Where This Meets That
Saturday after Thanksgiving, I’m on a tight schedule. I’m running a slalom course through Costco en route to my already overflowing cart up near checkout. I’m desperately cradling a last-minute bucket of baby formula in my left elbow, finger-hooking a crate of diapers, and hunching beneath a mountain of packaged toilet paper rolls as I juke, Barry Sanders-like, down the aisle.
Then it hits me. I feel like I’m looting this place!
And I look around. We all are!
Of course, we’ll pay for it, so it’s not actual “looting”. But across the store, bustling customers are balancing fresh fruits and meats atop toiletries atop office chairs atop 80-inch HDTV’s atop leather recliner sofas and more, precariously atop comically insufficient shopping carts. When I went to China a few years back, I was astounded at the loads that people could balance on a simple moped, but this . . . this is an impressive American spinoff. People are stacking carts on top of carts like the famous “Pyramid of Pachyderms” in Dumbo!
Retail, of course, is just that: take as much as you’re willing to pay for. But Costco (and Sam’s Club, etc.) is retail on steroids, and it just strikes me as industrialized looting. The only thing that could make it more apparent is to make it a drive-thru. Just bring your full-sized pick up through a super-sized outdoor warehouse with someone ready in the bed to hop onto the nearest shelf, dump a sofa in, and take off to Electronics!
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, having such a large family, I love going to Costco (albeit without the large family!). And the fact that I always leave broke shows that industrial looting is one heck of a business model in a nation that loves to go big.
It just struck me as funny, that’s all.