Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mouth Torture

Today I conducted mouth torture, on myself. I’m sure you’re wondering what that is. While I imagine there are various types of mouth torture, the one I speak of here is of the tasting kind – the one where you taste gross and disgusting things. Why did I do this? Because a coworker gave me a pack of Jelly Belly jelly beans intended to have the consumer taste various beans that look alike but taste very, very different.

Take for example the yellow ones: either rotten egg, or buttered popcorn. The white ones? Baby wipes or coconut?

See the problem here?

While I initially said “no” to giving these a try, I was quickly lured in to test the toothpaste vs. berry blue. And that’s when this started:

“Why am I going to eat these Jelly Bellys with both normal and disgusting flavors that look the same in order to compare them?”

“Much to my surprise, pencil shavings are not bad tasting. (Wtf is wrong with the world?)”

“Also: the toothpaste is delightful, as expected.”

“I spat out the centipede as soon as I tasted its horrendousness.”

“Thank god that was caramel corn.”

“Moldy cheese flavor – not a winner.”

“Baby wipes flavor tastes exactly as they smell. Fyi.”

“Juicy pear has worked out. Otherwise it was “booger.” Fortunately they only packed one of that option.”

“I absolutely refuse to take a chance with the skunk spray. No-way ho-spray.”

“Canned dog food hanging out with centipede after a moment in my mouth.”

“And finally, I refuse to attempt “barf.” I have no interest in that. More interest than skunk spray, but not enough to try.”

After this, I determined I will never torture my mouth like that again.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My love affair with Costco

I have long thought of a day when having a Costco membership would make sense. Years on my own, the life of a single man doesn’t lend to bulk shopping on the scale that makes sense to hold a Costco membership. And then, one day came a few months ago, when it started to make sense.

I remember it: We went in to review the items available at Costco. We walked around, perused the aisles (almost all of them), and took note of the prices. “Some good, some OK, some were not,” I said. After some time walking the never-ending building, we proceeded home.

The very next day: Costco coupons arrived in the mail, by no request of my own. In fact, it appeared to be a sign of sorts, one that said: a Costco membership makes sense.

I flipped the pages, looking at the coupon savings and noting that from this packet alone I would make up for the cost of a basic Costco membership. Indeed, add to the coupon savings the already-low-priced items at Costco and suddenly it did make sense: this year’s membership will be worthwhile, at the very least, because of this one packet of coupons alone, plus the already built-in savings of Costco prices.

The following weekend it was back to Costco, to peruse the aisles again just to be sure. Instead, upon arrival, I took the plunge: not only did I become a Costco member, I became an Executive Costco member. (I understand there is some prestige to the “executive” connotation. I don’t get it, but that’s why I capitalized the “e” here.)

Why, pray tell, did I opt for the double-the-cost of a basic Costco membership? Because of the additional savings (read: savings potential) that comes with said Executive membership. (If you’re not familiar, perhaps it’s time to become acquainted with the additional 2% reward on most Costco purchases, plus the 1+% from American Express if you opt that route.) (Yes, I realize how much money one needs to spend to recoup the membership fee based solely on the percentage-reward.)

Flash forward a few months to today.

Is it worth it? Is it all hoped it to be?

The short of it: yes.

The long of it: I have been to Costco an average of every-other-weekend since I purchased the membership. I find myself saving regularly on: bread, canned goods, paper products, meats (those I have bought thus far), Christmas gifts, snacks (I try to be healthy), miscellaneous food items (too many to list), and last but not least: savings at their gas station.

Let me remind you that I recouped the cost of the basic membership simply with that initial coupon mailing. There has since been two additional coupon mailings that brought further savings. Already, less than three (yes, 3) months into the Executive membership, I not only recouped the basic membership fee, but I’m on the cusp of recouping the Executive membership fee as well.

Did I mention there’s a liquor store attached to the Costco I frequent? They also have respectable savings on the items I purchase in that category.

Hello. My name is Jason, and I’m a Costcoholic. I consider it a love affair, which is likely the root of my problem with Costco. Please don’t try to separate us.