We’re on a Costco run.
I’m generally not invited on Costco runs due to some Priors, some unfortunate displays of lack of self-control, some poor judgment, followed by regrets: “It won’t happen again.”
But rations were way down, there was some heavy mule work required, and so, here I am, with my adult chaperone.
The front of the store is stacked from floor to ceiling with 65″ HDTVs, deeply discounted laptops and seasonal deals on cell phones. Gadget man’s entire body is trembling, but is pulled forward with a scolding: “You don’t need any more. Come on!”
It’s 10:30 am and I’m working here on an empty stomach. The nose catches a whiff of chocolate and separately, of cheese. Sampling Stations!
“I’ll catch up with you later.” I can feel the stink eye on my back, but first things first. I turn and head across the store, the stimulated nostrils acting as the GPS.
Triple chocolate brownies. “Thank you.” I let the chocolate melt in my mouth, close my eyes and whisper: Jesus, I’ve stepped right into Heaven. I grab a box from the shelf and tuck it under my arm.
I find the second sampling station. Cream Puffs! “Wow, these are great.” The lady adjusts her hair net and offers: “Go ahead, try another one.” “Thanks so much.” I pop it in, bite down, the cool, sweet whipped cream coats my mouth and slides down the tummy. Can the second be better than the first? When the crowd builds around the Cream Puff station, I sneak a third. Screw the newly acquired mid-life lactose intolerance.
I keep walking, licking the sweet off my lips.
Sinbad Sweets Baklava. $8.99. 18 assorted sweets. Crispy Fillo. Honey Butter. Premium nuts. Handcrafted. Are you kidding me? I grab a box.
Cheese Pizza Sampling Station! Costco Kirkland Brand Frozen Cheese Pizza. Breadcrumb crust. 100% real cheese. I stare at box cover while chewing a slice. Golden bubbly brown cheese. 10-12 minutes at 425 F. $9.99 for four pizzas. I grab a box. I know what we’re having for lunch.
I keep walking.
Clementines. $6.45 for 2 dozen. Japanese Orange explosion. I need to adjust the goods under my arms to carry the load.
I keep walking.
Three loaves of fruit bread: Chocolate Cranberry, Butter Pound Bread and Pumpkin Struesel. $7.99.
The hands and arms are now fully loaded. I circle back to home base to find my chaperone, who looks up and down the composition of the load:
“Seriously, are you kidding? And wipe your face!”
I clean-up the remnants of the Cream Puffs with my sleeve, she’s shaking her head.
I look in her cart. Brussel sprouts. Corn. Lettuce. Bread. Bananas. 2% Milk. Paper towels.
I place all of my necessary supplies into the cart and bark out a warning:
“Don’t you dare touch any of these. Not a single one.”