GETTING MORE TALE #797: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For It!
In the early 90s, we got our first Costco store in Kitchener. My parents raved about how much I’d love it. In those early years, I enjoyed going with them. I’d throw a 20 pack of Hot Rods into the cart and see if they’d notice (they always did). They didn’t have much of a music selection, but what they did have was priced to go. So I picked up a few current releases:
- Queen – Classic Queen
- Skid Row – Slave to the Grind
- Van Halen – LIVE: Right here, right now.
- Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion World Tour – 1992 in Tokyo I & II (VHS)
The Guns was a nice score. The full Tokyo show, split onto two VHS tapes (sold separately). At Costco prices they were affordable. The show later made up a large portion of their album Live Era. Costco was great for buying new releases, junk food in bulk, and the occasional electronics. We enjoyed getting free food samples and checking out the latest in TVs and videos games. I stocked up on blank tapes. But there was one thing Costco didn’t have.
To be clear, it wasn’t that I was looking to buy this. I was just being a shit. I have a juvenile sense of humour, and always have. Costco should have known that if they were going to leave pads of paper for “suggestions” at the end of every aisle, someone was going to write silly things on it.
Most people wrote sensible suggestions. “Too much packaging on products” was a good one. It’s true, Costco would use far too much cardboard and plastic to package together three things of deodorant. But I noticed they didn’t carry something; something important that could easily be sold in bulk. My mom gave me shit for it, but I always wrote “CONDOMS” on the suggestion pads.
I didn’t need condoms, believe me. Definitely not in bulk. But something about the idea tickled my funnybone, and so every time, I wrote it down.
“MICHAEL!” my mother would scold. I’d grin and laugh. It went on and on like this, visit after visit.
But you know something? It was a good idea. So good that a few years later, they were stocked. I couldn’t believe it.
“Kathryn!” I shouted at my sister. “Get over here, you won’t believe this.” I proudly pointed at the condoms. “Do you think that’s because of me?” I mean, I wrote it down enough times.
I think I had something to do with it. At least, that’s the way I tell the story, and I’ll be damned if I’m changing it now. Costco carries condoms because of me.
There was one guy I knew back in the day who would have appreciated it. He was a friend of a friend. We were at an age when you’d be expected to be “embarrassed” to be buying condoms. Not this guy. He went up to the counter at the drug store and said, “See that? That’s a five pack. That means I’m getting it five times.” Then when the transaction was done, he’d conclude by saying “See you tomorrow!” No embarrassment for that guy. I like to think that I got Costco to carry condoms in bulk, and I did it for that guy. You’re welcome!