A visit to BJ’s

(Originally posted on my MySpace blog Nov. 26, 2005) 

I defied all conventional logic today and went to BJ’s Wholesale Club during Thanksgiving weekend. It actually wasn’t any worse than any other Saturday or Sunday, which was a pleasant surprise.

I think so many people get scared off by the days and weekends that have been immortalized as “Do NOT go shopping that day!” days that places aren’t as crowded as you’d expect.

My observation every time I shop at BJ’s, which was especially noticeable today: If people drive the way they handle shopping carts, God help us all!

So, as a public service, here are some simple rules (although I’m sure the nine people who might read this already adhere to them).

• Look where you’re going. This is a very simple principle that should be applied to all facets of everyday life. Do NOT push a huge shopping cart loaded with 150 pounds of Carolina Rice and six cases of Malta without paying attention. Getting hit by shopping carts really sucks. “Me sorry!” doesn’t heal the welt in someone’s ankle.

• The aisles are generally wide enough to allow two carts to get through. However, this design is rendered useless when Mr. and Mrs. Fossil leave their cart directly in the middle of the aisle and spend seven minutes deciding which flavor of Metamucil they liked better. Pull the cart over. You’re not the only people in the store. You might be the oldest people in the store, but you’re not the only people in the store.

• This one’s for my old roommate (she doesn’t violate this rule, she just pointed it out to me so I figured I’d include it): If you’re at the snack bar at BJ’s, and the Pizza Hut box says “Cheese Pizza,” do NOT open it to see what’s inside it, do a poor job of closing it and put it back on the heat rack. Pizza Hut mini-pizzas do NOT come with prizes, so opening them up to see which one has the SpongeBob Pez dispenser is a waste of time. Pizza Hut mini-pizzas do NOT come with free baseball cards, so don’t bother worrying about getting stuck with Kevin Brown when Mariano Rivera’s in the box to the left. If it says “Cheese Pizza,” it’s a cheese pizza, no more, no less.

• Allowing your kids to play tackle football all over the store, using a package of frozen broccoli as the ball, will only lead to someone getting hurt. And kids, if you’re not going to EAT the broccoli, then don’t punt it, even if it is fourth and 10.

• If the label on the article of clothing says “medium,” and you’re the size of a compact car, you can hold it against your body all you want, but it’s NOT going to fit. May I suggest an occasional salad? (Disclaimer: Yes, I am far from thin, but I realize this. Therefore, I avoid anything smaller than an XL, and I really make it a point to stay away from spandex and Speedos. Others should follow suit.)

Having said that, today’s BJ’s run was a good, productive, painless trip. I went for Gatorade and spent $205 (without even buying any DVDs!), but that tends to happen in BJ’s. I just wish they sold beer, because I could really use one right now!