The Costco customer service line snaked out the store and five hundred feet into the parking lot. Four days ago, consumers engaged in all-out brawls over the last pallets of bran muffins, two-pound bags of jolly ranchers, and gallon tubs of mayonnaise. Only after sobering up from their hurricane-fueled shopping benders and groggily stumbling over obstacle courses of wholesale goods splayed about their homes, did buyers finally realize magnitude of their purchasing sprees.
“I was in a panic,” said Amira Perez as she waited in line, a good quarter mile from the customer service desk. “Literally snatched everything in reach. At one point, I’m pretty sure I grabbed a seven-year-old boy and threw him in the cart.”
“Don’t worry, I tossed him back out,” she added, noticing my horrified expression. “Eventually. I really hope he found his mom.”
“Three gallons of strawberry jelly!” exclaimed Susan Tellechea. “What the hell am I supposed to do with this stuff? I didn’t even bother buying peanut butter or bread!”
“I’m honestly not sure what I was thinking,” offered Peter Bruckheimer, giving a 40-pound sack of bird seeds a kick. He sported a nasty cut above an even nastier black eye. “I pried this bag off an 80-year-old woman. Gave me a hell of a caning in return. The crazy thing is, I don’t own a bird. I probably figured, if I were stuck in the apartment for a few weeks, at least I’d have protein.”
“Take a look at what I bought,” insisted Jason Hearst. “It’s ridiculous.”
The receipt he handed me read exactly three items: a 12-pound wheel of parmesan cheese, 100-pack of Crystal Light, and a liter of sex lubricant. The cheese and Crystal Light were accounted for, but the lube was nowhere to be found.
Hearst turned beet red when asked about the missing item. “There’s always next hurricane,” he explained with a grin.
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