It's tough to be a free sample. Every day, hangry customers with bouncing beer bellies nearly knock me off the cold, hard cart, and my handler, a scraggly teen, nearly loses it when you flock like flamingos to Aisle 5.
I have to watch as the teen carefully explains that no, that’s not cayenne in the kimchi. Cayenne pepper isn’t blonde, long, or hair-like in appearance.
Did you know that sample distributors leave work 3.14 pounds lighter after exercising so much with their mouths, spouting food facts? I’m always surprised by how many customers believe strawberry milk comes from pink chickens.
Besides a little sunburn, we popcorn chicken are very healthy. It says so on our packaging: “No Antibiotics Ever.” Never needed them. We're the model of health.
But my rigorous exercise regimen never prepared me for the triathlon that is a Costco trip. It's brutal. I recently heard from Fox News that two men ages 70 and 72 fought over free cheese at a Costco in South Carolina. They exchanged a dirty word and then a dirty punch to the face over a cheeseburger sample. They were probably lactose-intolerant.
The pre-dinner rush makes me want to jiggle myself off my doily.
I get to meet peaceful kids who won’t shut their pie traps because they want to go home. Their drool dribbles over chicken nuggets like they’ve never encountered a yummy dinosaur.
Greedy ogres, my agent and I know you were here already. We watched you taste the American cheese on a Ritz cracker and use yellow Starbursts to fill your cavities.
My favorite customer is the married man whose wife ran into Costco for just a few things. While she fills up on gourmet foods, he ingests a foot-long hotdog and Seltzer. He swears he couldn’t afford to take her out for a nice Italian meal at Olive Garden, but could manage $1.50 from his fanny pack.
Like a lost puppy, he wanders over to another sampler lady. He smiles at her, tells her she’s hot, and devours a ginormous bagel bite. Before his wife caught him, he wrote Ore Ida’s number down. 47.5 calories. He’s gonna fail his Weight Watchers weigh-in.
What’s so special about samples? Is it because they’re free? Is it because they're food, that thing you love so much? Is it because you think since it's smaller, it's healthier for you?
There’s no way your lives are more exciting than that of the sampler lady, my handler. But I guarantee you, my life is more exciting than everyones'. I spend it watching you fish for the biggest popcorn chicken. Your life revolves around me. You're obsessed with me.
Your parents lied. We’re not all the same.
To quote Rascal Flatts, “I hope you choose the one that means the most to you” and “you never need to carry more than you can hold.” That second one doesn't have deeper meaning—it's just because Costco doesn’t use shopping bags.