Like many of you (I’m guessing) who live near a Costco, I stop into one of these magnificent examples of retail splendor at least once every week or two. Some of you might not live near one, but I’m surrounded by, at least, three or four of them (not to mention Sam’s Club and BJ’s). It’s a veritable plethora of enormity—big boxes galore.
I’m reminded of this, because one of my avid readers (at least he seems to be avid) sent me the following short story:
Yesterday I was at Costco, buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Owen, the Wonder Dog. I was in the checkout line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had, an elephant?
So because I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse, I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IV’s in both arms.
I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete, (certified), so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)
Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care, because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I had stopped to pee on a fire hydrant and a car hit me.
Well, I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.
Costco won’t let me shop there anymore. Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.
This story has inspired me. I used to think of my Costco trips as an opportunity for a free lunch. (They usually give away some pretty good samples. And if I circle the store a few times, I can often get my fill.) Now, I want more. I want to see what kind of havoc I can wreak, or how many people I can humorize. (Do you like that word? I just made it up. Maybe we can start a movement.)
I once heard a Christian comedian (while speaking about the Body of Christ as having various parts) refer to himself as the laugh. Biblically, laughter is a good thing (Psalm 126:2-3), so being a part of the body that causes laughter can’t be all that bad. I just hope I don’t cause any heart attacks.
From now on, just call me Isaac.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]