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Small Wonders: Courtesy and Costco don't get along

February 25, 2011|By Patrick Caneday

Dear Costco shopper: It occurred to me last Saturday, as 200,000 of us simultaneously ran out of toilet paper and converged upon our Wholesale Mecca, that we need to get a few things straight:

You are not the only person on this planet.

Please take the first empty parking space you see. Blocking the driving lane with blinker on watching Grandpa load his ’81 Pinto hatchback takes more time than if you’d left your car at home and walked.

At the entrance, have your membership card out. Waiting until the greeter asks to see it as 345 anxious people watch you dig lint and moldy tissues from the bottom of your purse is mildly inconsiderate.


Once inside, DMV rules of the road apply. Would you stop your car in the middle of a busy street, get out and walk to the sidewalk for a cup of lemonade? Then please don’t do that with your cart in the middle of the main aisle for one free tortilla chip. Pull over.

This is not England. Please drive on the right side of the aisle. Keep up with the flow of traffic. No faster, no slower. Blindly cutting across four lanes because you spotted a good price on Jordache jeans is likewise ill-advised. If driving an oversized flatbed cart laden with a barbecue, sauna or Hummer, you have a greater responsibility to be careful. Our shins and ankles thank you.

When entering the main aisles, please stop and look both ways before proceeding into traffic. If your 7-year-old can do it, so can you. If you feel dizzy, contemplative or sneezy, please do us the courtesy of getting out of our way. There's a cozy day bed under that decorative gazebo in the middle of the store. Relax there.

The food wranglers hand out bite-sized processed-food snacks. Not marital advice, diamond bracelets or Lakers tickets. A microwaved beanie-weenie is not worth a 30-minute wait. Along with that $6 T-shirt, get some self-respect.

There is no difference between that 68-pack of genetically engineered chicken breasts and the other 4,000. Grab one and move on. If the 8-pound jar of almonds is not being tended to by an employee in one of the designated most inconvenient areas, it is not to be sampled.

Twelve pounds of pre-cooked bacon? Really, ma’am? Put it back.

Yes, it probably is more than you need. It doesn’t matter what you're considering buying, it’s more than you need. And yes, it is a better deal than Pavilions, Einstein. It’s Costco.

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