Thursday, January 15, 2015

Viva Lost Wages

I've never been to Las Vegas and to be honest, I have no real interest in ever going. Granted, people who go there seem to like it, but I'm of the mind that you already have to be the sort of person who goes to Vegas before you're ever inclined to be a person who goes to Vegas. I'm just going off of what I've heard from other Persons Who Go to Vegas, but I made up a bit of a quiz to see if I should go and the results suggest it's probably not a good idea: I'm too pragmatic to gamble. I don't care for Celine Dion. I'm biologically predisposed to be intolerant of heat and humidity. Despite what my family seems to think, I actually don't drink all that much. And, most of all, I don't like people, or crowds, or noise.

Let's be honest here: if I avoid going to the mall because it's too overstimulating, what are the chances I'm going to like Vegas? It is pretty much specially engineered to be not my cup of tea.

You know what's as much Vegas as someone like me can handle? Going to Costco. Costco is like Vegas for introverts. I mean, instead of an STI you come home with a twelve-pound block of Parmigiano Reggiano, but either way it's pretty tough to explain to your spouse what the hell you were thinking at the time.

It's never not-busy at Costco - it's somehow always crawling with people, and sure, they might not be quite as colourful as folks you'd see in Vegas, but the people watching is still pretty solid. (What is he going to do with two gallons of mustard? How many children do those people have?!) The lighting is intense and disconcerting. The roar of a thousand flatbed shopping carts, and dozens of children chanting, "Sam-PLE! Sam-PLE!" drowns out all rational thought. You are actually, literally trampled by old ladies stampeding the chicken cordon bleu samples table. The lineups challenge your will to live. Ultimately, you arrive back home with an empty wallet, a headache, and lingering psychological chills from your close brush with the rot of modern society.

Come to think of it, I probably shouldn't go to Disneyland, either.

Probably the one major difference between Costco and Vegas - aside from all the drugs and debauchery and ill-advised marriages officiated by Elvis impersonators, of course - is that no one is going to steal your purse in Costco. I mean, they'd have to abandon the hard-won spoils of their flatbed cart and stand in line at the door to get out - major disincentives.

Oh, but there's more to Vegas than even that! you say? I see your line of thought, and raise you: we have tickets to Cirque du Soleil in April, right here in Calgary. I'm taking the kids to Costco for a few samples first.

Full. Vegas. Experience.

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