The Shopping Cart

By: Connor Lenahan

At some point in your life you will come across something so confusing, so out of place, that you are convinced that it’s not real. It couldn’t be. Yet just to make sure, you pull out your phone and snap a quick picture. A few days later you will be flipping through your phone’s photo library only to find photographic evidence that what you were convinced was a mirage was in fact a reality.

Here’s what happened to me on Saturday.

As with most weekends I enjoy going around Boston University and being a social butterfly. I like acting like Bill Murray in as much as I will just randomly show up on floors of dorms that house my friends unannounced. They might be having a group study session or listening to music or napping it doesn’t matter. I just poke my head in and say hi. The most fun part is that right when people start figuring out I’m there, I will disappear onto another floor. This confuses many and entertains me, so I continue to do it.

This past Saturday I elected to make the trek to west campus to check in on my friends in Rich Hall. In order to leave my dorm on east campus, Warren Towers, I must take two elevators. The first takes me from the sixth floor where I live to the fourth floor that makes up the heart of Warren Towers (access to all three towers, all laundry rooms, dining hall, the entrance and exit to the actual dorms, etc.). From there, I take another elevator down to the street level doors to exit onto Commonwealth Ave.

The ride from floors six to four were par for the course. The second ride however was oddly incredible.


            I’ve been witness to scores of things left in elevators in Warren Towers since moving in last August. Everything from vacuum cleaners to unclaimed, unexplained bananas have been sighted. Frankly, the banana had been my personal favorite up until this night. Then I found what is in the picture above: a shopping cart from Home Depot. I laughed hysterically for the whole ride, thinking I was seeing things. It was late, I was sleepy, and I’m historically a tad insane, so this vision could have been conjured by my crazy noggin. Alas, I took out my iPhone and grabbed a quick picture just in case.

When I was looking through my phone earlier today I saw it. The orange shopping cart. I didn’t imagine it. I’m not insane. The cake was a lie after all. I laughed yet again. Then, out of sheer curiosity, I searched the location of the closest Home Depot.

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            The closest Home Depot to Warren Towers is three miles away. Three. Miles. This is about when I started crying with laughter. So many questions came to mind.

Who had the idea to take a shopping cart from Home Depot? Why did you need a shopping cart for your personal use? What quantity of tequila was involved in this heist? How did you get away with the cart? Why did you take it at all? How the hell did you drive said shopping cart three miles back to BU? Why the hell did you drive it back to BU? Why did you bring it in the Warren Towers elevator? Why did you leave it in the Warren Towers elevator? If you had made the commitment to not only steal the shopping cart, but also drive it THREE MILES back to Warren Towers, why dump it in the elevator? Did you attempt to bring it back to your room only to be accosted by the staff of Warren Towers who then informed you that this shopping cart was impermissible into a dorm room? Can, for the love of all that is holy, that hypothetical be true?

There are so many questions, and zero answers. This is the funniest, most fascinating thing to me. If you read this, please get in contact with me. This is an open offer: if you are the Shopping Cart Bandit, I want to meet you and go to dinner. This isn’t a joke. I need to be friends with this crazy person.

Regardless of who it is, here’s a toast to college, the only place on Earth where shenanigans like this can happen. It truly is the greatest.

Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is a freshman at Boston University, majoring in journalism. He can be contacted at