Coming To a Grocery Near You

Got done shopping today, went out to load the groceries into the family truckster, and found this:



It was just so bad I couldn’t even get mad, so I took some shots. When I saw it was a Buick Century, I knew immediately it was a medicare sled, so I just loaded my groceries and sat on the back of the car on the trunk/bumper and waited (my car is not in the shots, but I could not get out until the car was moved), and after about ten minutes some 85-90 year old guy with a WWII veterans cap came out with his cart and looked at me sheepishly and grinned and said “How’d that happen” and I thought to myself “Old age, bro, but you keep on keeping on” but smiled back and took his grocery cart after he was done unloading his stuff and moved it to the place where they are supposed to go.

Funny stuff.

66 replies
  1. 1
    Mike G says:

    Your good deed for Memorial Day.

  2. 2
    Jewish Steel says:

    Pointed in the right direction. Most of the way in. Close enough!

  3. 3
    Alison says:

    I suppose that’s less annoying than the dicks who park crooked across two spots so no one dings the car with their door. Never mind the damn car is usually like, a ten year old Acura or something.

    Hope you didn’t have any frozen food sitting there while you waited.

  4. 4
    jl says:

    Why do old people like buicks so much? They infest the oldsters in my family.
    The ones in my family have such mushy handling, loose steering, and feel like you are driving over three or four mattresses no matter what the surface is like.
    If I am driving one of the family oldsters, I try to get them to go in my car. I feel like I should have special training to drive buicks.

  5. 5
    Jordan Rules says:

    A lady, probably in her 70’s who works in our office building parks like that or worse every day. So one of my coworkers documents it on Facebook with commentary. Now a bunch of people who don’t work with us ask about it and are curious when a pic hasn’t been loaded for a while. It’s hilarious. And scary. Uh, she’s an acupuncturist and has had 2 fender benders in that same lot.

  6. 6
    Jordan Rules says:

    Also, thanks @ Yellow Journalism for highlighting #YesAllWomen on twitter. Wow.

  7. 7
    jl says:

    @Alison: Certain parts of SF, I have seen people carefully parallel parking where more than two cars could fit, so that their care has just less than one car space before and behind. To avoid fender dings I guess. The complete ineptitude I see in parallel parking I guess makes that a reasonable fear, but I think it is a dickish move. You drive in a city, your car will get dinged. Accept it.

    And, despite my clumsiness, I am very good at parking in the damn City. I guess sills gained maneuvering large farm implements since I was a kid have stuck with me.

    “You almost hit that!”
    “Wadda ya mean, I had at least two inches to spare on that sucker. Wide open spaces, dude.”

  8. 8
    jl says:

    To make my point about buicks in a different way. How do you know it was his age, or just that he was driving a buick century? Even when you are inside one of those things driving it, it’s just plain hard to figure out where the car is, exactly.

    So, why does anyone like them?

  9. 9
    jheartney says:

    At a certain point, many of us will no longer be even close to competent at maneuvering a ton of metal, either in traffic or in a lot. Too bad we live in a culture where there are often no realistic alternatives.

    When the self-driving vehicles take over, the problem of drivers aged out of competence will be mitigated. Also the problem of inexperienced teen drivers.

  10. 10
    wasabi gasp says:

    His judgement and perception wanes at slow speed. But just wait til you see him go!

  11. 11
    Alison says:

    @jl: I saw that too when I lived in the city, and felt it ought to be a jailing-worthy crime, considering the fucking dearth of available street parking in most of SF. Taking up two spaces is like killing the last spotted owl or something.

  12. 12
    jheartney says:

    So, why does anyone like them?

    @jl: Back in the day, all cars were like that. I learned in an old V-8 Pontiac. When I drove my first 4-cylinder rack-and-pinion car, the handling was a revelation.

  13. 13
    srv says:

    Now some would have you believe:

    At least 14 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and dozens more were wounded when rebels stormed their checkpoint in east Ukraine today.

    The destruction of armoured vehicles shows that the rebels have access to heavy weaponry and are not lightly-armed freelance operators. It is likely to raise fears that they have been armed by Moscow.

    (note the fields and the apc in the background)

    Or you could watch this video and watch gunships pummel the place.

    (uh, note the fields and the apc left of the trees)

    Or you could believe the rebels have Ukrainian gunships and troops disguised as Ukrainian troops but the gov’t is confused and thinks they have “heavy weapons” above and don’t know what gunships are…

    Or it’s all cgi like the faked moon l landings.

  14. 14
    jl says:

    @Alison: Of course, as I am sure you know, that dickish move is impossible in the eastern half of SF, since spaces longer than one car length violate the laws of physics there, and cannot exist. But out in the avenues and around all those unhip neighborhoods around SF Sate way, you see it.

    I had to take the written test for get my license renewal. While studying, I had this crazy idea to write down a few traffic laws every day and try to actually follow them when I drove (OK, I am weird, I admit it), and see if others did the same. Does anybody obey half the traffic laws? Anything goes as long as you slow down for stop signs and don’t run red lights, for most people. I want draconian traffic law enforcement in SF, we are approaching anarchy.

  15. 15
    Steeplejack says:


    You should have shot him, or at least beaten him up.

  16. 16
    Steeplejack says:


    At a certain point, many of us will no longer be even close to competent at maneuvering a ton of metal, either in traffic or in a lot. Too bad we live in a culture where there are often no realistic alternatives.

    I was just about to say this.

  17. 17
    srv says:

    @jl: While my block has gone 90 degrees and I don’t have a car anymore, I really don’t see it. People are generally very optimal with parallel and nobody obviously gives a fuck about door dings. Strip in front of me would comfortably fit 4.5 cars @ 90 and there are always 5. The 80 year old Cady lady always takes the uphill slot, even though the downhill one would be better for everyone with her 5 foot door.

    Maybe she just likes to leave her mark.

    Parallel gaps are usually cars of different lengths and one leaves, shorter one comes in and it gets all out of sort.

  18. 18
    Steeplejack says:

    @jl, @Alison:

    This is a problem on my street. All the parking is by permit only, but the buildings were built around 1960, when there were no doubt fewer cars per household. We have just barely enough parking spaces, except when some asshole just kind of free-balls it and throws the spacing off. There are even lines painted on the street as a guide, but freedom!

  19. 19
    🌷 Martin says:

    @jl: The car sitting on pole for the Indy 500 has a Buick engine in it.

  20. 20
    jl says:

    @srv: I’m sure most of it is what you say, random movement of different sized cars. But I have seen drivers do it in real time. It is not common, since if it were, there would be a parking shortage disaster in my neighborhood.

  21. 21
    jl says:

    @🌷 Martin: I never criticized the engine, did I? Did I disrespect the engine? No, I did not. I disrespected all the automotive bowl of oatmeal mush they build around it.

  22. 22
    🌷 Martin says:

    @jl: I affectionately call them ‘hovercrafts’.

  23. 23
    Alison says:

    @jl: Haha, yeah, I lived on the edge of the ‘Loin and if a space on the street actually opened up, you’d be lucky if it was big enough for a Yugo. There’s a reason off-street parking spaces go for so much money, and people like me fork it over (or at least I did for about a year and then was like, the fuck am I paying all this money to park and insure a car I barely drive? Once I sold it, I felt like a true city-dweller :P )

  24. 24
    jl says:

    @🌷 Martin: But, think if they built standard consumer buick cars around those racing engines. Just trying to get the race started would turn into an awesome destruction derby. Could be a new sport. I am going to patent it right now.

  25. 25
    jl says:


    ” the fuck am I paying all this money to park and insure a car I barely drive? ”

    I am getting to your point. If I didn’t need to drive across town for work two days or so a week, I would be sorely tempted to ditch it.

  26. 26
    Jack the Second says:

    My personal pet peeve is people who back into angle parking in a parking garage. I can’t understand why someone would go through all that trouble of backing in the wrong way to an angled spot, when getting out is going to be all the harder. Unless they’re planning to go round the wrong way, and then I can’t even

  27. 27
    Alison says:

    @jl: I felt like the only one, but I actually found Muni to be pretty decent as far as getting from Point A to Point B. Enough bus lines with enough stops that I rarely needed more than one bus or to walk more than a few blocks at either end of a trip. Wouldn’t work for you?

    There is also the City Car Share option, which I used and loved.

  28. 28
    trollhattan says:

    Spousal unit’s car is in the shop with $5k damage because the enhanced-age lady parking in the space in front had some kind of pedal mixup. Which is a bother rather than a problem, but what if she’d been in the car or walking in front of it?

    Took two totals in less than a year to convince the MIL to hand in her license for good. It’s a sad day for anybody, but there are more important things than driving, the first of which is living on.

  29. 29
    jl says:

    @Alison: Not now. When our offices are moved in a couple of years, muni will be get me close enough quick enough, and (knock on wood) reliably enough. Some muni lines are fine, some areas of SF are still poorly served unless spending half a morning getting there and being late a lot is OK.

    And some routes are so slowed by car traffic you could walk as fast. That is a gimmick in the news here every few years. Find some muni bus line that is a mess and see if you can get a young reporter to out-walk it.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    Could be worse I suppose. Guy is the next car could be Elliot Rodgers.

    Elliot Rodger saw numerous therapists, according to his family, and was on the autism spectrum.

    He posted videos decrying the “cruelty of humanity” and recently made a “citizen’s arrest” after accusing a roommate of stealing three candles with a value of $22.

    Separately, just a month ago, family members asked sheriff’s deputies to check on his welfare. When they arrived, the sheriff said, officers interviewed him and found him to be polite and lucid.

    Hidden in his bedroom were handguns Rodger legally purchased from licensed dealers in Goleta, Oxnard and Burbank, authorities said. Investigators also recovered 41 10-round magazines — more than 400 unused bullets — from Rodger’s car.

    Before his rampage through Isla Vista, Rodger stabbed and killed three people inside his two-story, charcoal-colored apartment building, where he lived in No. 7. It was, the sheriff said, “a horrific crime scene.”

    At about 9:30 p.m. Friday, he drove to the Alpha Phi sorority house and banged aggressively on the door.

    The events were unfolding just as Rodgers had said in his videos and documents. He would kill people quietly at first, at his home, and then go to a sorority house to “slaughter” women. “Fortunately, no one opened the door” at the sorority house, the sheriff said. Before leaving the sorority house, however, Rodger shot three women in the front lawn. Two of them, both UCSB students, died. A third survived multiple gunshot wounds.

    Rodger then began piloting his BMW through the streets of Isla Vista, an unincorporated community on the coast of Santa Barbara County. Isla Vista is home to about 23,000 people, more than half of them students at the nearby university.;page=1

  31. 31
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    “Medicare sled” almost killed me.

  32. 32
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I’m really thinking about getting one of those new Elios next year.

    I’m pretty sure I’ll have to add the M to my Texas driver’s license to drive it, but I think it’ll be worth it. If only they were selling an electric one! I’d be all in at that point.

  33. 33
    NotMax says:

    Wait until he gets home and discovers he’s bought 10 lb. of bananas, a bag of ice cubes and a box of Cream of Wheat.

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    A far better man than I, Cole. Far better.

    @jl: I have a Buick Century. Got it super cheap. I actually like it. To be honest, everything you complain about? I have never noticed.


    Maybe I am just older than my birth certificate says.

  35. 35
    raven says:

    This is my dad with his 56 Buick in 68 or so. Bad ass ride that got t-boned a year later.

  36. 36
    Tommy says:

    @NotMax: Yeah my grandfather, a WWII vet passed away a few years ago at 93. At the time of him passing he was legally both blind and deaf. But with hearing aids he could hear most of what was going on if you spoke up and spoke slowly. The disease that ravished his eyes, he could find spots to see. But clearly could not drive. And overtime could not do many other things. Well most things to be honest other then just sit around.

    What I know from talking to him was he so mad about was his mind was always as sharp as it ever was. No Alzheimer’s. No Dementia. About as sharp as a tack to the end. We’d sit together like a foot from the TV so we could watch the Cardinals play and I’d say “can’t believe Albert went 3-4 last night.” He’d say, no he went 2-4, grounded out into that double play in the seventh.” He was almost always right.

    My favor late, late life story. I went to pick him up. He walked out the front door. I think 91 at the time. The doctors told him to use a walker cause he had fallen. He didn’t break anything, but told him to use a walker. He walked out the front door, it got caught, he threw it into the yard, walked to my car and said “lets get out of here, I’d like a Whopper.”

    Put three kids through college, the first three in the family on that side. Built, by hand, staring with chopping down the trees, 17 Grandfather clocks for every grandkid.


    I hate that phrase “the Greatest Generation” but he did a heck of a lot more for this nation then I have done.

    BTW: Coming back from WWII he took an entry level, union job at Snap-on. Worked there 40+ years into mangement. He is one of the MAIN reasons I am as pro-union as I am today.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:


    Removed the fender skirts?

  38. 38
    Tommy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: LOL. My family for 3 generations has been a Ford first and a Chrysler family second. Not Buick. I’ve moved to VW and my brother Honda. Oh how things change …. although I admit my parents somewhat new Chrysler 300 is a nice, nice car.

  39. 39
    NotMax says:


    One of my grandmothers (born in 19th century) was the first, and for a long time the only, female in her little village in Poland to finish high school.

    Emigrated, eventually, to the U.S. (long story which I won’t bore you with) and after her retirement, well into her sixties, decided to buckle down and improve her skills in reading English so she could make better use of the library and of bookstores.

    First book she chose to read through cover to cover in English? Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @NotMax: I was abroad at the time. He didn’t write and consult me!

  41. 41
    Tommy says:

    How about a happy early AM story since there is talk of both cars and family.

    This is my mom on her first date with my father. 1957:

    In a Ford Thunderbird. I hear all kinds of stories. Parents didn’t like each others parents. Mom’s family wasn’t as upscale as my father’s (this was it was all about). This or that. My father got sent off to yet another military school. Mom got married to somebody else and he beat her (which I only found out a few years ago). Left him in seconds.

    They got back together, and then this happened:

    And this:

    They created me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I know I’ve said this a few times here, but a few years ago my father tracked down and found that Ford Thunderbird they went on their first date for, a failed but eventually successful date, in Texas, and bought it. Shipped it home and said “I love you.” It was almost in perfect condition.

    My mom can be seen tooling around town in that Ford Thunderbird in the large “Hillary” sunglasses and a big scarf …..

  42. 42
    NotMax says:


    Used to tool around in a monstrous ’68 Chrysler Town & Country station wagon which had fender skirts.

    Royal PITA to remove and put back on when changing tires.

  43. 43
    raven says:

    @Tommy: You may not care but there is a way to generate a blind URL for flickr pics.

  44. 44
    raven says:

    @NotMax: Oh yea! Did you have curb feelers?

  45. 45
    Tommy says:

    @raven: I appreciate the thought. You’ve given it to me a time or two before. And honestly until you suggested it to me I didn’t know it was possible. But I view my account as a totally “open” account so I don’t care if everybody wants to look at every pic :).

    Honestly Raven, I am not that interesting …

  46. 46
    NotMax says:


    Friend had a ’55 T-bird (with factory original leopard-print upholstery) he’d inherited from his mother.

    It broke down someplace in the middle of nowhere one year while he was driving back to college for the fall semester and he made an even trade on the spot for some blah late-model Buick the mechanic had sitting out back.

    C’est la vie.

  47. 47
    raven says:

    @Tommy: cool

  48. 48
    Tommy says:

    @NotMax: Don’t laugh at me. Please. The biggest mistake I’ve made from a car POV was when I ordered my current car. A 2001 V6 VW manual Passat (it has 32,000 miles on it) was I didn’t order a wagon.* At that time you had to order a manual and a V6 from Germany.

    When I ordered it I didn’t have a wife or kids. I still don’t. But gosh as a mountain biker, hiker, camper, it might not have looked as “cool” but it would have been more functional :).

    *Gosh didn’t think how “old” my car was until know, cause nobody thinks it is “old” when they get in it. But my first car was a 69 fastback Mustang. 289. I still own it. So a good car, taken care of, well they last I guess.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:


    It well may have had at some point. :)

    When I received it, it had a sizable crunch in one of the front fenders, just forward of where the front door seam was.

    Some years later, tracked down a replacement fender of the right model and color and put it on. But the replacement did not have the wood trim of the rest of the car. Solution: Con-Tac paper.

    Upshot was that two weeks after installing the replacement, dropped it off at an underground parking garage in Manhattan. When showed up later to get it, out it came, with an identical crunch in the same spot on the new fender.

    Figured it was one of those things Meant To Be and ignored it ever after.

  50. 50
    Tommy says:

    @NotMax: Cars for me are a strange thing. My grandfather had to have the biggest and fastest. My father, well until he had me and a family thought about the same thing. But he had some kick ass cars. Me, I am more a dual form and function.

    I recall when I moved from DC back to IL and my dad was in my VW Passat and I have in a huge U-hual truck we where coming through some toll road in Ohio and my car was in front of me and then it was fucking gone.

    That night at the hotel I asked him about it, and he said he wanted to see what it had under the hood. Said he got it to 120 and then laid off. He is in this 50s at this time.

    I was dad we are cut from the same cloth ….

    I want a car that gets me from point A to point B but if you can at a time or two have some fun in between, what is the harm in that?

  51. 51

    I rise in defense of the GM A-body cars, of which the Buick Century was one, as is my 1988 Pontiac 6000 wagon that I just drove to the store this morning (and managed to park it all the way in and between the lines). The Pontiac version had a comparatively tight suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, and a 2.8 liter V-6 that can get up to speed PDQ for a fake-wood-grained sided grocery-getter. No, it doesn’t handle like my Mustang, but when that has 300,000 miles on it, I’ll see how it does.

    Best of all, the A-bodies replaced the X-bodies, i.e. the Chevy Citation, which was the biggest turd GM laid in the ’70’s, and that’s saying something.

    In 1999 my dad, at the age of 73, traded in his Buick Century for a BMW 5-series, and Mom got a ‘ 95 Mustang GT convertible.

  52. 52
    Ken says:

    Last time I was at the DMV, there was an older man who kept going up to the clerks every time a number was called. They had to explain to him each time that no, his number was C-128 and they had just called F-37 (the letters are for the different services). I suppose have to allow for attempted line-jumping, but on the evidence, I wouldn’t have renewed his license.

  53. 53
    ThresherK says:

    @Ken: Is it poor taste to ask if he was shouting “Bingo!”?

    I’m grateful that my MiL stopped driving of her own accord, and that before she went to assisted living she had the kind of neighbors who’d help her out with shopping.

  54. 54
    chopper says:


    Built, by hand, staring with chopping down the trees, 17 Grandfather clocks for every grandkid.

    what does a kid do with 17 grandfather clocks?

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    when 900 years old *you* are park so well will you? hmph.

  56. 56
    Ken says:


    what does a kid do with 17 grandfather clocks?

    Think of it as a bulky college fund.

  57. 57
    BC says:

    Why didn’t he park in the disable spot? All the oldsters do where I live, as if age itself is a disability.

  58. 58
    Svensker says:


    This is my dad with his 56 Buick in 68 or so. Bad ass ride that got t-boned a year later.

    My dad had one in 68, too! It was cream and turquoise and gorgeous. And my boyfriends liked it better than they liked me… :)

  59. 59

    @raven: Wow, sweet ride. I see some of those mid-50’s Buicks at car shows; pop the hood and see the muscle they were packing.

  60. 60
    imonlylurking says:

    @Joseph Nobles: YES! I want one also. 90% of my driving is commuting to work by myself and probably 9% of the rest is grocery shopping by myself. I really want one of these.

  61. 61
    mattH says:

    He’s still getting around, excellent!

  62. 62
    Rafer Janders says:


    All the oldsters do where I live, as if age itself is a disability.

    At a certain point, it is.

  63. 63
    Rafer Janders says:


    All the oldsters do where I live, as if age itself is a disability.

    At a certain point, it is.

  64. 64
    The Pale Scot says:

    Hey, John! What are you WV ians doing stealing one of of our guys from FL, we want him back.

    That stuff is as common as rain down here.

    I use to use a 3 lane one way road(s) to commute to work, and over the course of a year I saw maybe 5 or 6 cars with very elderly couples pass me by going the wrong way. Only once was the driver obviously aware of what was wrong.

    The others were contently making their way home (evening commute), their only concern making sure they got back early enough to catch Jeopardy.

    One couple was driving a mint early 70’s oldsmobile, it reminded me of a Mercedes tv commercial centered on an old couple driving their 280 with 300,000 miles on it.

  65. 65
    doc g says:

    I will take a Greatest Generation man parking halfway out of a parking spot over a Millennial “bro” on a crotch rocket slicing through Interstate traffic at 110 m.p.h. any day of the week. And stay off my lawn.

  66. 66
    Paul in KY says:

    @Tommy: Sounded like a real cool guy. Would have liked to meet him.

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