Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Costco & Christmas: A Recipe for Disaster

The Holidays are my absolute favorite time of the year.  It’s almost as though there’s this sort of palpable magic in the air.  Everyone puts aside their differences, temporarily forgets about their problems, and comes together in the name of Christmas spirit.  You can’t help but smile as you pass by even total strangers on the street.  But then you go to Costco 2 days before Christmas and your faith in humanity is abruptly lost once again…

I’ve got no one to blame but myself.  My wife asked me to go to Costco several days ago but I, being a typical man, procrastinated until December 23rd.  When I woke up she told me I better get their before they open because the store would be a complete mess.  I arrived in the parking lot at 9:30 am (30 minutes before they open) to a sea of shoppers waiting to bum rush the entrance.  When they finally opened the doors at exactly 9:50 am chaos ensued.  Parents screamed at their children to pay attention, wives screamed at their husbands to hurry up, and an old lady screamed at another old lady after she was rammed in the back of the legs by her shopping cart.  At first I quickly made my way through the store checking items off my list (and picking up a few things not on the list) as I meandered from aisle to aisle.  But when I reached the produce section it was like a traffic jam on the 405 freeway during rush hour.  People grunted and scowled at one another as they maneuvered their way through the crowd filling up their carts (presumably) with items for Christmas dinner.  The meat section was even worse as I witnessed 2 women literally fighting over an orphaned ham (apparently they were unaware that there was a whole section of them just 2 aisles over). 

I could feel my temperature rise as the crowd swelled up around me.  There were still a couple of unchecked items on my list but I wasn’t sure I could go on.  I texted my wife to inquire about the criticality of the missing items and alluded to the dumpster fire I had become part of.  Her text back said, “Stay focused and you will get out ahead of the crowd.”  Her words of encouragement urged me onward.  I finally checked the last item off the list and then cautiously made my way to the front of the store dodging strayed shopping carts and oblivious children along the way. 

The checkout lines weren’t as bad as I had anticipated but I have an uncanny knack for always choosing the wrong line and today would be no different.  The old lady 3 carts in front of me couldn’t figure out how to use the pin pad and here’s the kicker, all she was buying was a single package of butter.  As time slipped helplessly away and I stood there shaking my head an internal dialogue began to brew in my brain, “Um, hello.  You do realize they sell butter at the regular grocery store, right?  Yet you decided it would be a good idea to brave the Costco crowds 2 days before Christmas to save what, 50 cents?  On top of that you’re really f*cking old which means you don’t have much time left.  So why the hell would you waste your final, fleeting moments here?  Man, I don’t get people.”  After what seemed like an eternity she finally just paid cash and left the store with a sour look on her face.

After I finally paid and made my way to the receipt checker (why is Costco the only store that needs a receipt checker anyway?) I could feel my Christmas spirit starting to come back as I saw a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of daylight.  But then on my way to the car some jackass in a pickup truck almost mowed me down as he raced towards an open parking spot.  I found myself right back at the boiling point of frustration as I said in a not very nice tone, “Slow down, dude”.  To which he responded, “Fuck you!”  To which I responded without hesitation, “No, FUCK YOU!”  And just like that the little girl getting out of the car next to me learned a new word for the Holidays. 

Merry f*cking Christmas and God bless us, everyone.

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