Okay…that was interesting… Just got back from the planned Costco run we contemplated a couple of hours ago. And yea verily, I picked up a $25 cash card and tooled over to the gas pumps, there (I thought) to fill up the Dog Chariot.
Well. Not so much.
Miraculously, a line is empty so I drive right in and jump out of the car. Before I can stick the new cash card into the pump, I hear someone screaming.
Some guy is making a ruckus on the street that runs south of the Costco gas pumps, and he is completely, BATSH!T rabid. He’s yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs, in a total rage, flailing his fists in the air and jumping up and down. The guy defines Batsh!t. He’s either having a psychotic break or enjoying a bad trip on meth. Or maybe a little of both.
This Costco stands on the north side of Montebello Road, which borders, just to the south, a pretty bad neighborhood. Despite the deceptively inviting park, the neighborhood is a dangerous slum. A friend of SDXB’s and mine lived in one of the apartment buildings there. He was a retired reporter, an old man with a gimpy leg who needed a cane to walk. He was murdered in the apartment parking lot by a couple of sh!theads who beat him unconscious (we hope) and then drove their stolen car back and forth over him twice.
That’s the kind of place it is.
The crazed guy was on the other side of the street, but I tend to lean toward the better part of valor, especially when I’m not armed. I don’t carry a pistol in the car, because I think there’s too much risk of having it stolen. Maybe I should, though…
So I put the gas cap back on, jumped into the car, locked the door, and drove off.
And was glad I did: by the time I pulled away from the gas pump, he had crossed the street and was jumping the wall into the Costco parking lot.
Now he climbs a paloverde tree next to the wall and tries to wrench one of its limbs off. He’s wrestling and thrashing and yanking at it. What happened after that, I do not know, because I got away from him. Presumably he wanted a tree branch to use as a weapon. Lucky for all of us he didn’t have a gun or a knife.
The car didn’t have enough gas to make it to tomorrow’s art lesson, which is on the near side of Scottsdale. So I drove up to the QT in our area — also not at all in what you’d call a “good neighborhood” — where I bought six gallons at $1.88. Didn’t notice how much Costco was charging, but I’ll betcha it wasn’t any less than that.
One reason I prefer Costco’s gas pumps to QT’s is that there’s always an attendant outside — a big, husky male attendant. At QT, the employees huddle inside an air-conditioned building with bullet-proof plastic between them and the hoi polloi. I didn’t see a Costco guy today, but didn’t look — he may have been inside his kiosk calling the cops. Who knows?
Today’s junket may turn out to be my last Costco trip. Trying to buy there without a credit card is just too, too damn much hassle.
I’d written out a check before I entered the store, so as to speed checkout. But just as I wrote in the amount, I realized damn! I forgot to buy the cash card. So I tell the cashier I’ll need to buy a cash card.
He now insists on adding the cash card into the amount already entered in his register, meaning I have to void the check I’ve already written and write a whole new check. This entails a lot of figuring out about how much $25 + the purchase + the cash back I’ve asked for will come to. I’m now getting flustered, because I don’t understand why he can’t just enter a second transaction and because the bitch standing in line behind me is clucking her tongue and tsking and groaning out loud, so this slows me down even more.
Can’t blame the bitch: Costco only has three lines open, so even though there aren’t many people in the store, the lines still go halfway back to the meat counter. This is a particularly infuriating trick that Costco likes to pull on Monday mornings. So I don’t fault her for being pissed. But she could, at least, keep her yap shut.
So that was my Costco adventure. It was discouraging enough that I believe I don’t want to shop there any more. I’m sure my son will pick up the packages of meat I need for the dogs. Otherwise…really, everything else I buy there can be had, in far less cost-inducing volume, somewhere else.
Costco dudes and dudettes: listen up! If you make it aversive to shop in your stores, it won’t be long before your stores go the way of Macy’s.