Having escaped from the planet of the Orzo Outlaws, and with a pocket full of space credits courtesy of the Man With No Name, I am now ready to purchase a load of Mentos and Diet Coke from the nearest Costco and then destroy Darth Tater’s terrible Death Spud or Spud Star or whatever it’s called. All I have to do is pop in and out of Costco and be on my way; the Death Spud Star will be mashed potatoes by dinner time. Or will it … ?
My first inkling that perhaps this shopping trip will not be as simple as I had thought comes when I arrive in the parking lot, where I discover a queue of people waiting to get into the store. What could possibly be the explanation? Has some nefarious villain barricaded the entrance? Has the building been evacuated? Is it not open yet? Only time will tell.
With no other option, I am forced to wait in the huge line as we file into the store one by one to do our shopping. It is only hours later, when I reach the enormous front gate, that I learn a terrible secret:
Yes, it seems that without a membership, I cannot purchase my Mentos and Diet Coke — but if I purchase a membership, then I won’t be able to afford the products I need to blow up the Spud Death Star. Caught in this Catch-22, my mission hangs in the balance, until I am rescued by a Space Cowboy. A different one this time.
However, getting into this vast temple of commerce is only the beginning; now, I must navigate its cavernous aisles in search of the treasure I need. Others wander past, as lost and baffled as myself, but I cannot help them; I must devote all my energy to my own quest, and have none to spare for theirs.
At last, forced to admit defeat, I must beg for assistance from the disembodied head that rules this realm of bulk deals and cheap electronics.
It takes hours of trudging, but I eventually fill my gargantuan shopping cart with cases of Diet Coke and Mentos, carefully separated from each other by layers of insulation that I rip out of the walls with my teeth. I make my way back to the checkstands, where huge lines of iPhone-purchasing aliens queue through the store like visitors to Disneyland waiting to ride Space Mountain. Finally, after an interminable period, I reach the cashier, only to encounter yet more delays.
At last the prices are confirmed. I hand over my space credits and proceed to the exit, where another line has formed of people trying to leave the store and return to their vehicles. Hours pass before I reach the actual egress, where I once again confront my nemesis.
My attempt to defuse the situation with humor falls flat, and I am led away to a back room where unfortunate staffers are forced to wait for me to produce the receipt, as it were.
However, at last the receipt emerges, and is validated. I am finally free to leave with my precious cargo of weaponized candy. With that challenge behind me, all that remains is to find the Death Star Spud, destroy it, make my escape, and return to earth. I have no doubt that, after braving the challenges of the Costco, this will be the easy part; because I am Dennis the Vizsla, and I never give up.