Saturday, December 27, 2014


     My Life and Welcome to It.
     I got a crock pot for Christmas.
     You see, we went to Costco. I hate Costco. To me, Costco reeks of the Coneheads' motto: Consume mass quantities. I'm kinda okay with WalMart, but I find Costco and Sam's Club abhorrent.
     In contrast, my wife loves Costco.
     She wanted to go to Costco. I did not. So we compromised and went to Costco.

This is what Costco looks like. Huge stacks of things on a concrete floor.

     The day before Christmas, we were tramping the aisles at Costco in the company of at least ten thousand other customers, and nine thousand nine hundred ninety-seven of them were between me and the exit. I counted.
     Gleefully (see Celery) my wife looked at me and said, "If you go all the way down the aisle and go through every aisle, it's the same as walking exercise." (I am not making this up.)
     A thought hit me. In Costco, that is such a rare event that I like to indulge those thoughts, to see where they lead.
     This thought held the promise of getting me out of the store faster. You know for sure I indulged this thought.
     I suggested to my wife that we split up. I would get the groceries, and she could browse the aisles. I said this arrangement would save time. She agreed to it.
     Yeah, I know now that splitting up was a mistake.
     I had collected all the grocery items and was twenty-fourth in a line of twenty-six when my cell phone sang 'Honey, Honey, Baby'. I answered. Before I could say 'Hello' or 'Yeah' or 'Wassup?' I heard, "Come quick. Corner one-one-six." Click.
     Turns out that Costco numbers those ugly, industrial shelves. (In the picture above you can see '303' high above the floor on the right-hand side.) I left the line and stumbled around until I found corner 116. There stood my wife next to a six-foot high block built of crock pot package bricks. And she spoke the (to her) magic word:
     I point to the shopping list. "It's not on the list."
     I looked at the price tag. "They knocked off only two dollars twenty cents. Not much of a . . . ."

FWIW, I offer no offense to Rival or their products. This was the first crock pot image I found.

     I don't spit into the wind and I don't order the tide not to rise. I put a crock pot in our basket.
     By the grace of God, we made it through the rest of the store without adding to our basket. This feat was a miracle. My wife not only walked every remaining aisle in her part of the store, she ambled through every aisle in my part. The promised time saving did not materialize.
* * *
     On the ride home, things got interesting.
     Trying to find uses for the crock pot, my wife asked, "You can use it to make bread, yes?"
     "You can cook rice in it, yes?"
     "You can make soup in it, yes?"
     Big smile. Gleefully (see Celery), she turned to me and said, "Merry Christmas! This is your Christmas present."
     The Ghost of Wand Mixers past had come to haunt me.
* * *
     We made it home. I unloaded everything but the crock pot. My wife grabbed that package and disappeared into the kitchen. Like the Wand Mixer, she decided that the best way for me to enjoy my gift was for her to use it.
     I had fired up my computer and was somewhere in the interwebs when I heard a ZZZT! BOOM!
     "Hmmph," said I. I flipped a light switch. Nothing.
     "Honey!?" a tiny voice said.
     I walked to the kitchen and found my wife holding the crock pot aloft. Its bottom was blackened and the table it had stood on was burned and scarred. The thing had shorted out and exploded when she plugged it in.
     At the breaker box, I found the crock pot tripped the main breaker when it blew. Took out the whole house. The main breaker saved the kitchen circuit breaker by tripping first. (I find this somewhat disturbing.)
     Me. "I guess we got a return, huh?"
     So two days after Christmas, we journeyed again to Costco to return the exploded crock pot. That was our sole purpose for going. Return the crock pot.
     Got out after spending only $143.46.


  1. Oh, gee, thanks honey. I'd always wanted you to have one of these.

    These days I find the size of Walmart to be a bit annoying. I don't want to look at comforters today, or really any day. Nor pants, not from Walmart. They tend to develop holes in the crotch after a few months. I don't know if Costco's product quality is any better, but it seems the bigger the store, the more likely it is that I've just purchased something a few uses away from being trash.

  2. But I already have one.

    My godparents gave me a 'bean pot' many, many years ago. No dials. No settings. Just plug it in and it cooks at about 160°F. The pot is separate from the base. The base looks like a hot plate. They told me they got it in the '50s. And it still works. Cooks beans. Cooks stew. Does anything you want to do with a crock pot, and it never burns the food.

    1. Well, if it was made in the 50's, no doubt it still works. A few years ago I bought a toaster that worked once, badly.