Friday, January 21, 2011

Cougars at Costco

Costco is a place where it helps to go early in the day. It opens at 10 a.m. and it’s usually best to be there just about 5 after. Today was my day off and Carolyn and I decided to head on out to Costco to pick up some stuff and use a couple of coupons.

All the close in parking spots were taken and no one was leaving because it was only ten twenty and no one was coming out of the store shoving overflowing carts yet. But that’s OK. Sometimes you have to be patient.

One of our favorite meat items is boneless loin chops which just happen to have a $4.50 off coupon. That gets the price pretty reasonable so we were going to pick up a package. We moseyed through the store stopping at the display of toddler Easter dresses—just the thing to get a Grandpa’s attention and then we made a stop at the book section. Every once in a while I score a new paperback at the $5.59 Costco price instead of the $9.99 Barnes and Noble price.

We wandered toward the back. We needed eggs today and wanted to score the chops—especially since I had already promised a dinner of grilled chops in an orange/chipotle sauce with sweet potatoes. We got to the meat counter. I took a peak at the sirloin pork chops at $1.99 a pound. A lady stepped up next to me also looking at the sirloin chops.

I heard Carolyn call to me that she had found the loin chops and I turned to go to that cooler case and started rummaging through the plastic wrapped packages looking for just the perfect one. A few seconds went by and I heard, “Excuse me.” It was the lady who had been looking at the sirloin chops. She was holding the coupon in her hand. “Is this the right meat?” she asked.

“Sure it is,” I replied.

“Oh,” she said, “I was wondering because of the label.” She pointed to the Armour logo on the coupon.

“These are the right ones,” I repeated. “They’re really good. I’d rather have one of these than a steak.”

Another lady had stepped up to the other side of me. I was looking around a bit to try to spot my wife who had moved out of the way.

“You’re so right,” she quipped, trying to catch my eye, letting her arm brush against mine. “I used to fix these for my late husband all the time.”

By now there’s a third lady sticking her head and arm over my right shoulder brushing up against me ostensibly to get at the chops.

I looked side to side and slowly started to extricate myself from the now crowded case of loin chops. It wasn’t until I was back to my wife, who was laughing that I found out how oblivious I still am even at the advanced age of 59. It appears as though these ladies were more interested in my loins than in the chops.

“Didn’t you notice what those women were up to,” she asked.

“Well, no,” was my typically dunderheaded response.

“They were hitting on you like a bunch of groupies,” she informed me.

“Nawwww,” said I, ever Mr. Gallant, always the naïve innocent.

“Oh yeah. She knew about those chops and followed you over there,” Carolyn retorted.

“You mean they’re Cougars,” I asked? “And they think I’m a ‘Cub’?” I mentally and physically shivered and started to skulk out of the meat section, carrying my package of chops.

“But, they’re close to my Mom’s age,” I commented as we walked towards the eggs. I stopped to score a mini sample of pizza and looked back over my shoulder to see if any of my “groupies” were still around and following. A blob of sausage and sauce tumbled from the slice and onto my shirt. How’s that for debonair?

Hey, maybe Costco should hire me to do Cheap Bastid cooking demonstrations in their meat department? It could be Cheap Bastid cooking for one—or two if you get lucky.

But we managed to wend our way through the checkout, back to the car and head home. Wow, no one’s tried to pick me up in a long, long time. I mean, look at my picture. I’m nearly 60. I’m bald. I have gray hair and a white beard.

But apparently I’ve still got “it”. Whatever “it” is.

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