Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Catching Up

One day last week I noticed that I was out of paper towels. I didn’t want to bother going out and buying some at the time, so I decided to just stop and pick some up on the way home from work the next day.
An exciting story, I know, but the point is that it got me to thinking about how there are some things – like paper towels – that I kinda-sorta buy in bulk, but the bulk quantities never seem to last quite long enough. This line of thought led me to conclude that I should finally bite the bullet and get a Costco membership.
So I went online and signed up and a few days later my card arrived.
On Saturday when I did my weekly venturing out into the world I stopped at the local Costco to activate my card.
I’ve been in Costco a few times with other people, but I never really paid that much attention because I wasn’t there actually shopping. When that dynamic changed on Saturday I noticed just how horrible the place is. It’s like something taken directly out of my nightmares; it doesn’t just have products in bulk, it has people in bulk.
Way, way, way too many people, and all of them in my way, scrambling to find the supposed deals that membership entails.
Speaking of deals, I have to say that I was unimpressed. People say you can save a lot by shopping there, and I’m willing to believe them, but I personally didn’t see much evidence. I saw a TV that was being sold at a decent but hardly phenomenal price, for example, but when I left and went next door to Target I saw the exact same TV being sold for the exact same price. What is that membership fee paying for, exactly?
I was also annoyed about the activation of my card, which involved getting my picture taken and printed on the card because god forbid someone should come in pretending to be me and save fifty cents on an industrial-sized tub of peanut butter or something.
Not really a big deal, but the principle of the thing just activated my Fuck You Reflex, which is related to my Suck My Dick Reflex and my Blow It Out Your Ass Reflex. Of course, that’s hardly surprising, given that most everything activates one (or more) of those reflexes. Fortunately, I have a pretty strong Restrain My First Reflex Reflex.
I know I’m going to have to go back at some point to justify the cost of the membership, but I don’t think it’ll be soon.
By the time I got out of there and got to Target I was in a pretty foul mood, which wasn’t helped at all by the equally obscene number of people there shopping, or the fact that everywhere I went there was a crying/screaming child. There was just no escaping them.
So I grabbed the bare minimum amount of stuff I needed and got the hell out of there, as the mantra I had been repeating to myself – I will not go insane I will not go insane I will not go insane i will not fucking go insane – wasn’t really doing the trick.
On Sunday I drove down to Reagan National Airport to pick up Scott.
I hate driving someplace for the first time, especially when it’s likely to involve a fair amount of traffic.
My GPS didn’t help matters any, choosing a bizarre and less than straightforward route to get me there.
Once I got there I decided to just park and wait inside, as the cell phone waiting area was tiny and cramped.
So I found the baggage claim area for his flight and sat down and waited, only to get a text message from him telling me that he was waiting outside, as he didn’t actually have any checked baggage.
Eventually we found each other and were on our way.
His flight didn’t get in until 9 PM, so, assuming that I’d have to drive him home, I figured it would be pretty late by the time I got home, sometime well past my usual bedtime. So in preparation I took a nap during the day and caffeinated myself pretty heavily in the afternoon.
Turns out he’d left his car parked at work, which put it essentially on my way home, so I ended up getting home much earlier than expected. The nap and caffeine had done the trick, and pretty much overpowered the Tylenol PM I took in an attempt to get to sleep.
Just as I was, finally, drifting off, my phone rang.
It was some sort of recorded “Public Safety Message” telling me that some undefined incident that had occurred earlier in the evening on my street was “under control” and that there was “no cause for alarm.”
If there’s no cause for alarm, why are you calling to wake me up at 12:30 in the morning?
I only want to be woken up if there is cause for alarm.
And thanks for being incredibly vague about this “incident” that I’m not supposed to be alarmed about. Was it a robbery? A murder? A terrorist attack? Seriously, referring to something as a generic “incident” doesn’t really inspire peace of mind.
The whole thing reminded me of Homer’s Everything’s OK Alarm on The Simpsons.
In any case, all of these things combined to make for a very tired Monday.
Now that Scott’s returned we’ll be reinstituting Riff Trax night, though this week we’ll actually be using it to see the latest Harry Potter movie.
And that – with the exception of the awesome facts that MTV’s The State: Complete Series came out on DVD today, I ordered it from Amazon for a great price, and will be receiving it on Thursday – is pretty much all that’s been going on since I last posted.


lbugsh2 said...

You know I have a solution for the shopping problem. Harris teeter will shop for you then you just pick it up. It costs five whole bucks. =) Just thought I would help. That would however take away my awesome entertainment of reading your stories.

Merlin T Wizard said...

It's true, Jon's frustration with undesired and unsolicited contacts with humanity are some of the most entertaining posts.

Heimdall said...

I'm glad you find my mental torment so amusing.

Merlin T Wizard said...

We gots nuthin' but luv, my friend. Nuthin' but luv.