Give me Costco or Give me Death

July 23, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 5:13 pm   Category: Life

I have recently made a huge discovery. I have figured out the cause of all that is wrong with America today. Are you ready…it’s Costco! Really, let me make my case and I think you will agree with me.

Let’s discuss some of the problems that face the USA. First, we are told day after day that Americans are fat, fatter than they’ve ever been. Second, kindness is in short supply. We hear about road rage and neighbors fighting with each other. Third, there are too many children born out of wedlock. Ok, let’s start with these three reasons. I know there are plenty more but we don’t have that much time. Now let me tell you why Costco is the reason we are dealing with these problems.

I think it’s pretty obvious why Costco is behind America’s fatness. We go to Costco buy our ten pound bag of M&Ms and take them home ready to consume. I’m home I’ve eaten a reasonable sized portion of M&Ms for one person and now I have nine and three quarters pounds of M&Ms left. As a logical person what am I supposed to do, throw the rest away? I don’t think so, I know there are starving children in Africa and it is my duty as a good human being to make sure food does not get wasted. I eat my way through the rest of the bag and pat myself on the back for being such a good girl. Besides, they’re peanut M&Ms with all that protein they’ve got to be good for me, right?

You may not see right off the bat why Costco is the cause behind our cold and uncompassionate hearts. Let me explain my reasoning by sharing an experience that I’ve had at Costco. One day I had to go to Costco for a fifty pound jar of peppercinis and a five gallon vat of mayonnaise. As I was walking up to the store front with a baby on my hip I notice that there is only one cart left with child seats in it. Just at that moment I also notice another woman with a child making a beeline for the same cart. She looks over at me her eyes narrow and her pace quickens. Now my pace quickens, I’m going to get that cart. My arm is pumping, my feet are moving fast, and the baby is squawking but she must learn young that sometimes you must sacrifice for the right cause. I think to myself, I’ve got it, just a few more feet, keep your eye on the prize and just as I get there the other woman slams her child into the cart, whips it around, and flashes her Costco card at the Costco attendant and a smile at me as she disappears into the store. I’m left standing there fist clenched while a few choice words dance around in my head. I have no choice but to grab the nearest flat-bed cart and pray that the baby doesn’t crawl off the edge.

You probably think that my third reason Costco is the cause of all of the problems in America is a bit sketchy and I will admit I had to stretch on this one but here is my theory: After eating a seven pound box of Belgian chocolates, four pints of strawberries, and a number ten can of smoked oysters a person loses their ability to control themselves. The libido goes into over-drive and voila nine months later said person now has an ankle biter in tow.

You don’t have to agree with me on this but there is a Costco mystery that I need help with. Why does Costco always seem to be the geriatric hot spot for every town that I’ve lived in? I have two theories about this one. First with all of their prescriptions it just makes sense, I guess, to buy them in bulk. Second, a lot of the senior citizens of today spent their formative years during the depression and are preparing themselves for a future depression by buying all of the fifty-four ounce jars of spaghetti sauce and Calvin Klein jeans they can and stashing them under their bed.

I am really interested in hearing your reasons behind this and I look forward to reading them but right now I have to go to Costco and buy myself a 72 ounce tin of brown shoe polish. Ciao!


  1. well, honestly i think that wal-mart is to blame for all the evils in the world… just watch a documentary about their horrible ethics and you will see that i am right.

    however, i will agree that costo is a bit of a breeding ground for unkindness. but i see that in almost any shop these days, which is sad. they could be a culrpit in the “fattening of america”, but really, when it comes right down to it we can only blame ourselves.

    oh, and i do think that it is the depression mentality that keeps so many older people shopping there. after all, you have to be prepared for the future. it may also be a mormon thing, since we are told to have a years supply of stuff… maybe the older people are the only ones taking this counsel seriously. ;)

    Comment by Aimee Roo — July 23, 2005 @ 6:14 pm

  2. Is Sam’s Club equivalent to Costco in your model? Seems like the same principles hold either way. You might be interested to read an article in the NYTimes about Costco. I feel much better about shopping there than Sam’s Club.

    Comment by Mimi — July 23, 2005 @ 6:34 pm

  3. Honestly, I love Costco, this article is mostly tongue-in-cheek. My biggest beef with Costco is that I feel a little guilty when I shop there because I’m able to live in a country that is so well off compared to most other countries in the world. I’m not sure if it’s the excess of goods there but for some reason Costco brings out those feelings in me.

    Mimi- Thanks for the link, it was a very interesting article. I feel better about shopping there after reading it.

    Aimee Roo-My husband says that I don’t seem very nice in my shopping cart story and he’s right I don’t. I think shopping can bring out the worst in some people and you’re right, it’s not just Costco but in most shops.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 23, 2005 @ 6:47 pm

  4. I think Sams and Costco are a distorted conspiracy by big business to throw us off the fact that they want to control our lives. They think, hey, these people might catch on to the fact that we don’t want to think for themselves, we just want them to buy lots of our stuff. So to keep us from catching on, they decide to set up a front for letting us into the club. Hey, guys, come on in and be like someone important that shops for a business. What they don’t realize is that most of us weren’t sitting around waiting for someone to sell us food that is 30 percent cheaper that we waste 50 percent of because it’s so increadibly huge.
    The funny thing is, we’re buying it. We feel so good being part of the club that we buy an inhumanly large container of grapes and throw half away. We buy potatoes in bags big enough for a small army and bring them home to our two small children. We’re spending money that we weren’t planning on spending, and we’re paying 35-50 dollars a year for the privilege. So why do I feel special? It’s the two-inch-square sample piece of pizza, hot pocket, and or stuffed halapeno popper I get every time I enter the store.

    Comment by Steve H — July 23, 2005 @ 10:23 pm

  5. I’m with Aimee, I think it’s Wal-Mart. I hate to shop. However, as we contemplate Buttgold’s wedding, I’m thinking I will come to appreciate Costco and Wal-Mart. Grudgingly.

    Since I started going to Al-Anon, I work the first step and I am very nice to people in those stores. I consciously just slow down and accept my fate and be my graceful and kind persona, one of the many inside my brain.

    Comment by annegb — July 24, 2005 @ 6:43 am

  6. I never buy groceries at Costco. But we just got my daughter eyeglasses there. And they have cheap car insurance that I’m about to sign up for. And maybe even health insurance.

    Comment by Susan M — July 24, 2005 @ 7:44 am

  7. Yeah, contacts are really cheap there too. I’m too lazy to beat off the crowds to buy them there though, I just buy them from 1800 Contacts.

    Costco brings out the angel/demon in me evertime I go. The demon says things like, “Look how beautiful, stuff. Lots and lots of stuff.” I feel like Charlie entering the chocolate factory.

    Then the angel says, “It’s too much stuff, you don’t need this much stuff.”

    Maybe that’s why I don’t go that much any more.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 24, 2005 @ 9:10 am

  8. I don’t shop at CostCo (although I really miss the chicken bakes) because I don’t agree with their policy of coercing communities to use Eminent Domain to acquire property for building their stores… including a church in California that unfortunately sat on land CostCo wanted. Also, they tend to donate generously to left-of-center causes I don’t support.

    I’m not a big fan of Wal-Mart, either. But there is definitely something hinkie about people who drive to anti-Wal-Mart protests in Volvos and Subarus, and then complain that Wal-Mart is bad for American workers. Huh?

    Comment by V the K — July 24, 2005 @ 10:30 am

  9. Good point V the K, I guess if I’m going to be a conscientious shopper I might want to find out what causes the stores I’m shopping at are contributing to.

    I too miss those delicious chicken bakes but I’m not as altruistic as you are though, I’ve given them up because they have about 5,000 calories per bake.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 24, 2005 @ 12:12 pm

  10. Costco is a great store. My experience was that because it sells things in such quantity, it is easy to spend $70-$80 on a relatively smaller number of items than I’d get in a regular grocery store. I might have 8-12 items walking out of Costco and for the same money I would walk out of a grocery store with 20 items or more. It’s kind of a strange thing and if a person isn’t careful and follows similar patterns, it can lead to a lack of refrigerator diversity after awhile.

    Also, because of the prices and the joy of discovery, it can lead to some funny decisions. My wife and I walked out of there once with something like four or five containers of huumus. Hey, we were on the South Beach diet at the time and I guess at the stage we were in, huumus and vegetables was allowed. Still, I never had dreamed (after living in the Middle East for awhile) that I’d ever convince my wife to buy that much of that kind of food, at one time.

    Needless to say we overdosed and didn’t buy the stuff again for a long time.

    Comment by danithew — July 24, 2005 @ 8:07 pm

  11. We had a similar experience at our house. My husband loves peppercinis while I do not. One day at Costco Geoff saw this large jar of them and decided that we must purchase them. 6 months later I was begging to throw out the 1/2 full jar of peppercinis and Geoff finally relented.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 24, 2005 @ 8:28 pm

  12. Kristen:

    Thank you for the clue as to how to spell pepperoncini. I have been looking in on-line dictionaries for some time, but as a rule, if you aren’t close, they won’t suggest an alternate spelling. Yours was close enough to allow me to find this in

    pepperoncini, pepperoncino (pep-per-awn-CHEE-nee) – Also known as Tuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers, and golden Greek peppers. The Italian varieties, grown in the Tuscany region of Italy, tend to be more bitter than their Greek counterparts. The more popular Greek varieties are sweeter and commonly found in pizzerias tossed in salads for a crunchy, salty taste. They have a bushy plant that grows to 30 inches tall and producing sweet green peppers that turn red when mature. Usually picked at 2 to 3 inches long, these bright red, wrinkled peppers taper to a blunt, lobed end and are very popular for pickling. These peppers are mild and sweet with a slight heat to them, and are commonly jarred for use in Greek salads and salad bars.

    Carter J

    Comment by Carter J — August 8, 2005 @ 7:01 am