Saturday, October 3, 2009

Should we just go ahead and buy Halloween candy now?

It's no wonder the place is shaped like a huge box. Its products are in huge boxes, and most of the huge boxes you purchase are placed in larger, huge boxes, to make the load easier to haul out to your boxy mini van. That's right, I'm speaking of Costco. 
Most grocery stores strategically place a few items near the check-out area—People Magazine, gum, candy—"impulse buy" merchandise. Costco, however, is about five acres of impulse buy products. You might enter the store with a shopping list of ten items, but upon leaving, you watch yourself load up your vehicle with at least 27 more things than were on said list. How did I end up with that eighteen-pack of bagel jerky? Do I really need four gallons of low-fat giblet gravy? Is there room in the house for these adjustable bar stools with vibrating "smart fingers"? I mistakenly assumed I could buy a pair of reading glasses, but naturally, they were only offered in three packs. What's the deal there? Maybe one pair for home, one for the office and one just to keep in an unmentionable body cavity if you're ever in need of them somewhere else?
Another fairly obnoxious attribute of Costco's is their packaging. You basically need to purchase a four-pack of scissors to slice open the space-age plastic container for your new solar powered pencil sharpener. And before even approaching the plastic covering, there's a ten-inch, cardboard periphery to saw through.
Of course, I can sit here and critique the shortcomings of this institution, but will that stop me from returning time and time again, orbiting the frozen food area three times just to sample the meatball bakes or the microwavable chicken, broccoli and rice? Uh...nope. Will I gaze with contempt upon the folks sitting at those little picnic tables, looking like they're rehearsing for a competitive pizza eating championship? Oh, no...I will soon be joining them.

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