Ford telling me to go back to New York!)

I counted at least 25 buggies that early Sunday morning, one being a short out pattern’s distance from the cart corral. I stood at my cart and starting counting… one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi — got to eight Mississippi and I had returned the cart and returned to the starting point.

EIGHT SECONDS! Four times less than it took Mike Tyson to knock out Marvis Frazier. About a second less than it takes for Usain Bolt to run the 100-yard dash. A blip in time — but too long for you lazy, sloth-like people to return a cart to the cart corral.

Here is what that does: Clogs up parking lots because the carts are often strategically placed directly in the parking line. It leads to higher costs because you need more people to spend more time collecting said carts. Plus, it just puts into perspective how lazy we have allowed society to get.

How many times on Nat Geo channel have we seen African villagers walking miles with jugs of water on their heads just to get back to the straw home and hand-wash clothes? And we cannot walk an extra 15 feet — a friggin’ free throw — to return the carts?

I want to stick my head out the window and channel my inner Howard Beale and scream, “I am as mad as hell.. and I’m not going to take it anymore!!!”

We always hear about the world’s big problems — immigration, mounting debt, race relations seemingly going to hell in a hand basket, health-care costs.. ahh the list goes on and on.

In the grand scheme, the normal Joe and Jane Sixpack are just cogs in the machine and our small actions will not solve those mounting problems.

But when we come across a problem that can be solved with just a few of us — a small army of people who are fed up — we must seize on that moment.

So, please, join me in taking back our parking lots! Instead of bitching and complaining — and pleading and cajoling — people to return their carts — an act of futility — I will start returning those carts upon my arrival — or departure.

And I ask you to join me. When you see a cart standing where it shouldn’t be and you really want to say a few cuss words — go ahead, say them under your breath with feeling — just put the carts back. Cuss the entire time you are putting those carts back… get that anger out.

The results are positive on every level.

• You feel good for doing something to better society, deeming yourself the anti-sloth and laziness.

• You show the world that something — even something small — can be accomplished with just a bit of effort.

• Maybe someone will see you and get inspired to “pay it forward” and be moved to join in the fight against sloth.

Surely it cannot only be me whose ire is stoked when coming upon such and inconvenience. 

We won’t solve world hunger, get rid of nuclear threats the world over or figure out a way to dig out of a $21 trillion debt. But we can do this. If we try.

See y’all in the parking lot!.

Sean Murphy is editor of the Leader-Call. Email him at