Archive for the ‘Silliness’ Category

Costcoshopper

There’s this old fable. You probably remember it. It’s about an ant that spends its summer and fall storing food for the winter. While its fun loving neighbor, the grasshopper, spends his days dancing and having an all-around groovy time. Soon enough, winter arrives, and we find the ant fat and cozy in his hill. Meanwhile, the unprepared grasshopper starves.

The moral of this fable depends greatly on the reader’s philosophical make-up. But I’m not here to contemplate the moral of any story. That sort of thinking is for nerds and the elderly. I’m here because Costco has finally forced my hand.

And this is where I abruptly transition to a topic that draws on some parallels to the old fable from the beginning of this blog: Buying a month’s worth of goods at Costco vs. shopping a couple of times a week at the local grocery store.

My wife falls into the former camp, while I land squarely in the latter. But, before I begin my completely rational argument for why my way of grocery shopping is undoubtedly the correct method. I must preface my know-it-allness in this matter, with the fact that I get where she’s coming from.

You see, I often do my shopping after work, and without kids in tow. She usually doesn’t have this luxury. And anyone that’s dragged a couple of bickering kids through a grocery store, is probably not too keen on doing it all over again in a couple of days.

End of preface. Now, onto me being right.

If this blog were a movie, this is where we’d cut to me rolling through the store solo, sauntering down a random aisle like I just took some really good drugs. Earbuds in my skull, and a skip to my step.

There’s an undeniable charm to popping into your local grocery store every couple of days. No long lists, just a few small things that you forgot to pick up last time. And it’s always like that. You’re rewarded for forgetting things. What’s the reward you ask? Another trip to the store a couple of days later.

It goes a little something like this: “What’s that? We’re out of toilet paper and one of the kid’s is stuck on the can? Okay, I’ll be right back!”

Cut to me casually assessing the local produce, and then walking home, perhaps with a loaf of bread under my arm. “Oh! Did I forget that pesky toilet paper again? Oops!” 

Back to a kid-free play date with myself (One that doesn’t involve showering and masturbating).

Anyhow, another nice thing about multi-weekly shopping is that your bill is deceptively small. You’re going twice a week after all. Unfortunately, at least for my argument, this is also wherein lies the problem (According to my wife).

My style of shopping often leads to a dangerously low supply of various detergents, vegetables, toilet paper (as previously mentioned), and even cold cuts. Whereas my wife can get a month’s worth at Costco. A store so vast and overwhelming that NASA has begun studying its endless corridors.

A store where everyone is lost, and nothing is as it seems, and your exhausted plea for directions are answered like so: “You’re looking for our seafood aisle? Just go past the socks and underwear, and take a left at our home furnishings… wait, wrong way. You’re headed towards electronics, jewelry, and hot dog buns.” 

Who the hell wants to buy their groceries at the same place where they might purchase their home theater system, or even their damn underwear. There are supposed to be different stores for different things. This is the way of a civilized world.

Alternatively, there’s Costco. The one-stop abomination. And because they sell so many things, there are so many people. And let’s not forget their parking lot, which is hard to forget, considering it can be seen from space.

True Story: The last time I was at Costco, I watched as a shanty town sprang up, in-between the cottage cheese and designer shoe aisles. Marauders with curd covered faces, bashing the weak with discount heels. The stuff of nightmares.

**Side note: The popular tagline from the film Alien was: In space no one can you hear you scream.

If Costco had a tagline it would be: In Costco all you hear are screams. And then you’re screaming. Because you’re in hell, and hell like everything else is also in Costco.

Sure, it’s nice to have a seemingly unlimited supply of cold cuts in the fridge. Heck, that’s our God given right as a Americans… but at what cost?

Well, if you’re shopping at Costco, at least five hundred dollars. No one has ever made it out of there for less. That’s why those weirdos check your receipts at the exits. If your receipt is less than five hundred dollars, you’re forced back in.

But I get it. Prepping for the apocalypse is expensive. That’s why most doomsday preppers live deep in the woods. Property’s cheap deep in the woods, and that means more money for all those Costco purchases.

All that said, I do know one product that Costco won’t sell, and that’s a bidet. Because, lets face it, like the pharmaceutical companies, Costco knows the real money is in the treatment and not the cure. A bidet’s cheaper than a garage filled with toilet paper. And they don’t want that. They want you drowning in toilet paper.

You might say: “Aww Nik, you’re a helluva smart fella, and easy on the eyes I might add, but I think you’re being a little melodramatic about the Costco situation.”

And I might respond as follows: “First off, I appreciate the compliments. You’re more observant than I initially gave you credit for. But don’t mistake my truth bomb for melodramatics. Given, I am usually a sarcastic shit-heel. So I understand that my sudden shift to Truth Sage might be jarring. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and all that.

And you, with your constantly pooping body should know better than anyone, that no one needs fifty rolls of toilet paper in their home. And if that’s what it takes to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, then I’ll just have to die with an itchy ass, and my stubborn refusal to go to Costco, intact.”

It’s at this point that you realize I’m right. That I’ve always been right. Perhaps you shed a few tears. Or maybe just a single one. And finally, you bend the knee and pledge loyalty to my cause. After that we go to Jewel, and play with the bruised produce. And maybe we even buy a six-pack of toilet paper, like civilized adults.

 

 

I decided to go for a run. Maybe, because I needed to shed a few pounds. Maybe, because I wanted to tempt fate and test my middle-aged heart. Regardless of the reason, on that run, I recieved a sign. Now, I’m not saying it was from God… but yeah, it was probably God.

I was about two miles into that dreaded form of exercise, and all of the rattling and gasping, was loosening up the crusty stuff inside of me.

Suddenly, I had to spit. And it was a particularly juicy goober. Apparently, a bone fragment had made its way from one of my shins to the back of my throat.

Steely-eyed, with my luscious hair blowing in the wind, my impossibly square jaw set in determination, and my muscles rippling (I’m on a roll, don’t judge me) I forged on toward home.

While doing so, I coughed up the morsel and spit it out.

Now this is where the sign comes in, so pay close attention. The celestial-goober launched itself from my mouth, but instead of falling onto the pavement a few feet ahead of me, it floated in the air at eye-level. Held either by the wind or the hand of God… but we all know the wind is God. So, yeah, it was God.

After floating in front of me for a long moment, it was quickly returned to my face with a splat. At that point, I stopped running.

Now, how to interpret this supernatural act, is the piece of the puzzle that still remains a mystery.

Did having to stop my run in disgust, and wiping away my own awfulness, prevent my heart from exploding?

In this scenario, the jolly bearded guy upstairs was sending me good vibes and a thumbs up. And that’s good, I think.

OR, was it that some cosmic prankster elbowed his buddy, and said “Hey god-bro, check this out.”  and then slapped me with my own slime. Then they probably chuckled and exchanged a fist bump, as my muffled curses passed under their fraternity of clouds.

In this scenario, the afterlife is not looking too good, for yours truly. An eternal pledge for some cosmic frat, where they diddle and humiliate you. Jesus… That’s some dark shit right there.

I don’t know, man. I just don’t know. That’s the thing about signs. They’re open to interpretation. And that leads you down some treacherous philosophical roads. The kind where you need to determine how full glasses are. And nobody has the patience for that.

Bottom line. I spit in my own face… but it wasn’t my fault, like at all.

It was and act of god. And he or she (calm down) is a mysterious being, whose intent is beyond our mortal comprehension. But the most important thing to know is: If you, or any of your friends, talk to the lady that was walking her dog (Off of 22nd and Hampton), I DID NOT spit in my own face. It was way more complicated than that.

And she’s a goddamn liar.

The television was droning on, as I regained consciousness. McCain was being asked by a CNN reporter whether or not the birthplace of Ted Cruz should be investigated. He thought it would be a prudent move. I rolled over and let out a sigh. It was 4 am. Ted Cruz was of questionable origin. And I was in Detroit.

This was yesterday.

I rolled back over, and burrowed my face deep into the pillow. I briefly wondered if self-smothering was an actual thing. And then I smelled it. The scent was immediately recognizable. It was the smell of my Grandmother. Or to be more exact, my Nana.

She helped raise me as a child, and to this day, she still smells exactly the same. A mixture of Revlon perfume, Revlon hairspray, and old foreign lady. It can be a reassuring, even pleasant scent. Not so much, when I’m alone in a strange city in the wee hours of the morning.

Confused and in need of fresh air, I lifted my head. The fragrance danced through my nostrils. Needing to get to the bottom of this, I burrowed my face even deeper into the pillow, and inhaled deeply. This was weird, not quite disturbing, but definitely weird.

I played out the different scenarios.

SCENARIO A). The Supernatural One: My Nana has a ghost scent. It may have developed from years of working on a Revlon assembly line (which she did). And now, this phantom odor had for reasons yet unknown, decided to haunt me in the only way it knew how… by making stuff smelly.

SCENARIO B). The Practical One: The cleaning woman must be an older woman from another country. She obviously also believes in the beauty and staying power of Revlon products. As she fixed the bed, her old lady smell must have crawled its way down from her hands and onto my pillow. Until finally, it climbed up my nostrils with the determination of a hundred Navy Seals.

I chose the rational explanation. After all, ghost scents were reserved for mysterious old homes, not chain hotels. Even if this one happened to reside in, what some might consider, a haunted city.

I slowly rolled off of the bed and stood. Stretching out the cobwebs, and wiping away the smell. Unfortunately, it was still with me. The cleaning lady’s nana scent clung to my face and maybe even to the rest of my body. The thought of a nana scent all over my body, was uniquely repulsive.

I headed to the shower. After a thorough soaping and scrubbing, I was once again myself. The nana scent had released me from its clutches. I methodically trimmed my beard and combed my hair.

Then I reached into my toiletries bag, which my wife packs for me along with an occasional lunch, because I am perpetually twelve years old. I quickly removed the hairspray, and doused my head. Cementing what was left of my hair into place. My eyes went wide in terror. The scent was back. I was once again a giant, hairy, eighty year-old woman.

Shocked, I glared down at the can of travel hairspray in my hand. It wasn’t the travel size can of big sexy hair (don’t judge me), which I usually used. Instead, this was a dented old can of REVLON hairspray. The image on the can showed a beautiful woman with windblown hair, sort of Medusa meets the runway, staring at me with cold, soulless eyes. She was a mythical witch of Revlon, and she had cursed me with a scent reserved for loving foreign grandmothers, not a thirty-something salesman. A Greek tragedy had played itself out in my hotel bathroom.

I hit the showers again, and made a mental note to call my wife regarding this matter, at a more decent hour.

Resigned to my fate, I trudged into that morning’s meeting with unkempt hair, and smelling faintly of old women. God only knows what the men I was meeting with would think when they first saw me, or worse, when they first smelled me.

Hopefully they thought of their own grandmothers, and of simpler times. Perhaps reminiscing on such innocent thoughts might help propel any future business along. But who knew with these types. Perhaps, they might’ve thought I was rolling around with old ladies, and didn’t own a comb. And worse still, maybe they were into that sort of thing. I hoped not.

I guess that’s how things sometimes go. We hope for the best, but nervously fear the worst. And if we’re lucky, life falls somewhere in the middle of our imaginary spectrum. And sometimes we smell funny, and there’s always a bad hair day right around the corner.

And that’s fucking life, man.