It was just as regular Saturday morning. I woke up around 8, it was cold cloudy and gloomy, perfect sleeping weather, so I decided to go back to bed and take a 30 min nap. Hey! it’s still early, it’s the weekend, I can splurge on a little extra sleep. Fast forward 4 hours later and 60 text alerts later I find myself waking up once again. I swear I only closed my eyes for a second!
Why am I alarmed? Good question! Did I have an appointment I just missed? Did the turkey burn in the oven? Did my morning strip-o-gram come and go? No……. Its Saturday! And Saturdays usually mean one thing, its Costco day! Better known to the uninitiated out there as sampling day! Now I don’t need to profess to all the practiced and proficient samplers out there that you have to get to Costco early in order to try ALL the variety of samples. Also, especially important, avoid the crowds of amateur Hodge Podge samplers! There’s a real art to this people!
In a panic, much like Macaulay Culkin in Home alone when He realizes he is left all by himself, I clench my face , bellow a subtle” Nooooooooo!”and hurry to shower and get ready to meet up with my sampling partner in crime. He is known in 13 states as the “Costco Casanova”, In Australia he is referred to as the “Auburn Adonis”, in Acapulco as “El Chulo de Costco”, he is even rumored to be the fabled “Spicy Kim Chi Swooner” of Costcos in Korea! Most of us know him as Master. I quickly began to properly stretch and limber up for the activities ahead! Don’t want to repeat the sampling cramp debacle of 2008 again! Everyone knows not to swim for half an hour after eating, but nooooo! No one warns you to stretch before beginning sampling! Ha! That’s why this is not for the amateurs, timid or weak of heart! On a side note, the legwarmers and the “flash dance” outfit I wear to stretch and prepare still look ever as cool as they did in the mid 80’s! Awesome! just Awesome! dare I even say Legendary! Ever so slightly in the background I hear the high pitched screech of a supercharger, then the thunderous roar of the engine…. Master is here! We first stop at the PO Box to see if I have any last minute Christmas gifts from my FB, Twitter or blogging friends (ehm! hint, hint). I find an unassuming manila envelope and a pretty purple envelope (thanks Josef) waiting for me. Oh! As I glanced at the return address on the manila envelope, my heart skipping a little and my mouth began to slightly drool, it was the promised beef jerky from a fellow PGPeep. It turns out I was one of the lucky 10 peeps to receive Mr. Keith BigBabyJesus Brower’s home made beef jerky. Since I wanted to savor every bite, and absolutely NO FOOD is allowed in the AMG, I decide (some might say FORECD with threats of bodily harm) to wait and not open my surprise beef jerky gift until I was safe back at the office.
Normally on a weekend, it takes about an hour just to find a suitable parking space. Add the fact that it is December and its one week away from Christmas, of course it’s a mad house in the parking lot! Not to worry, I have complete confidence in Masters driving ability. You need to have professional driving skills; I mean Grand Prix kind not just regular, I passed the DMV test so now I can drive skills. Reaction times must be swift, braking and acceleration response must be rapid. Eyes open for rogue shopping carts, unassuming people haphazardly waiting and blocking the street, cars pulling out without looking, the sense of danger on high alert, eyes wide open for that oh so prime parcel of parking space or any space at all for that matter. There! There! I shriek! A premiere parking space about to open by an elderly lady leaving. Before I could finish the “…re” from me screaming “There”, Master had already gunned the engine, dropped into 1st gear and was drifting sideways in a billow of tire smoke into the parking space! Mere seconds after and inches behind the vacating car. Bravo! Bravo I say!
Once parked we went straight to the food section where the net haired maidens were distributing the various morsels of sampling delight. We have to make up for all the lost time! Me being the professional sampler that I am, I quickly mapped out my sampling route… Fruits, cheeses, guacamole, tamales, ham, calamari (that’s a tricky one… long lines for those), should I risk it? I turn and tell Master “Lets do this thing!” With the skills of a ninja I hit the first couple of stands. Not only do I get my own samples but I must also manage to get Master his samples. Master knows the drill, he with his superstar looks distracts the ladies while I snatch the goodies. Boom! Done and done! Off we go onto the next table! Yet again, like deer in headlights, all the housewives swoon and look away to gaze at Master the Costco Casanova, Muha ha ha ha , I get two more samples! All was going well until a lady bumps me with her shopping cart! Owwwwwwww! As I bend down to rub my ankle she quickly snatched the last two samples from the tray! Oh no you didn’t!! Can this be! Could there be a woman unaffected by Masters remarkable charms? Can she really absorb all that enchanting alluring charisma and simply focus on the samples! How could this be! Is she far sighted? She cant see? Does she play for the “other team”? Or is she just a trained professional!
Imagine the rest of what happens in slow motion! I erect myself to full stature. Somehow wind is blowing in my hair… My scarf flaps ever so rhythmically… I hear heroic music begin to play… I puff my chest and am about to yell like king Leonidas “THIS…. IS…. PKITASS!!!!!!” and retaliate! When all of a sudden everything went back to normal speed as the sweet aroma of a smoked salmon sample that Master quickly handed me calmed me down sufficiently to impeded my retaliatory actions! Never underestimate the power of smoked fish! The lady smirked ever so condescendingly and left. Perhaps I was unable to retaliate, but by gosh, if looks could kill! she would have been dead several times over. I think I have just met my Costco nemesis! Game On “Shin Hurting with Shopping Cart Sample Stealing Lady” or SHWSCSSL! Game On!
Back at the office, once everything was put away, I proceed to open my package. I was very very excited to discover what culinary delight was in store for me. I had heard so many good things about Mr. Brower’s beef jerky. Remember the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark when they finally open the Ark of the Covenant and all the ghost like entities escape and float around right before they turn demonic and kill everyone? Imagine the same thing… Just without Nazis or a bullwhip packing archeologist tied to a post. As I slowly began to rip the package open I immediately got a whiff of the meaty goodness that was to be in my mouth soon. I had been pre-warned that it would be spicy and to take certain precautions while handling it. Ha I say! Ha! I’m of Mexican decent! I come from a long proud line of chili eaters. As a kid, we used to eat chilies as candy for Halloween! How bad can it possible be? I take my first bite and proclaim with much bravado to Master, HA! It’s not as bad as they all said it would be. However, just like in Raiders! the ghost angels quickly turned into demons and…. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! You have to give it a few seconds for All the wonderful spiciness to fully permeate your mouth! It doesn’t hit you right away, It actually lets you enjoy and savor the sweetness of the beef jerky first then when you least expect it BAM!
Over all it was a very tasty experience! So what if your mouth goes numb afterwards! Who cares if everything tastes the same the entire weekend! the taste of the jerky makes all worth it. Mr. Brower thank you for the treat, you can burn my mouth with your meat anytime.