A piñata for CRIME.

For reasons, we’ve found ourselves the current owners of both Costco AND Sam’s Club memberships. It’s not some enormous luxury – well, I suppose the ability to purchase a membership to a warehouse club where you spend rather large amounts of upfront money to save money over time IS kind of a luxury. When I was in college, I was a smoker, and I bought my cigarettes one or two packs at a time, even though in the long run, it would be cheaper to drop whatever it cost at the time to buy a carton (probably like $35 haaaa). But I rarely had $35 or whatever that I could spent RIGHT THEN, because I was poor (“you couldn’t have been THAT POOR if you could afford to smoke!,” says the person who thinks trying to lecture a 20 year old from the past is a productive use of time), but I could afford two packs.

Look, the point is, you can go on and on about how spending $30 on 15 rolls of toilet paper right now is really the affordable way to do things, but when I’ve got $5 and I need to poop right this second, I’m going to take the $5 two pack. So, okay, memberships to Costco and Sam’s Club, plus also the ability to even purchase goods in bulk, EVEN THOUGH THE INTENT IS TO SAVE MONEY, are both luxuries. Who was I arguing with about that? Oh, right, no one.

So we have memberships to both, but we got the one to Sam’s through a Living Social deal a while ago, and it turned out to cost next to nothing in the end, after they also gave us a gift card and two pizzas and a bunch of muffins and a chicken, ONLY I NEVER RECEIVED MY CHICKEN, due to some negligent and willy nilly highlighter use by this one clerk, who Phil reported was like, “Oh, it’s fine, just tell them it’s fine,” which to me sounds exactly like something someone trying to scam a free chicken would say, “The lady said it was fine, she was being irresponsible with her highlighter that day and ascribed to me one chicken, but I had no chicken, I had PIZZA and COOKIES, and she said it was fine, I could come have my chicken another time anyway.” Right. Sure. I get guilt sweats just THINKING about trying to collect that free chicken, which I was TOTALLY ENTITLED TO, and even if it DID turn out fine, it would probably taste like crime ANYWAY. This is why you need to not wave your pens around. You need to be careful. You need to cap your writing implements.

And then the Costco membership, we got because we were shopping for a big item, and it turned out that Costco had the best price on the big item, and it stayed the best price even if we bought a Costco membership and included the price of THAT in the price of the big item, so we’d get the big item at the best price AND we’d get the membership, AND it included delivery AND in home set up and HELL YES. You’re going to bring it HERE, bring it IN, do all the putting together, and then all the taking away of the trash and boxes and what not? Costco forever. Plus, the holidays were coming and Costco has good pie and also good pajamas and PJs is coming up and the case lot sales on base have been crappy and it just never hurts to have multiple snack sources.

So yes. We have memberships to both. And those are the stories about how that happened, that we ended up with memberships to both. Now that I’ve told those stories, I don’t think that they actually have anything to do with what I wanted to tell you, except that it starts with, “So we were at Costco today.”

WE WERE AT COSTCO today, and I just realized, that’s hardly even part of the story, because what we were doing is we were LEAVING Costco today. We were walking out of Costco, and on the way out while we were waiting in line for our receipt to be checked, there were these ENORMOUS safes. Saves. Safes. Safes. SAFES. The big ones, like that fall on people’s heads in cartoons. I saw them, and I immediately came up with a plan for my rich and famous future, or maybe just rich because I think if I was going to be famous, I probably would be already and I’d either be rich from it or just be famous and not rich, so I’m probably just not going to be famous at all. I feel like it probably would have happened by now if it was going to happen. I’m definitely not going to develop some kind of talent now. I’m not saying that as a cue for you to be like, “IT COULD STILL HAPPEN! DON’T BE SO DOWN ON YOURSELF!” No, this is not that moment. It’s rarely that moment. Let’s assume that there’s a specific nod that I will give to you if it’s ever that moment, and since you don’t know what the nod looks like, you’re totally off the hook for looking for it, so just relax, because even if that moment ever happens, you can’t be expected to react to it, so just don’t.

As I was saying. I’m not going to develop some fame-making talent at this age, I just don’t have one, and that’s fine, because not everyone does. Most people don’t. Nearly EVERYONE doesn’t. So I’d rather just not get famous, because pretty much all the other stuff left to get famous for is either bad, or notorious, or eventually laughable, or ends up making you weird or point-at-able, or “Hey, aren’t you that lady who… ?” No. I’ll settle for just rich. Just rich will be fine with me. Rich with no side of famous.

I will get one of these safes, and I will put it in a fairly conspicuous place in a middleish room in the house. Not hidden, but not, you know, out there with a vase on it. Just a giant, giant safe. A really big one. Taller than me. Big. Big safe. So when someone breaks into my house – because I’m rich, so people will break in to take my cool stuff, because I’ve seen a lot of television and I know that dramatic things happen to rich people – he’ll see a safe, and he’ll be like, “Whoa, a safe! Jackpot!” THRILL FOR HIM!

Except, no. Because I’ve seen a lot of television. And I know thief science. Thief science says that after you spray powder on the lasers and cartwheel over and you feed valium stuffed hot dogs to the Rottweilers, you have exactly 7 minutes to steal whatever you can fit into your knapsack before the cops roll up with lights and sirens. SAD DEFLATION.

Skip the safe! Move on to the places people store stuff that the Internet TELLS them is the best place to hide things – like in the FLOUR BIN! – because thieves don’t have the Internet, thus have no idea where the Internet is telling people to hide their valuables to outsmart thieves. But, just to check… maybe poke a code real quick into the safe. Just to see. 1… 2… 3… 4… HOLY SHIT I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT WORKED! RICHES! RICHES! RICHES FOR THE THIEF! THRILL! BIG THRILL!

Except, no. The safe is actually filled, top to bottom, with candy. Just jammed with full size candy bars and peppermint patties and Take 5 bars and even really good candy from other countries and stuff that I probably don’t want Penelope to know that I have even though I’m rich and probably give her an allowance, that, while wisely not of a spoiling level, is still a sufficient amount for her to buy her own candy of a quality nature. DEFLATION OF SUCH A LEVEL THE STERNUM CAVES IN TO THE SPINE.


Can you even imagine? Big day. What a day. What a day for that guy.

I told Phil this whole story while I ran after him on our way to the car – I don’t know why he walks so fast when I’m trying to talk to him – and then I had to return the cart. We don’t know which of the memberships we might keep after they both run out, but I will tell you a point against Costco. I had to go so far to return the cart that I was practically back at the safes when I was done. I wanted to call him to come PICK ME UP at the cart return. It was so far. I would think twice about going there with just me and Penny, knowing that if we got a bad spot (and this was a Monday morning, so I don’t know when you get a GOOD spot), I’d be committing myself to pushing her all the way back to the return or even back to the store, and then carrying her through the parking lot back to the car. I DON’T LEAVE CARTS, so this is an issue that weighs on me.

AND PENELOPE WEIGHS ON ME. We measured her before Phil left in August, and she has grown an inch since then. And she is two and a half now, and still hovering around the 40th-50th percentile in height and weight, so not huge, but she inexplicably busted out of two pairs of 2T pajamas last week. One was one of those snug fit sleepers, and her foot came right through the heel, fine. I let her run outside to the car twice, so maybe they wore. But then she was wearing a looser sleeper, and she was in bed, and we heard her over the monitor saying, “Hello? Hello?” and I looked at the camera, and I couldn’t figure out what I was seeing. I showed it to Phil, and he confirmed that I wasn’t insane – the zipper was busted wide open, and she was just naked from neck to belly, and confused. And hilarious.

I got her some 3T pajamas, and of course they’re enormous, and she’s running around like the Saggy Baggy Elephant, and I love it, because now she looks two again.


This doesn’t even illustrate a point.
It’s just here.

Hey, listen, just in case you were concerned, I quit smoking in September of 2009.

Oh, also? She didn’t actually draw on her face. It turned out it was this weird dry erase crayon from this set my mom gave her a while back. I found out when I took the crayon away from her and drew on my face.

20 thoughts on “A piñata for CRIME.

  1. Nicole B.

    Nothing makes me angrier faster on a shopping trip than seeing a cart abandoned ONE PARKING SPACE AWAY from the cart return. Like, could you not walk around the other side of your car? Seriously.

    TJ Reply:

    WORST. WOOOORST. How busy is your day that you need to do that!

  2. Dinsdale

    Ugh, I have to confess that I am sometimes that person who doesn’t return the cart. I’m not going to try to explain myself, like oh, no, I know you were mad at people who don’t return their carts but I have a super-special reason why *I* don’t have to, even though you were very clear, but you didn’t think about me and my super-special reason.

    I don’t actually have a super-special reason. I’m just lazy. (I may have been sufficiently shamed to put it back in future.)

    TJ Reply:

    I’m glad you didn’t make an excuse. Because I would have impotently flexed my hands at the keyboard and felt like I would have had to be polite about your excuse.

  3. K

    Carter’s jammies, huge baggies of bacon, cheap chicken briefcases, and churros are why we continue to renew our Costco membership.

    Sister Reply:

    Kel, did you tell people to keep saying ‘chicken briefcase’ like it’s a thing, specifically to make me believe I’m INSANE?

    I mean, come on people, how is this a thing? CHICKEN BRIEFCASE?

    TJ Reply:


  4. LizScott

    We have one of those big safes! Not for all our riches (fool, those are the freezer), but for the guns. Once my nephew (aged 13 months) got mobil, and then Newtown, and then, you know, common sense, I was like “We need to lock up the guns we need to lock up the guns NOW” and I’m thinking we’d get like a … I dunno, people have gun safes all the time right? This is not new technology? And it’d sit in the garage and be inconspicuous and if a robber breaks in during the middle of the night well it’d be a bummer bc our guns would be in the garage but that’s why we have a 100lb German Shepherd with trust issues and also an alarm system so I think we’d make it through ok, right?


    It takes up half the closet. It is 700 lbs. Our closet is up flights (PLURAL) of stairs. We can never move. We are going to die in those house, because we put a 700lb safe up flights of stairs.

    And, honestly, I think the dog is a little offended that we (“we”) went to such lengths to keep the guns so close. It’s like we don’t trust him. Which in turn leads me to think he may STEP UP his protective side, which is … well, is not really a side of his I felt was under developed.

    I swear to God I have no idea what the point of this was when I started.

    TJ Reply:

    I bet you could fit candy AROUND the guns.

  5. H

    Thank you for the daily posts! You brighten my day. (Also: we are currently in the Sam’s or Costco debate with ourselves because Costco just opened here. But then, Sam’s is building another store close to us. It is a dilemma.)

    TJ Reply:

    There’s a groupon today for Sam’s membership! I don’t know if it’s just local to Phoenix! So basically I’m useless!

  6. Demi

    We keep our Costco for the dog food prices. It’s actually decent food and the price can’t be beat. $29 for a 40 lb bag. With the 3 monkeys we go through a lot.

    TJ Reply:

    That’s actually where we used to get Brinkley’s food, too! He did really well on it. Now we have two and we’ve had to make adjustments, but it WAS good food for him. And that IS a good deal. I think we’re paying about $47 or something for 30 lbs right now. Spoiled animals.

    No, but seriously, all Sheldon’s hair falls out if we don’t feed him specific food. Ha.

  7. Laura Lou

    This year at PJs you should totally have a candy safe instead of a candy wall. Then, if you left the safe in the party house they’d totally wonder what you were up to in there.

  8. Erica

    Here is why the safe plan would not work for me: I would be in that thing every fifteen minutes, all “I’ll just grab maybe two Butterfingers and that should do it,” shoving all the candy back in it, locking it up, and realizing I probably need about two more Butterfingers.

    TJ Reply:

    I can see where you’re having trouble, because you’re not thinking like a super rich person. It takes some time to get there, I understand. First of all, you’re rich. Not just rich, but safe of candy rich. Not just safe of candy rich, but THIEF-BAIT safe of candy rich. Think about it. There’s always a chance that the thief would ACTUALLY GET AWAY with some of the candy. Is that even where your best candy is, Erica? IS THAT EVEN WHERE YOUR BEST CANDY IS?

    No. It’s not.

    I can’t tell you where the best candy is, because thieves have the Internet now. But when you start really thinking like a super rich person, and I don’t mean just thinking about what you’d do with your lottery winnings while you’re in the shower or sitting in traffic totally meaning to buy a ticket but never actually buying the ticket even though you can’t win if you don’t play and eventually SOMEONE wins and you are, after all, a someone, but I mean REALLY THINKING LIKE A SUPER RICH PERSON, it will come to you, and you’ll know.

  9. Susie

    I recently learned that my mother occasionally abandons shopping carts. MY MOTHER. My own flesh and blood. I was APPALLED. Am. Am appalled. She had an excuse (of course she did) – she has legitimate mobility issues and a lot of chronic pain, and sometimes finds herself physically incapable of returning the cart. This seemed semi-reasonable, but still chaps my ass, because why doesn’t she request (or accept when offered) help out to her vehicle? I am struggling, still, because she’s my mommy, but also a CART LEAVER.

    Also, the other day, a cart leaver left a cart that blocked my vehicle and I HAD to return it – no choice. I usually return them anyways, but this was extra annoying because I had both girls with me, and they were freaking out already, and we were REALLY FAR from a cart return. But I did it anyways, because COMMON DECENCY.

    I am all het up now.

    Susie Reply:

    That should say common decency and also making up for the short comings of my mother, for whom I feel karmically responsible.

  10. Elsha

    I want a safe full of candy. But I’d have to make sure Brian didn’t have the combination because otherwise he’d eat it. All my thief-bait candy!

  11. Elise Seaton

    When your post showed up in my reader, I clapped my hands like a small, excited child. Just in case you were wondering how NaBloPoMo was going for you.

    Also, I JUST got a Sam’s membership and bought a set of completely unnecessary and adorable travel mugs and a matching set of ceramic mixing bowls. And when I say matching, I mean they MATCHED THE TRAVEL MUGS. I don’t know why this was an option, but I was suckered in by the matching. I almost bought a teapot and matching tea cups that ALSO matched my travel mugs AND my mixing bowls, but I thought that was going a little too far. Someone needs to rescind my membership before I got back and get that tea set.

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