There are many good reasons to join a local cooperative food market: they support local food producers and growers, they generally have a wide selection of organic and vegetarian products, there is a strong emphasis on customer service (because  customers are the owners!) and good co-ops generally foster community development, environmental stewardship and nutrition.

In Madison an additional perk of being a member of the Willy Street Co-op (or living with one, as is my case)  is reading the  customer comments section in the monthly co-op newsletter.  No small failure on the co-op’s part (or on the part of humanity as a whole) will be ignored! Below, I bring you the gems of October (to read the diplomatic responses from the co-op staff, you will just have  to become a co-op member so you can get this newsletter, or read it here:

1. Climate Change Deniers

I would like to request that climate change deniers, i.e., motorists, be asked to turn off their engines when standing in the parking lot waiting for a spot. Today I had to breathe the toxic waste of three motorists idling in the parking lot while I parked my bike.

2. Labyrinth of Dangerous Sharp Corners

The planters out front have sharp corners, which are really dangerous. Any toddler or young child could run their face right into those. They are a really unfriendly addition.  Can you get someone to round the corners? Anyone could also bump into them with their leg. I would prefer they be removed. They are very bad feng shui. Doesn’t WSC have legal counsel–no good lawyer could possibly advise anything but removal of the planters and the bongo drop box [Ed–this is a reference to a local video store drop box]. You guys have made two very bad decisions in these planters and drop box. Please remove and make the co-op safe and welcoming not a labyrinth of dangerous sharp corners!!

3. Heat and Glare

The outside western wall is painted a very light shade (white-off-white-lt. grey) and in sunlight radiates heat and glare to people walking to the co-op from the neighborhood. Have you considered repainting that wall a cooler grey? It would cut the heat and glare to those who use the sidewalk.

4. Weed seed poisoning

I appreciate your efforts with plants but I get weed seed poisoning from walking in tall grasses and think that another type of plant would be more appropriate by the walk in front.

This commenter just has grass pollen allergies, right?

It’s a beautiful world.