Costco – near death experience

Let’s see if you can tell where I started to make stuff up.


When anything happens to me I write about it and occasionally embellish.  Let’s see if you can tell where I started to, uh, embellish.  (Warning. I’m employing the politically correct plural term they instead of he or she.)


Costco. Me. Following a white Honda in the superstore’s parking lot.



The Honda stopped by an empty parking slot.  He or she or they had to back up to maneuver into the slot. I was in the way.  I backed up. That’s how I roll, folks.

The Honda must have spotted another slot closer to Costco’s entrance and roared off.  I decided to take the empty slot but a Mustang snatched it.

I drove on and again had to stop behind the Honda.  The same space cadet(s) hovered by a second parking slot. They needed me to back up so they could have it.  

But a Jag drove up and stopped one-quarter of an inch behind me and honked their horn to the tune of “Get On With it, Jackass.”

They, in the Honda, turned around, shook fists and screamed at me, assuming I had deliberately blocked them. They roared off.

I seized the slot and got out of my car.

A pretty white gal and a well muscled black guy–they each held a baby in their arms–commenced swearing and pointing at me from 20 cars away.

They felt I had stolen the space and thundered at me that I was an asshole.  

I pretended not to hear.

They screamed louder and the guy said if they were them in the Honda, they would beat the shit out of me and generally fuck me up.

I figured I was no match for them (mother, father and two toddlers and maybe them in the Honda).  If they came for me I was going to jump in my car and drive away before they could harm me.

Raining now.  

The happy little family headed for Costco.

The Mustang driver or drivers–nowhere in sight.

I shivered in the rain for ten minutes and figured by then the happy little family, that had threatened me, would be at the other end of the store– 

You see, I have an uncanny ability to almost always tell where Costco shoppers are going to start shopping from. The dangerous foursome would head for the food samples at the far end of the store.

By then I would have picked up a large jar of pickles and be back in my car.

I hurried to the pickle parts of the store but as I rounded an aisle came face-to-face with the foursome.

costco shoppers

I never said my Costco intuition always worked.

In the parking lot the guy had looked like he could lift washing machines. Up close I realised  he could lift Volkswagens with washing machines in their trunks.

The two kids crouched in a large stroller.  They and my eyes locked.  I said to the parents — “My-my, those are cute kids.  Darlings.”

The guy was moving toward me but I sensed he was not certain if I was the same fellow who had stolen the parking space.

I said: “Are you the guy who said you were going to fuck me up?”  I gave him my best smile.

“You stole a guy’s space,” he said, fist clenched. 

“I don’t mind if you beat the shit out of me but it’s going to set a bad example for those two great kids of yours.  Imagine growing up thinking it’s a good idea for your daddy to beat the shit out of old white guys like me who are just trying to buy some pickles for our Boy Scout Troop.”

He hesitated.  People were stopping, listening.  

I said, “I deserve to have the shit beat out of me. All old white guys do.  But let’s take it outside where your kids don’t have to witness the blood spiriting out of my ears. I have a boil on my neck too.  About ready to burst. Don’t hit that, OK?”

The mother of the kids said: “He doesn’t want to hurt you, even though you stole that parking spot from the Mustang.”

“May I explain what happened, then your husband and I will take it outside.”  I said this loud.  More shoppers stopped.

“It’s okay,” said the kids’ mother. “We don’t want trouble.”

But I was on a roll.  So between the pickles and the pumpkin pie filling in the one-gallon drums, I told them what happened.

When I finished they both apologized and I shook hands with the guy who could have turned my fingers to mush but didn’t.

I gave his wife a hug and that was the last I saw of them.

As I walked away the Costco crowd broke into thunderous applause.


Did you guess where I started to embellish?  It was my third sentence. (I’m employing the politically correct plural term they ….)


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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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