Saturday, March 14, 2009

March 14, 2009

Aren't you so sick and tired of all the negativity in the world? Even though the president said we can shop again, people are still reluctant to go. I don't get it. I know you lost your job and all, but just take your extended unemployment benefits and, like he said, be a saver. Not to the banks, you lemmings, he's talking about saving with Costco! I know, I know, some blogs ago I said the big box stores are the enemy of towns and small businesses like mine, but that was before this financial bomb dropped on me. Oh I went through all the stages of grief, but I'm a problem-solving American after all. So that's why I've decided to cut bait on all my debts. I mean what fools have we been for trusting those suits at the bank and their full-priced mortgages? We should have been getting kick-backs like those money-grubbing execs. Costco has kick-backs for all its members you know, and that's after they've discounted everything to save you money. The president should have asked Costco to save the financial system. He likely did, but I bet Costco brass said, "Forget about it, what do we want with you losers? This is a member's only club and we're helping our customers who know how to save real money!" And, so after practical consideration, I've decided to move out of my house and into my neighborhood Costco. Goodbye corporate thieves, politicians, famine, war and darkness, hello bargains and bright lights!

I know it sounds like I've lost my mind. But before you write me off, hear me out. This journey from skeptic, to closet membership, to lifetime Costconian is one you would do well to undertake. Like my fellow community activist-types, I too was snooty about Costco in the beginning. After all, the openings of all these big box stores were homogenizing America and forcing small businesses like mine out of business while killing towns. But, quietly like many of you, I found myself buying the mondo bags of toilet paper I had no place to store and the 5# bags of breaded chicken my son lives on. And then, I moved on to other bargains at Costco. I would eventually learn what a novice I still was to the serious shopping I've since uncovered. There I was stocking up on wine and liquor in the far back corner, when I spied mattresses on the back wall. Lo and behold Sealy mattresses and at such a good price! It just so happened that my client was in the market for mattresses for her kids' beds. I made the call and switched out for the flatbed cart. Maybe you found the mattresses too, but did you know that further down that far back wall they sell caskets? That's right, caskets and a selection at that.

It was like God himself sent a thunderbolt down (or maybe one of those giant bulbs blew out over my head), Of course, independent stores everywhere are closing! But I ask you, do you really want to go to some dreary old victorian furneral home with the smiling Lurch ready to steal your meager savings? Drag yorself through the scene with your sobbing family all itchiing to get to the will reading? I say skip the grief, get to a brightly lit Costco and order one up while you are already there for tires and tampons. Why shop for anything anywhere else? It's so much easier, cheaper and morally superior to simply shop under one roof. Then there's the percentage you can earn back at the end of a year of shopping if you sign on for the Executive Membership. The smiling attendant walking around with her computer scanner winked knowingly at me when she saw the mattresses, "Just think how many points you can earn on an Executive Membership!" Of course I signed right up for that. Sure it costs extra, but with all this money I'm spending and saving, I'll quickly get it back and maybe more. It's like money in the bank without the cheating banks! And so as I stood in the mile-long line for what would be the last time, I realized I could live my whole life out in costco, exiting only to go to that final resting place and resplendant in the casket of my choosing: pearl greay with lavender lining, please.

Yep, it's womb to tomb at Costco for you and me. You come in all pink and tiny, snuggled in the car seat pre-purchased, the one that clips out and onto the shopping cart, while you await easy assembly of your crib. The diapers, wipes and baby formula will be wheeled over momentarily while dad fetches that nice genuine oak rocker, a cozy fleece blanket and some nursery rhymes to read to you. The noise of Saturday shoppers and bright lights will become like white noise and soon enough, you'll be blowing ou the candles yourself on the big sheet cake with lots of that thick frosting you love. everyone will be gathered at the lunchroom tables, dad blowing up the hellium balloons himself from the little throwaway tank. You're a big boy now. No more crib for you ! That huge box is the kidddie car bed from the movie you love and now when you wake up, you can toddle by yourself over to the toy setion. Still too little to make it to the back of the store where the backyard playsets are? You'll have to thumb a ride in one of those battey-operated kiddie cars. Some day you'll be able to ride over on a big bike like the older kids. Moms says keep eating those dinosaur nuggets and you'll be a big boy before long. Well you are big actually, for the kids' clothes that is, but mom's says that's just because you're big-boned. Beg mom for a trip down junk food aisle and ride, don't walk. Head next to the coolers for the gallon tub of ice cream and mix some candy in it. Glide back over to that comfy Sealy mattress. Sack out with yor snack while you stare bug-eyed at the sea of televisions going constantly. This is the life! Pick from the miles of DVD's and complain when mom insists on the occasional educational one.

Is she still talking? Turn up the Ipod you scored in electronics and drown that nag out. Get to some serious chillaxin with your buddies on the sectionals that just came in. Maybe later, you and your homies can get a band together on those imported keyboards, guitars and drum sets. But just now, your growing body is starved. It's such a drag waiting for the cheesy pizza bites and buffalo wings to come out of those easy-bake sampler's ovens. If it wasn't for the gestapo attendants controlling them, you could really throw some chow down. Meanwhile, when no one's looking, scale the fence to snatch some smokes while sizing up the suckers over 21 to score you and your pals some liquor. Ouch, maybe the Jagerbombs don't really go with the 80-pack of mini cream puffs with real whipping cream. Better get a quick cart-ride to the johns. So what if the whole store heard you hurling? Let's just hope you didn't get anything on that ladies' magazine you stashed, if you know what I mean.

Speaking of the ladies? Bro you look fly in those high-end designer sunglasses from optometry (good thing because all your clothes are that lame store-brand). Never mind, wait till she sees you pour that Dom Perignon into the crystal champagne flutes (you're sure stealth with that knock-off pocketknife and the locked display cabinet). Now for a selection of hors d'ouevers before you fire up the grill for a lobster and filet dinner, all candlelit on the trellis-covered patio set.

Where has the time gone? Strolling the aisles arm and arm, you and the Mrs. have landed. There you are working with the in-house design pros on some custom blinds, carpeting and setting up your home office. With all the money you are saving, living and working out of your well-appointed digs, some day you'll be able to take one of those vacations you've read about over by Membership Services. It doesn't get better than this! That is until your eyes start to go. At first, you think fatigue from all that metal hallide lighting. Nevermind, just get over to optometry for some glasses. Now you're feeling achy? Maybe you just over did it demoing the treadmills. Lie down and take a pill. There's plenty over in the pharmacy. Wash it down with some fine, single malt scotch from the back. You'll feel better in no time. Wow that stuff is smooth, pour yourself another. It's not like you have anywhere to go.

Is it your fault that you're hooked and can't get around anymore without the motorized wheel chair? In fact why get out of bed at all? All the wife does is nag and complain anyway. Just get one of those young stock boys to bring some snacks by, that and your pills, booze and the big bag of adult diapers. When you come to , there will be some more television to enjoy. The days all look alike anyway.

Only the terrible smell will clue the staff that in fact, a little light did go out, but they won't need the big ladder for this one. It's a job for the pine flakes from maintenance and a forklift to get the casket down. Thank goodness for the stock boys. The wife's too distraught to take care of you herself (well that and your terrible timing in the middle of Oprah). Even though there's no nice suit to dress you in, everyone said how you looked at peace, dressed in the store-brand clothes you always favored. Your wife will wail about the vacation you always talked about but could never get around to taking, so comfortable were you at Costco. The staff did such a nice job of printing and assembling the hundreds of photo albums they diligently put together all those years. Everyone balled at the slide show of pictures streaming across all those televisions. You can tell how loved you were by the amazing nmber of roses surrounding you. They're two dozen for the price of one in the outside world. Of course, you never priced them yourself, because you couldn't get past the guards at the door demanding the receipt you could never produce. It's only in death, waiting on the forklift at the loading dock for the trucks to pull in and haul your cost-saved carcass out, that you will see the light of day. Just in time to enjoy a strange phenomenon, the sun setting.