Originally Posted: 2005-03-21 9:53am
Costco, Pimp Sticks, Tempura Shrimp, and the Saggy Pantyhose of Delay
I've always wanted a pimp stick. No, not a cane - A PIMP STICK. I think I might pick one up before I go on spring break. I bet I'll be the only girl at the beach with one. If you see me and my pimp stick in Mexico, don't hate. Celebrate.
I don't know what was wrong with me yesterday. It was Sunday, the day of rest, GOD'S DAY for goodness sake, and I felt angry and stabby. Pimp stick dreams notwithstanding.
It all started at Costco.
If you don't have a Costco, it's basically a giant warehouse store where you can buy things like 150 pound bags of raccoon food. It doesn't even matter that you don't have raccoons, or that you would never need that much raccoon food even if you had an entire colony of Mormon raccoons breeding in your basement - the point is: THERE IS A COMPLETE EXCESS OF USELESS ITEMS THERE FOR THE PICKIN'. IN BULK. MORE RACCOON FOOD AND CHICKEN WINGS THAN ANY HUMAN COULD EVER NEED. And what gigantically fat American doesn't want that?
If you don't have a Costco, it's like Sam's Club without the Sam Walton specter of bad employment practices. If you don't have a Costco or a Sam's Club - where the fuck do you live, anyway? McGregor, Minnesota? If so, I'm awfully sorry.
I didn't go to Costco to pick up a pimp stick, because I was pretty sure they wouldn't have them there. I mean, one pimp stick should last you ten years at least, so there really isn't much need to sell pimp sticks in bulk. Although one would also think there would be no need to sell 8000- count bags of tempura shrimp, but they sell those at Costco, so who knows. One day you might go into Costco and find on display a handy three-pack of pimp sticks in day-glo colors. That would be cool.
In case you missed the memo, and I did, Costco is the place to be if you are a soccer parent with horribly behaved children. And I guess the new thing amongst soccer parents who can't control their kids and who also hang out at the Costco on a Sunday afternoon is to bring Grandma and Grandpa along for the ride too. Because really, there aren't enough people at Costco. We need more people.
It's like these soccer families feel a need to compete not only with the other soccer families and their huge SUV's and their 45 children and their 50 liter containers of Goldfish crackers, but they also need to compete with Costco itself in all it's bulky glory. The soccer parents have decided to step it up and are now bringing their entire extended families to Costco.
People - bulk shopping doesn't mean you need to bring a bulk entourage. Leave Old Aunt Harriet and MeeMaw Betty at the home. There isn't room in Costco for the weak and the infirm. If they can't push a cart and contribute, they're taking up too much space. This is serious business. There's no crying in bulk shopping.
As soon as I walked into Costco, I knew I was going to regret it. Too many people. Too many carts. Too many women in shower caps and latex gloves trying to give me samples of food I can't eat. Too much.
I was on a mission to get some bulk alcohol. I wanted to get in and get out, just like that quickie I had that one time with that dumb football player - the one I wanted to be over as fast as possible so I wouldn't have to hear him speak. Alas, it was not to be.
Picture this, please:
Me. An old grandma. A tiny aisle. Tons of carts. A stand-off.
On my mission to find the alcohol section while simultaneously mowing down as many whiny children as I could, I got sidetracked by samples. That's how they get you to buy fifty pounds of teriyaki chicken wings, you know. They bank on the fact that you will be starving and bitter while you're shopping and that a tiny taste of their teriyaki wings will soothe your savage beast. Tommy want wingee! Once you taste them you think, "Fifty pounds of teriyaki wings isn't that much. If I eat wings at every meal for the next three years, I could totally eat all these wings and make my investment worth it."
[Side note: I'm thinking of inventing a special shopping cart for single people. It's going to have a huge grill fitted with a massive metal bar that will be able to take out little kids who are throwing fits in aisles because their parents won't buy them shit. My cart will be able to smash these horrid children without the shopper ever feeling a thing. At the end of the shopping experience, the shopper simply returns the cart to the front of the store, where the parents of unruly brats can try to scrape their children off the cart grill. ©]
I passed on the nasty bacon bits samples and the tuna and weird cracker samples, and then I saw them: the tempura shrimp samples. [cue heavenly music] Oh how they called to me. They wanted me to eat them. I did not care. I was going to get me a skewer of tempura shrimp if I had to take out every MeeMaw Betty in the joint.
The problem was that there was a limited supply of shrimp left. Like only two. And I was still a good distance away from my target. It was essential to my rapidly fading sanity that I claim one of the last remaining shrimp, because if I didn't, I would be forced to become one of those sad people that keeps circling the sample table, pretending to look at the tiny frozen quiches until the next batch of tempura shrimp is ready. I didn't want to be that person.
I was almost there, so close that I could taste the tempura grease in the air, when I turned down the wrong aisle in a bid to get there faster. That's when I met her - MeeMaw Betty and her saggy pantyhose of delay.
MeeMaw Betty had no intention of moving herself OR her saggy knee-high pantyhose out of the way. She didn't have a cart, so it's not like it would have been difficult for her to simply back out of the way so I could get by and get to my blessed tempura shrimp. But she wasn't going anywhere.
I pushed my cart right up to her wrinkled visage and she simply flat-out ignored me. It seemed that her powers to ignore had been finely honed over her 80 year life span, because I was shooting rays of old woman death at her with my eyes and clearing my throat and revving my cart menacingly at her, and she never even cringed. She just yelled at her husband who was boxing me in from behind with his cart.
"You need to go get me three box of Cheerio. THREE BOX OF CHEERIO," she screamed at her husband.
"WHAT?" her husband yelled back.
"THREE BOX. THREE BOX. THREE BOX OF CHEERIO!"
Grandpa Hank jammed his cart into my ankles so he could get closer to his wife.
I flipped around and shouted, "THREE BOX OF CHEERIO!!!!!!!"
"Ah. What kind of Cheerio?" he queried.
Oh bloody hell.
"WHAT?" shouted Betty.
"WHAT KIND OF CHEERIO????? Look, ma'am, if you moved so I could get past you, you two could carry on this conversation in a range that might be picked up by your respective hearing aids. So how about you back up so I can get by?" I asked, trying desperately not to pull her knee-high pantyhose up over her head.
She just ignored me and continued to yell at her husband, "HONEY NUT. THREE BOX HONEY NUT." And as she did that, the last tempura shrimp, MY tempura shrimp, was scooped up by a soccer mom for her horrid son, who took one bite and said, "This is gross," and tossed it into the trash.
If Costco had sold pimp sticks, that never would have happened. MeeMaw would have been on the ground nursing her broken kneecaps and HorridSoccerSon would be trying to remove a pimp stick from his ass.
Disclaimer: Tempura shrimp (much like my breasts) may not be drawn to scale.