Among the elite ... at Costco

Thursday, January 9, 2020
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Dino Dave’s Adventures

In the back of my freezer there are still teriyaki bowls from the purchase of May 2016. The corner of my cupboard above my stove still has paleo bars left over from the purchase of August 2015. In my fridge door, there is a bottle of ketchup big enough for every hotdog sold at Fenway during a Yankee game from the purchase of December 2017. A couple times a year, like a freshman who indulges too much at a frat homecoming party, I sometimes think it is a good idea to shop at Costco.

It all started a few years ago when my brother asked if I wanted to go to Costco with him. With his nose slightly in the air he showed his own special membership card with his own picture on it. “You can’t shop there unless you go with me,” he said, like he was Paris Hilton in the VIP line of Vegas’s hottest night club.

Apparently, this store is so amazing, you have to pay $30 a year, just to get by Nancy, the bouncer at the door. I showed up with my brother, but my ego caved. I too wanted to feel like Paris Hilton, so I went and paid 30 bucks for a card with my own face on it. My posture straightened as a new confidence radiated as I walked past Nancy flashing my new club card. If only any of my former high school teachers could see me now. They would be so surprised that I had finally made it.

I had no idea what I was shopping for, but I pushed the cart the size of a water buffalo anyway. I bypassed the big screen TVs, books and clothes and headed straight for the samples. I see sample egg rolls! Free egg rolls! No wonder people pay 30 bucks a year. Does Paris Hilton get free egg rolls at her favorite Vegas club? I think not.

With my cart still empty I bolted for the egg rolls. But to my dismay, they were a hot item and Edith the sample lady was still cooking them. Edith caught me out of the corner of her eye and with a coy voice said, “They are not quite ready yet young man, another couple minutes.”

Oh, c’mon Edith I murmured to myself, I pay 30 bucks a year for you to get your egg rolls right. I paced back and forth; I don’t know if I can wait a whole two more minutes for Edith to get it together. I paced a bit more, then the bell of the toaster rang. Finally!

Edith however was not done playing her chess move. She saw how I paced, and she doubled down. The history of earth has all had rulers in different dispensations who had usurped all their power unto their masses. Genghis Kahn, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and now Edith. This was Edith’s time of power.

She saw me pace, she saw me eye those egg rolls, she heard the toaster bell ring, but Edith did not put that egg roll on the sample tray for me. With a snarky smirk, she slowly cut each egg roll, one by one, on her own tray. They would made available for consumption when Edith says they are ready. It was the most powerful Edith had ever felt in her life and she milked it.

I then decided to play my own chess move. I would NOT give Edith the satisfaction and I quickly went over to the next sample while she slowly cut those egg rolls in half. The next booth was some disgusting health drink thing. Whatever, it was free, and I intended to get all my membership perks. “Thank you that was pretty good! Where are those again?” I totally lied. I’d never buy that stuff.

I turned my attention back to Edith and the egg rolls, surely, they would be ready by now. They were out, but they were disappearing fast. I quickened my pace. I was almost there when I gave a slow motion “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” The last egg roll of the batch, gone! I was too late. Snatched by another club member. Well played, Edith. You got me this time, but I’ll be back Edith, I’ll be back.

I picked out a couple things, just because I was there and should probably buy something. Looks like I had better get used to eating frozen waffles and peanut butter for the next 18 months. The checkout line looked like the line at Space Mountain. But the Costco cashiers were amazingly efficient. Before I knew it, the cashier snapped at me, “$214! And we do not take that kind of credit card either!”

But I only bought five items! “Can I get a bag? or do I just make five trips to the car?” She gave me a look my mom used to give when I made sense, but she just didn’t want to deal with me. “No!” Was the cashier’s hard reply and she was on to the next in line.

The confidence I had earlier showing Nancy my Club Pass has now disappeared. It was at that moment I saw the largest sign advertising a hot dog and a pop for only $1.50! A dollar fifty! Don’t do it, Dave! I don’t even want to know what those things are made of. The fat, the grease, the preservatives, the calories….there was absolutely, positively, no way I will put that thing in my body!

Two minutes later I had a line of relish on that thing that looked like I was back stage of Ozzy Osborn’s Bark at the Moon tour.

I started to think…I could now live off of a $1.50 a day. No….I have to get out of here. This isn’t a club, this is a cult. I ran for the door. “Do you have your receipt?” Oh for the love of Pete, I searched every pocket. This place is a cult, they won’t even let me leave. The receipt was left by my hotdog. I ran for my receipt and ran for the door. I tore out of those double lined parking spaces so fast all my unbagged items scattered in the trunk.

It was too late. I’ve been brainwashed. I can’t wait to see Nancy’s face next year when I upgrade to the Business card!

Dave Fuqua is a Glendive native. You can find out more about him at . He can be reached at