For those of you who don’t know, Costco is one of those membership only, discount warehouses… one of those places where you can get tartar sauce in a convenient 8 gallon “party pack.” (You never have to embarrass yourself at a fish-fry again.) It so happens that my in-laws are members, and we take appropriate advantage now and again. Yesterday afternoon was one such occasion.
Cheryl and I were employing the “divide and conquer” strategy of shopping: me at Target and her at Costco with the folks. I got done early at Target and thought it would be cool to surprise her at Costco. Just one problem: I don’t have a membership card. You see, they guard the entrance to Costco like a jealous spouse. Not just ANYONE can walk the hallowed halls of retail nirvana. You’ve got to show proof of membership; proof that you’ve ponied up the fee to join. Not that you could BUY anything, even if you got in; they scan the card at check-out. If you ask me they ought to encourage non-members to walk around… to see what they’re missing. After all, who isn’t impressed with enough tartar sauce to float a VW Beetle?
I decided that I would test the Costco Corporate Resolve. I would talk my way into Costco, or embarrass myself trying. I walk up to the ID checker like I know where I’m going, without any sign that I’m going to stop to show proof of membership. The ID checker stops me short, five paces beyond the threshold, requesting ID. I feign innocence, insisting my wife is already inside (which is true) and the ID is with her (which is KIND of true – the ID is with her mother, who is also with her). When the ID checker apologizes I get indignant. “Come on,” I say, “its not like you’re guarding state secrets in there, I just want to find my wife and kids,” playing the good father, family guy card for all it’s worth. When the ID guy still refuses I feign irritation, whipping out my cell phone to call my wife inside, muttering: “I hope she’s getting a frigging signal in there… I wouldn’t want to be you when my wife gets pissed dragging the kids around alone in there.”
As it turns out my gambit worked like a charm, it just wasn’t as difficult as I had hoped. I never got to do my spiel because they never asked for my card. I only got as far as my confident walk… right past the guy next to me as HE got carded. I walked right in without having to say a word.
What a disappointment.