I spent some time in Costco the other day. As a life experience it ranks up there with:
- I enjoyed a Leafs – Oilers hockey game.
- I had a root canal procedure, and a wisdom tooth extracted.
- I underwent a prostate biopsy without anesthetic.
You might get the idea It wasn’t the most fun I had that day. Fact of the matter is there is nothing much more in the shopping universe I dislike than a trip to Costco. Here’s why:
- Those Costco shopping carts. Big. Hard to maneuver. Ugly. Put a continuous track on one and a Costco shopping cart could easily substitute for an Bradley assault vehicle.
- Costco customers. Their average IQ must be around 70. A typical one is aimlessly pushing a fearsome empty cart the wrong way up an aisle with two screaming kids riding shotgun.
They dawdle. They block your way. They cut in front of you. They clutter the parking lot with carts. They never say “excuse me.” Oy…If we sent a division of Costco carts and drivers to Syria, ISIS would be finished before the weekend was.
- You have to pay for all this aggravation. My daughter convinced my wife to pay extra for a Costco Executive Card. This card apparently has a “cashback” feature, but nobody’s ever handed me $20 as I left the building.
- Shopping ambiance. It ranks right up there with the finished goods warehouse at the Unilever Bramalea plant. The milk and veggies are kept in areas with a temperature slightly warmer than winter in Resolute. The staff keep the customers guessing by changing the cat litter location from one side of the store to the other.
- Selection. It’s great if your favorite brand of everything is Kirkland, and you have boffo storage space at home. Maybe you need 2 liters of artichoke hearts if you are feeding the Italian army this Christmas but for two old people? Also if there is something you really like that’s only available at Costco, they’ll discontinue it or change the recipe.
- The clothing and books aisle. Looks a bit like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Customers act the same way.
- The annoying food sampling booths. No, I do not want to eat overcooked tortellini with rose sauce at 10 AM.
- Checkout lineups. The checkout staff are friendly and efficient but plan on being there a while. It’s guaranteed there’ll be 10 carts ahead of you, and 4 or 5 more typical Costconians will want to cut in – since they have cruised the store for an hour and now have one item to buy.
- Getting in and out of there. Remember we have the same customer set but now they’ve exchanged their Costco war chariots for SUVs and 4X4 pickups. A Costco parking lot is not the place you want to take your brand new just off the lot set of wheels. It’s the closest thing to a demolition derby in real life that I know of. You start to back out and someone parked immediately behind you does the same thing – without a glance. You get out in the exit lane and at once another nimrod cuts you off to get into the parking spot vacated by the first moron.
- Getting home after a Costco experience. You now have to unload several huge shopping bags, numerous bulky items that wouldn’t fit in the bags and 100 lbs of cat litter. This has to be navigated up the garage steps, through the house and down to that boffo storage area you have in the basement. Just hope you got enough fridge space for the artichoke hearts.
My wife has promised that we now have enough kitty litter to preclude another Costco trip anytime soon. I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies.