The Lesser and Greater Glories of Costco

So I went to Costco the other day, and it struck me what a bipolar relationship I have with the place.

On the one hand, I applaud what Costco represents.  They’ve found a smart niche in the market that fills a real need: mostly quality shit, and lots of it, for cheap.  In addition, they pay their employees really well and provide good benefits, proving in one fell swoop that other big retailers, like Target and Walmart, could do the same if they had souls and were run by decent human beings instead of greedy fucking assholes.

On the other hand, going to Costco is terribly depressing because of the sheer number of huge fat people that flock to its elephantine food offerings.  And let me clarify that I’m not talking about people who are simply overweight, because hell, I’m overweight.  No, I’m talking about HUGE FAT PEOPLE, you know, the kind of person who rides a cart around the grocery store and barely fits down the aisles, the kind of person whose gait is mangled by the weight of their own blubber, the kind of person who is so big it’s hard to conceive that they do anything other than graze on fast food all day.  We’re talking Jabba the Hut fat.  And it’s depressing right, because people this fat are the perfect symbol for the mindless American consumer and the worst of our society: a country where people have so much comfort and feel so little social pressure to be healthy/responsible that they just eat themselves until they die of heart disease or some other scourge of obesity.  Call it death by instant fatification.  To be fair, they probably see me and think, “what the hell is that huge ex-football player doing wearing women’s sunglasses and looking like a dandy?”  It’s called peacocking bitches.

So Costco, to me, is the perfect microcosm of the best and worst of our society.  In the good column: screaming deals on everything from pharmaceuticals to wine to that juicer every third person seems to own, fantastic customer service at the register (except that time a male cashier that was about 60 said something about a mustache ride as he swiped the bananas I was buying), recyclable cardboard boxes to carry everything out in, and of course, the dirt-cheap, crack-laced hot dogs, pizza, and chicken bakes on the way out.

In the bad column: piles of books written by right-wing hacks (hint: that’s cause they didn’t sell anywhere else), fat women with hair-lips who’ve utterly given up on anything but eating and trying to get other people to eat (ninnies), and on the way out, Jabba bellies bulging out of the shirts of most of the people eating the hot dogs, pizza, and chicken bakes.

Oh, and has anyone noticed how utterly and completely fucking unaware people are of the space their cart and body are occupying at Costco.  The classic case is the sample asshole.  You know, the guy sitting there in the middle of the fucking aisle waiting for his little slice of microwaved chimichanga, blowing on it to cool it off before he porks it down his corn hole, then stopping to make small talk with the sample lady who can’t understand a word he’s saying because she’s senile and has spent too much time in front of that microwave.  And while Chatty McFatty is slowly enjoying his samples, there’s a virtual Armageddon developing around him: carts piling up, children screaming about the giant toys they want their parents to buy them, ninnies making chewing motions with empty mouths waiting for their sample, and then there’s the goddamn blender guy who’s seen his chance at a captive audience, buzzing all this delicious, fibrous produce into a green mush, zealously pontificating into his incredibly arrogant head piece about how this device can transform lives, and all I wanted was some Greek fucking yogurt…It’s called SPATIAL AWARENESS PEOPLE!  Learn about it.

However, despite the fat people, the ninnies, and the spacing issues people seem to have at Costco, I still go there, because as I said earlier, it’s mostly quality shit, and lots of it, for cheap.  Thus, I’ve developed some strategies that I’ll pass along to you, dear reader, because other than bitching a lot, we here at Chuckingrocks want to provide value.

Costco Strategy 1: Get A Cart

Going into Costco without a cart might seem like a good idea, because it will force you to spend less, but it’s also like playing catcher without a cup: eventually you’re going to get hit in the nuts.  See, at Costco, a cart is your armor—it shows that you belong there and that you’re serious—but more than that, it is a weapon.  Once I was surrounded by ninnies, who, seeing that I didn’t have a cart, just decided I didn’t matter and hemmed me in; I was literally stuck in an aisle for like nine minutes while they slowly ambled around me in their sweatsuits.  If it had gone on much longer, I might have been mentally scarred for life.  So get a cart, because…

Costco Strategy 2: You Can Use Your Cart Like a Battering Ram

The other thing that is great about having a cart is that you can use it like a battering ram.  I don’t actually ram people (unless they really deserve it), but the threat of ramming is a useful tool to navigate Costco’s confines.  See, most of the people at Costco are dawdling along purposelessly, dinking around here and there being dummies, so when they see my cart fly by at 5 miles an hour, they don’t have a choice: they get out of the way, or they get fucking rammed.  In general, this is a good strategy to use in our society, because the person acting and making decisions will always beat the people that are not acting or are reactionary.  Remember: walk with purpose.

Costco Strategy 3: Orbit

Once you’ve found the stuff you want, orbit your cart as you go—don’t worry, no one’s going to steal your shit (Chuckingrocks takes no responsibility whatsoever if someone steals your shit).  Anyway, the point is, don’t get attached to the cart and feel you have to wheel it up right next to whatever you’re purchasing.  Instead, go get the stuff you want, bring it back the cart, and repeat.  In this way, you’ll avoid getting stuck in the cavalcade of asshats that insist on jamming the aisles with their fat families in tow.

Costco Strategy 4: Samples are Survival of the Fittest, NOT Women and Children First

Take the samples you want and don’t apologize if you have to elbow drop an eleven-year-old to get in there for the last meatball.  Normally, I’m all for chivalry and polite society, but in Costco, if you defer to old people, moms, or kids on the samples, you’re going to miss out, because that’s mostly who goes to Costco, and I can tell you, the huge fat people certainly aren’t going to defer to you.  I’ve actually seen a really fat lady club a little girl out of the way like Jabba did to C3PO after he told him, “50 thousand, no less,” for a teriyaki chicken bowl sample.  My advice: get in there, get out, and don’t underestimate the power of the dark side of humanity that emerges when there’s free food.

Costco Strategy 5: Pick Your Checkout Line Carefully

When you’ve finished your shopping and you’re ready to check out, scan the lines for potential landmines.  Is it worth standing next to the woman with the screaming child?  Are there any fat people who are so obese they’ll need extra assistance?  Is there a cashier that’s getting extra chatty—or who looks like they don’t give a shit?  Is there more than one group of old people in your line?  Any and all of these things can slow the line down to a crawl, and if the samples have the same effect on you that they do for me, you want to get home to use the bathroom.  So choose carefully.  Look for young people, people with less shit or a few huge items, and people that look smart—trust me, you’ll know.

Well, I hope your next trip to Costco is successful.  Just remember, almost all they shit they sell that’s not food is made in China or Bangladesh.

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About The Author: Jay Scott


  • Reply Dobbie

    Costco is not cheap in the least, every time I’ve been there I’ve bought double the amount I need averaging around the same price as some other stores. If your going there to save money be ready to buy 5 18-pks of eggs at a time or 4 32oz bottles of ketchup,10,000 paper plates,etc Liquor prices are higher, facts from a professional. They provide a good vision center. Fat people at my store seem to be orbiting around the prepacked food products, joke, Obesity runs high in low income area’s. Check Walmart for the heaviest concentration

  • Reply Mark

    That was refreshingly fun! Strategy #6 Find Your Own Box.

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