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Fight Club

I’ve written about me simultaneous love and disdain for Costco before, but today the food club almost became a fight club.


Bill and I went this afternoon to get a few things we needed—and for once, didn’t get anything we didn’t. But even if you plan what you need and know where to go, it’s still difficult to get in and out of there quickly. Especially on a Sunday afternoon right about the time that everyone has left church and decided that was a good time to shop and grab some lunch.

We slowly made our way through the warehouse and got in line. Each register had about 5–7 carts waiting, so choosing where to check out was really a crap shoot. I finally found a line where no one had too much stuff and settled in for a wait. Just as we’re approaching the register, a clerk opens the one next to us, grabs our cart and pulls us over. As we start unloading our stuff this older woman walks up and complains loudly that she’s been waiting a long time (Translation: Move. And let me go first). I start putting everything on the belt because, frankly, I wasn’t paying any attention to her and for all I know she was four carts behind us. Costco is like a battle field—it’s every man, woman and shopper for himself.

Bill politely (and with a slightly apologetic tone) tells her that the clerk pulled us over there but reassured her that we didn’t have much and would be out of there quickly—sort of a Sorry, but what are ya gonna do? tone. I guess she’s starts bitching to her husband loud enough for Bill to hear—meant for him to hear, really—that it’s not fair, that they were first, that we were rude, that they had waited all this time (because NO ONE else could have possibly waited longer than she has). By this time, Bill is pissed but he’s not engaging her. He’s slamming the cases of water onto the belt as she’s still yammering in his face about it being her turn, and he’s still trying not to tell her off. I’m at the register getting ready to pay so I didn’t hear the entire exchange up to this point, but I did hear Bill tell her that there are more important things to worry about in life than jockeying for position at the front of the line. Apparently, that set her off. And it set her husband off, too.

The husband starts calling Bill an idiot, and I thought Bill was going to knock him out right then and there. I was quietly trying to get Bill’s attention to come stand by me, but then the man tells his wife, with all the smugness he can muster, THIS is what happens when you shop at Costco. What the fuck does that mean? They’re too good for everyone there? That to walk into Costco is to slum it with the little people? Well, shit, if you don’t like slumming with us barbarians, get the hell out and don’t come back. Us discount shopper types don’t need you.

I was so intent on getting out of there at that point that I was just trying to pay quickly, get the cart loaded and get Bill the fuck out of there before he decked both of them because the woman was STILL going on about it even though we were just about done and out of her way. As we pushed our cart out I could still here her bitching about the indignation.

On the way out to the truck, Bill was fuming. He was muttering about being sick and tired of bullies, and how that woman was a bully and her husband was just afraid of her. Then he turns on me and snipes to me about how I didn’t say anything, like I was supposed to jump the woman and beat her senseless while he took on her husband. (I thought about it, but I was afraid of getting thrown out of my shopping Mecca.)

Here’s the thing: Had she been remotely polite about it, I probably would have let her go ahead of us. Has she said something to us nicely and not tried to make a scene to rally her cause, she could have had our spot. But I have no tolerance for that self-righteous bullshit. And neither does Bill.

So the she had to wait her turn like the rest of us.

I’m just grateful we didn’t get blackballed from Costco for fighting because, really, where else can I buy tank tops, hummus, vats of artichokes and cheap DVDs and books in the same place? Had that bitch taken that away from me, THEN I would’ve jumped her in the parking lot.


7 Responses

  1. Would telling them to ‘suck it up’ have helped at all?

    No, no, probably not.

  2. Man, I feel sorry for the cashier. I’m sure they got the full effect of her wrath after you left.

    • I thought about that as we walked out. I don’t think those cashiers get paid enough to put up with half the crap they have to deal with.

  3. Wait, is the hummus you mention the Sabras Sundried Tomato variety? Then yes, that is definitely worth fighting for.

    • I WISH it was the Sundried Tomato one. Bill likes the plain stuff, but I mix a little of my own sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers in and it’s pretty good.

  4. As someone who hangs out at Costco like it’s my job, I feel for you. That’s one of those no win situations; nothing you can say will make the bitchy lady understand what a freak she’s acting like. And obviously you can’t smack her with your cart or something, not even ‘accidentally’ for fear of banishment. Which would be so much worse than listening to the crazy old witch and her husband…

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