Does Costco Sell Dead Parrots too?

Jake and his wife, Rana walked quickly over the baking hot asphalt into the huge box store. A large woman pushing an overloaded cart came perilously close to running them down. Rana’s housedress flared away from her spindly legs like it wanted to lash back at the rude woman. People seemed to be flashing some kind of card at a clerk posted at the entrance. No one noticed Jake and Rana on their way in.

“I want to get me a nice, soft rocking chair cushion,” said Rana. “Can we get one after we buy you a fan?”

“Okay,” said Jake, craning his wrinkled neck this way and that. There weren’t any helpful signs in this place, only little numbers on some of the aisles. Aisles that reached back into distances greater than his old, weak eyes could see.

“There’s a guy who looks like he works here, let’s ask,” said Rana with emphasis on the word ask. She had an annoying way of pointing out Jake’s aversion to asking for help. Before he could take off without her, she stalked over and got directions.

The cushion was easily found but the store didn’t have a suitable fan. “What will we do?” grumbled Jake. “Target was out of them, too. We might as well pour your barbecue sauce over us and be done with it.”

At checkout, the lines weren’t too long but Jake spotted one of those self-checkout lines. A big sign said, “No credit cards except AmEx or Debit.” He took out his debit card but couldn’t see what to do with it. A clerk stepped over and said, “You can’t use one of those here, only AmEx or the store card.”

“It says debit up there.” Rana pointed to the sign. The clerk completely ignored her and said, “You have to have a STORE card,” as if she was a moron.

Jake threw down the cushion in disgust then picked it up again. “How do ya get a store card?”

The clerk pointed to the other side of the store. “The line ain’t too long right now.”

Rana followed Jake to a ten person line that ended in a long counter. Jake asked a clerk posted nearby, “Is this the membership line?”

“The memberhips are up there. See?”

Jake and Rana walked up the line toward the counter. There were two cashiers behind it both busy. Above the counter one sign said RETURNS. The other said STORE MEMBERSHIPS. Jake stood under the second sign but the cashier with the name tag Tammy hissed, “You have to get in line!”

Shaking their heads in uncertainty, the couple got back in line only to be told by the same clerk who’d ordered them to the counter, “No, this is the line just for RETURNS. They have a membership line up there.”

Jake plowed forward again with Rana timidly behind. As soon as he got to the counter, he said firmly, “That guy back there said that line is for RETURNS. You told us to get back in line and that’s the wrong line.”

Tammy bared teeth like she would like nothing better than slam Jake’s tongue in her cash drawer. She reached over the counter and pointed to a plain square marked on the floor as if only a moron wouldn’t know what it was. “Stand THERE.” Then she went right back to dealing with customers from the RETURNS line.

Rana rolled her eyes. “Do we do the silly walking now or are they going to bring out the dead parrot?” she whispered.

“Maybe if they do, it’ll be worth the wait,” said Jake.

Rana and Jake waited while both clerks took all the customers in the RETURNS line. Finally it was their turn.
“Let me see an ID,” snarled Tammy. And I can’t ring up your pillow here, you’ll have to get in the regular cash out line after this.” Jake nodded in surrender.

Before she’d input a line, the other cashier called her over on a RETURNS matter. After a bit, Tammy came back again, keyed a few strokes and said, “It costs 100 dollars a year and you get 2% off purchases and after one year you get $50 back if you haven’t spent our minimum. You also have to get an AmEx card.

“Hey, those things have a yearly fee,” whispered Rana.

Jake scowled, pocketed his ID card, put down the cushion and said, “Thanks, but not today, Miss Kafka.” Rana started to snicker.

The cashier’s eyes widened like she’d go Google Kafka on her next break to find out exactly how she’d been dissed.

“Good luck with that, mumbled Rana . She took Jake’s arm and they walked out of the store with as much dignity as they could summon.

Mickey is the author of the mystery novel School of Lies and the second in the series, Deadly Traffic.

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~ by mickeyhoffman on June 21, 2011.

2 Responses to “Does Costco Sell Dead Parrots too?”

  1. Wow. That doesn’t even vaguely resemble my experience with Costco. And they don’t have a minimum spending and you don’t HAVE to have an AmEx card. Been a member of Costco for over 10 years and have never had an AmEx card.

    Where does the parrot come into this?

  2. I went once before several years go and you didn’t even have to have a card to buy something, they just charged more. This store must be special. For the Dead Parrot
    a famous skit of pure absurdity and I feel the store rules follow this warped line of thinking.

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