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Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Costco Incident

This eventually happens to everyone.

Today it happened to me.

The oily spatula sailed through the air, landing on the first knuckle of my right hand as I extended it towards a tray of chipotle apple bacon meatballs skewered with pretzel thins. It was feeding time at the local Costco, and the sample tables were crowded with shoppers testing some of the more exotic products in the Costco line. I was one of many people, being a good boy and not going for seconds of the things I really liked. My nine month old son was strapped to the front of me, so he could watch the activities of big people shop and snack. Right now he was observing how adults gorge on freebies.

But today it was not to be so. I drew my hand back, wincing in pain from the bruise on my knuckle as well as the sting from hot grease splattered on my wrist and forearm. I looked up with an expression somewhere between confusion and anger at the lady who did this to me. I had seen her before. She had always been pleasant to me whenever I saw her at the store, reciting her little 'spiel' for whatever she was pushing that day. But today was different. Today she looked stern. I could not see her lips, because she had one of those funny-looking masks over mouth; one of those ones which look more like a hairnet. While I couldn't see her mouth, I could understand her perfectly.

"Enough is enough," she said.

"Excuse me?"

"You have had enough!"

"I haven't had any meatballs," I said, as I glanced down at the trays full of all four variations of gourmet precooked meatballs. I had plans for one of each kind.

"Sir, we have watched you these past few years come in here and try each kind of meatball without buying any of them. We have had enough of you saying that you will try them and consider buying some. We know it is just a lie, and all you want is a free meatball. Well, we have cut you off now. Either buy some meatballs or not, but there will be no samples for you either way."

Silence. Every one of the three vendors behind the counter were standing still, staring at me. The shoppers had all stopped and were looking at me. Someone snickered. Blushing, I took a step backward.

"L-let me get my wife," I said, as I turned back to my shopping cart and scanned the fruit section for my wife. My ears felt really warm, and my heart was beating rapidly.

I found my wife in the refrigerated section of the store. It felt good to be in cool air, and the flush seemed to leave my face. Carolyn was inspecting strawberries.

"You won't believe what happened at the meatball sample table, honey."

"Really...hey! get him out of here!" This was directed to the baby, who was not dressed to be in the cold room. I stood outside the cold room while Carolyn made here selection of fruit.

"You'll never guess what just happened at the meatball stand. They wouldn't give me a sample."

"So? We never buy them anyway."


Kindred Spirit said...

"Humiliations galore!"

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Hilarious!Happens to me all the time!

dadwithnoisykids said...

Jackie - does England have something like Costco? Costco sells a lot of bulk foods at a discount; it is great for the large family.

Natalie said...

Oh My Gosh that is so funny! Maybe you should get some meatballs and they'll let you have the samples again. The ones they were serving sounded delicious.

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Oh just seen this...not really I don't think though we have cheaper stores Aldi Lidl etc good quality but a bit boring!

Bobbi said...

My 6 year old read your post out loud and howled. "Mommy, let's leave a compliment! That was hilarious."
"Honey, it's called a comment."
"No, I want to leave a compliment."
Thanks for being the "read-aloud" portion of our homeschooling day.
I think that you should return to the Costco in disguise, by the way.

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