The 2010 TJ’s Buggy — New Body Style, Better Handling

The woman at Trader Joe’s looked at me like I was crazy when I went for the cart behind the cart that was in the front. Does that make sense? I pulled out one cart, then pulled out the next one and took that one. So naturally I felt the need to explain, so I said, “I like the red ones,” to which she gave me an even crazier look, because they are all red. But what I meant was, the solid red ones. Because they. are. awesome.

Side note: I’ve been using the word “cart,” because I want you to know what I’m talking about. But growing up in N.C., we called them “buggies,” and I frankly prefer that, so I’m switching now and bringing you along with me. Yay! Here we are. We’re talking about solid red buggies, and you’re in for a treat.

So, historically, when I’ve gone to the grocery store, I’ve always gotten the bad buggy. You know the one. The wheels squeak; or one of the brakes is permanently in the locked position so it drags across the floor making a noise like a dying hippo; or it veers to the right or left so that in order to keep it going straight, I have to throw my entire body weight into it. On the way out to the car, if the sidewalk is slanted one way or the other, it careens toward that side, dragging me with it until I swing around and block its trajectory or race over to the opposite corner and pull it, lurching to and fro until I finally arrive at my car in a full sweat. I always got that buggy.


One day, I took my roommate to the airport right around rush hour. After dropping her off, rather than spend my day on the freeway, I chose instead to go to a shopping center and kill some time. Well, there is a Trader Joe’s at that shopping center, and much to my surprise and delight, upon entering I noticed that all the old red and chrome buggies had been replaced with sleek, solid-red ones. And folks, not only were they beautiful, which they were — a sporty shade of candy-apple red — but the way those buggies handled — well, it was, quite frankly, a dream come true. Sporty suspension. Razor-tight turning radius. Responsive handling. Light and zippy, yet sleek and fast. All in all, an exhilarating driving– er, pushing experience.

I was so stoked that I took a picture. Ahem… two pictures. And did I get some crazy-person looks? Yes, I did. But it was worth it.

Since then, my own neighborhood store has started replacing old buggies with the new ones. Unfortunately, many of the old “bad buggies” still remain, but when I’m lucky enough to get a new one, it makes it that much sweeter. But don’t take my word for it. Go take one for a spin today!

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