Californians love Costco.
Now, I know what you're thinking: <Fill in the state> love Costco also.
Yes, but not like Californians do, and I'll tell you why.
As you stroll through the aisles of a California Costco, beneath the two-hundred foot towers of canned beans and flats of soda, the inevitable thought going through your head is:
What if the Big One hits now? I'll be buried alive beneath a thousand tons of rubble.
The prospective shopper's mind turns to dire warnings of California's next Big Earthquake. Memories of The Great San Francisco Earthquake, 1906; Loma Prieta, 1989; Northridge, 1994--fill the head with scenes of death and destruction.
I'd rather be on a bridge when the Big One hits. At least there I'd have a chance of survival.
Costco puts their Photo Desk, Customer Service, and the Electronics section near the front of the store for a reason. It's done so that shoppers don't set one foot inside the store and immediately bolt once they spy the Towers of Merchandise Doom. They lure you in and then the stacks spring up around you once you've gone too far to back out easily.
I'm pretty sure that I signed away my rights to sue Costco for gross negligence (i.e. stacking too much crap way too high) away years ago when I put my John Hancock on the contract that also forfeited my Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure at the exit.
But hey! Costco is the only place that I can buy a 48-pack of paper towels AND get a 64-pack of toilet paper! Woo-hoo! Costco!
Costco is a man made natural wonder that brings you closer to God. As awesome as Costco is, every visit means a potential encounter with death. When a Californian enters Costco and looks up at those mega-pylons of consumerism, rising to the sky like harbingers of doom, he can't help but pray.
Please God, let me get out of here alive with my four pounds of peanut butter, and I swear I'll be a better person.
You pray as you enter and you pray until you wheel your packed
cart of goodies out into the crowded parking lot, and then breathe that final
sigh of relief.
And yet, we keep doing it, going back week after week, month after month... The Costco Phenomenon is intrinsic to living a fulfilled life, because every time we enter, we leave with something we NEVER expected to buy.
And, my dear friends, THAT is why Californians love Costco more than any other state.