Adventures in Costco – Nov. 6, 2021


🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Cute Pic, Dumb Response 📷
A Musical Connection 🎵
A Time-Change Analogy ⌚


My first solo venture into Costco today did not end up in familial bankruptcy, surprisingly. Oh, it could have. It just didn’t. I walked right past the $40 slabs of ribs and steered clear of the $2,000 monster TV that would have looked awesome, if not just a tad too big, in the home office from which I now type.

I got what was on The List, that sacred scroll of pre-approved purchases.

And some salsa.

Yeah. That’s right. I’m a rebel.


But to enter the holy land of bulk purchasing, I first had to get my very own membership card. Wifey Poo had hers, but I wasn’t with her when she had her photo taken and was given her golden ticket to enter Willy Wonka’s Warehouse of Bulk Stuff. So I went to the membership desk and talked with a nice woman who asked to see my wife’s card and my ID so she could confirm that I was, indeed, a member and not some scofflaw trying to take advantage of Costco’s kindness.

“Oh, she’s cute,” the woman said upon seeing my wife’s picture on the back of her membership card.

“Thank you,” said I, and then we went about the process of getting me all official.

As I was wandering around the store 10 minutes later, I thought, “‘Thank you?’ Why exactly did I thank the nice lady for saying my wife was cute? I mean, I think Wifey Poo is cute. But I have absolutely nothing to do with creating her cuteness. If anything,” I thought, “I’m the reason for any features on her that are not cute, seeing as how dealing with the general insanity of my life just maybe could have the effect of prematurely aging someone.”

All of which left me wondering what a better response to that would have been. I think I’ve landed on, “Damn straight. I ain’t no fool who would marry some nasty hag.”


Did you know that Costco doesn’t care if you buy one thing? The company actually makes zero profit off of everything it sells. They don’t care if you come in the store, wander around, try on all the fancy clothes, fill your cart to overflow, and then leave it in an aisle and walk out.

Costco’s entire business model is based on the membership. That’s how it’s able to set lower prices. Well, that and it tends to increase your purchasing power as a wholesaler when you buy 60 tons of circus peanuts instead of the standard 8-oz bag. Costco sets its prices to break even — and sometimes not even that — on everything it sells … except its membership. The memberships provide the profit.

Stuff like this fascinates me.


In Other Writing…

James Might Have Killed His Dad

James was one of the first people I met when we moved from the frozen tundra of south-central Minnesota to the ruralist of rural Missouri in 2009. We signed up my older son, Joey, for Little League right away in an effort to spur the formation of friendships and to scratch his itch for the…

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I started a new section of my website today, called “Wrestling With Myself.” The “In Other Writing,” ☝️☝️☝️ is my first post. While driving home from my Costco Adventure, I realized there’s a lot of stuff inside me that I’m struggling to work out, and I tend to accelerate the working-out process by writing about it. Why I would want to share this stuff with the public is beyond me, but it seems like the right thing to do, maybe out of hope that what I’m wrestling with isn’t really me wrestling with myself but that there are others out there wrestling with the same things that feel so, so big, too. And if I write about them publicly, maybe it’ll help not just me figure some of this stuff out.


The ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day

‘I was and still am a redemption project for Iraq and the people of Iraq. The missiles of treachery will not discourage the believers and will shake a hair of the stability and determination of our heroic security forces to preserve people’s security, achieve justice and set the law in place.’

Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER, after surviving an attack by three explosive-laden drones that targeted his residence in baghdad

… Just in case you’re curious how things were going on the other side of the world these days.


Boy The Elder sent me an enthusiastic text on Friday evening about The Marcus King Band. I’d never heard of them, and he’d recently discovered them. I love the fact that BTE and I share a passion for music. These types of texts aren’t uncommon between us, and they go both ways. Sometimes it’s me sharing a band from my youth. Sometimes it’s him sharing a new discovery of his. Either way, it’s something I truly treasure. BTE has developed a great taste in music. His recommendation of The Marcus King Band was spot-on.


Were someone to steal $1,000 from my wallet in March, after wondering why the hell I had $1,000 in my wallet, I’d be trying to figure out where my money went and pretty pissed off that someone had stolen it. Police probably would be involved.

If that someone then came to me six or seven months later and was like, “Here’s your $1,000! Aren’t you appreciative that I brought it back to you?” I’d be more likely to have him arrested than to thank him.

This whole time-change thing tonight feels kinda like that to me. The forces that govern time decided to steal an hour from me in March. On a weekend, no less! And now I’m supposed to be happy they’re giving it back? Why don’t you just leave my time alone and go do something more important than messing with my sleep and forcing me to spend some of that precious time resetting clocks.


Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. I must welcome back home my lost hour. We will drink the whiskey of a happy reunion together.
  2. Shhh. Don’t tell Boys The Younger and The Elder, but I got them Royal Rumble tickets for January to give them for Christmas, and I can’t wait for that.
  3. Tomorrow morning I get to go to Wal-Mart and do the whole grocery pickup thing. And if someone randomly comments on my wife’s cuteness, I will have a better response this time.

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Death Cometh — March 17, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Costly Mortality ☠️Crazies, Unite 🤪Defining ‘Appointment’ 🦷 I’m getting ready to die. Sounds ominous, right? Dramatic? Scary? It’s not. Oh yes, in a certain light, it’s depressing as hell. But what it really involved was a meeting with an attorney that Wifey Poo and I had yesterday to figure out exactly…

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Finishing — March 14, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Books and Stories 📚SVB Lessons 🏦Basketball Party 🏀 Holy crap, you guys! I actually finished something I wrote! In fact, I finished two somethings I wrote! As my regular readers (hey you three!) know, I’ve been stunk in a funk of starting to write books and short stories with gusto and…

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Sorry, Please Continue — March 9, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Podcast Appearance 🎙️The Birth Control Pill Story 🐶Good Tired 🥱 If you would have asked me a few years ago whether I could ever envision myself on a stage in the back room of a dive bar sharing a story about how my dog ate six months of birth control pills…

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Peaking — March 8, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pee Mate 🚽Game Maker 🎲Dumb Muricans 🦅 I have been thinking about death a lot lately, not because I’m particularly eager for it to happen or because I’m particularly not eager for it to happen. I guess it’s because I’m a few months shy of my 49th birthday and please-for-the-love-of-God let…

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The Return of the African— March 6, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dieudonne 🌍Hoops Win🏀Cornhole Roll ✔️ In 2021, during some of the darkest and most difficult times in our lives as individuals and couple, Wifey Poo and I did a thing. It was a big thing. It was a challenging thing. It was an amazing thing. But to say it was just…

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Tribe — March 3, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Full Stop’ 🛑Needles 💉Business Lessons 🧑‍💼 Here’s something I learned about myself today: One way to ensure that I will debate you on a topic until I give my last breath or until you are huddled in a corner in a fetal position is to end the statement of your opinion…

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Mindful Commute — March 2, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩‍🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…

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After Life — March 1, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…

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Angry Marketing Guy— Feb. 28, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…

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Corruption, Penis Sizes and Bird Drones — Feb. 23, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…

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Home of the Hypocrite — Feb. 21, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…

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Wal-Mart — Feb. 20, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…

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Shit People — Feb. 17, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…

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Brain Rest — Feb. 13, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…

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Drugs — Feb. 10, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑‍💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…

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Missourah and the Spy Balloon — Feb. 7, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…

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Pokey Joe — Feb. 2, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑‍🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…

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Stuck Balls — Feb. 1, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…

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‘Fuck Tha Police’ — Jan. 28, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…

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Snow — Jan. 25, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…

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STUPID Goals — Jan. 20, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…

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Writing Retreat — Jan. 15, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…

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Ceilings — Jan. 14, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…

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Movie Ambush — Jan. 13, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…

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Animal Updates — Jan. 12, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…

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Bad Boys— Jan. 11, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…

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Done — Jan. 10, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…

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Media Landscape — Jan. 6, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…

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Santos Kills Puppy — Jan. 5, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…

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Institutions — Jan. 4, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…

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Finishing — Jan. 2, 2023

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…

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