The Loh Life

A Tale of three Costcos: Part Three

The third part of Sandra Tsing Loh's take on three Costcos in the Southland.

While I’m a person with FAIRLY high self-esteem, it DID give me pause the other day when a friend INVITED me for lunch, and I said, “No thanks, that’s the day I shop at Costco”-- And I realized how thoroughly I have come to consider SHOPPING at Costco as an actual meal stop. I really should just BE HONEST and put on a lobster bib as I get out of the car.

I mention it because part of my JOB is to point out unspoken TRUTHS of Los Angeles, and Costco FRESSING--? Well, I’m blowing the LID off it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it. For God sakes, just parking one’s CAR-- By the time you’ve FORDED the choked deltas and evaded the temptation of all those empty SPACES in front of the tire center, or those mysterious ELECTRIC car slots-- Well, by the time you actually ENTER the store most regular humans are ready to hurl themselves on an entire FLAT of croissants and just start tearing into them like a wolverine.

I’m no different. I am not going to have the stamina to make my CIRCUIT around the north, east, south and west QUADRANTS of Costco—the stations of the Costco cross, if you will—without frequent infusions of acai berry POWER juice, cut up jerky, a cracker smeared with cream CHEESE and, big SCORE the other day, a cut-up SIXTH of a chicken burrito.

‘Tis true the burrito was a rare find, as tend to be lasagna, pot roast, and SAUSAGE, because with SUCH delicacies the mini-SWARMS are formidable. How awkward is THAT, standing in a huddled mob around a mini-oven, waiting for the dude in the plastic SHOWER cap to CUT up our treats? I actually find this particular L-A ritual so humiliating I wish I had my OWN shower cap to wear over my FACE.

Anyway-- The revelation I had in Alhambra’s CHINESE Costco was how when THEY serve potstickers, my Chinese BRETHREN will just swoop IN and devour them, without even FAKING an interest in the product-- A wonderfully EFFICIENT system--

Which triggered for me a FRIGHTENING episode after a recent Costco BINGE: I plunged into a state of COSTCOSIS—that’s when you’ve SO over-sampled you’re in a glycemic haze and can’t remember where you parked the car. This is in addition to OTHER terms I’ve recently coined-- Facebookplungenfreude, the hit of pleasure at seeing Facebook stock plunge-- And highway gastrobbery, getting hit with a hundred dollar check because one failed to understand the intentionally confusing two-for-one tiny plate deals at your local Gastrobar.

Which is why I'll meet you for lunch next week AT Costco! Come hungry— I'll bring two showercaps.


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