April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Costco is awesome. My wife sent me to Costco today because we were low on tuna. Now we’re high on tuna.

I also came home with eight items she didn’t ask for. But no one buys just one or two items at Costco. There’s not even a checkout lane for people like that.

The store is huge. It’s like someone decided to sell food out of an airplane hangar, but cheaper than the airports sell it for. And definitely in bigger portions. Airlines give you six pretzels. You know how many pretzels come in a Costco barrel?

Neither does anyone else. No one’s ever finished them.

And they sell it all for discount prices!At least we think they’re discount prices. It’s hard to do the math when you’re buying 800 feet of Saran Wrap.

“Um, is $75 a good price for potatoes?”

“I don’t know. But look how many potatoes!”

And it’s not just about the price. Costco is a great place to go shopping if you have a big family, because that way you can come home and honk your horn, and everyone will run out and lug things in. There’s no way you can get everything into the house if you live alone. You’d have to take the day off.

Also, some of the items that you buy are basically a lifetime supply. I can’t resist the idea of never having to shop for olives again, because that is a thing that’s been weighing me down all these years.

And not to mention the huge containers of spices. You’re going to pass on some day, IY”H, and your kids are going to fight over who gets them.

“You take the three pounds of curry powder!”

“I don’t want the three pounds of curry powder! I already took the six gallons of corn!”

“Well, I took the 100-pound bag of rice!”

I don’t know that I want a 100-pound bag of rice. What if it develops a hole? What do I have to put all that rice in to save it? Do I have to buy those big plastic boxes that you use to store things in the attic? It’s a lot of eggs to be putting in one basket. Speaking of which, I don’t know that I want to buy five dozen eggs in one container either. Or 180 ounces of floor cleaner. If that spills, the neighbors and I are going to have to move.

Yes, there are some things that you need to buy in bulk. Like big rolls of paper towels, in case you spill a giant bottle of something. Also, I have one kid who grabs one end of the roll and walks into the dining room without bothering to rip it. I’ve actually come downstairs in the morning to find paper towels in the garbage attached to other paper towels that were still connected to the dispenser across the room.

I also understand the big bottles of Advil.

Costco is also a great place to buy utensils for Yom Tov. For example, they sell cases of 500 forks, 500 spoons and 500 knives. Who’s using as many knives as they are spoons?

Perishables are the worst. How am I going to eat 15 pounds of grapes before they go bad? Better stock up on toilet paper.

It’s definitely not a store for people who are afraid of commitment. You’re going to be married to the same bottle of vinegar for the rest of your life. Maybe you’re supposed to go in with a group.

“Three hundred envelopes? I need one. I mostly email. Anyone else need envelopes?”

“What am I going to do with all these envelopes? Start a tzedakah?”

The carts are huge. To push your cart, you really have to lean into it. Everyone’s walking at a 45-degree angle. All that exercise helps take your mind off the question of, “Where am I going to put this in my house? Oh, they sell sheds.”

Because otherwise these things end up as furniture around the house. You just leave it in the living room and have people sit on it.

“Here. Sit on the bag of rice.”

Or you take apart the case and put the individual units in a series of cabinets so that people open your cabinets and comically see 100 of the same thing. Like “Boy! You’re really into beans!”

And then you have to get out. Security’s pretty tight. They don’t let you in unless you show your membership card, and then on the way out, they look over your receipt. Are people shoplifting from Costco? How?

“Sir? Is that a 30-gallon drum of oil under your shirt?”

“What? No, I came with that.”

But you need to be a member. I’m pretty sure it’s a legal thing. Maybe in your contract there’s a legal disclaimer about how if you die from eating an entire tub of mayonnaise because it won’t fit in your fridge, they’re not held responsible. Nor will they take back your curry powder.

But my point is that I’m not actually sure why there’s such heavy security. Everyone there has a family. There are no creepy loners getting a membership just so they can buy 100 pounds of cat food and eight years’ worth of shampoo.

Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, The Jewish Press and Aish.com, among others. He also has five books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].
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