Aside from the recent spate of deadly weather currently plaguing this land, the biggest news in Oklahoma City this month has to be that, after so many years of wishing, hoping and praying, we finally have a Costco in the city limits—13200 N. Western, to be exact.
And not a moment too soon either—we certainly love to show our civic pride and state patriotism by buying things in bulk at what we believe to be a nominal price. Although it’s supposedly free to look around the store, as I entered a gruff man with white hair barked at me about having a membership card. When I told him that I was only window-shopping, he got up very close to me—almost light-kissing close—and sternly warned me that I can’t buy anything, so don’t even try.
Strutting down the wide aisles, there’s seemingly deals on all the things we tell ourselves we desperately need, like brand new AirPods and other useless electronics, as well as clunky patio furniture, excessive kayaks and unreadable Dean Koontz novels. How much money you’re actually saving is debatable, but the feeling that you are saving is a downright inescapable one, somewhere on par with your first love true love and your first confirmed kill.
The bricks of energy bars and fruit snacks lead into the lauded food aisles of Costco, with many of them mere stopgaps for free samples of Kirkland’s best, produced with an unwavering smile by highly-trained personnel that know their job is on the line, making these the perfect pre-lunch appetizers. On this trip, I had a small sausage, a dollop of chicken salad, a smear of hummus and a bit of a wonton; there were plenty more, but I had to save room for the food court, right?
Ah yes, the Costco food court, where if you’re in the mood for a cheap meal of mostly righteous junk, you’re so very in luck. Ordering off the self-sufficient kiosk—actually, it’s the preferred method of ordering, as I was told by the overly-helpful cashier, just hovering—where items are laid out like a McDonald’s cash register, I just pressed what I wanted and paid for what I got, no human interaction needed.
A Third-Pound Plus Hot Dog with a fountain drink ($1.50) is truly the best buy on the menu, a near-footlong of beef nestled tightly in a sesame-seeded (!) bun, with a little brown mustard and relish added for taste; while it may not look as artful as the photo on the menu, it still works. Additionally, the good old warehouse club stand-by of a slice of Pepperoni Pizza ($1.99)—sold bravely next to cheese and combo pizzas—is a large-sized, decent-enough reminder of your favorite mall pizzeria.
The one food item that truly bothered me a bit, however, is the so-called Chicken Bake ($2.99), a toasted club of bread with mostly cheese and bits of chicken baked on the inside; I’m surprised this somewhat tasty foodstuff isn’t being served to both our public schools and incarcerated felons alike, rich in nutrients and vitamins, especially when paired with a Fruit Smoothie ($2.99). It’s where most food is headed, it seems.
Once that overly-Oklahoman excitement of a new place to spend money at completely blows over, that’ll truly be when the real test of Costco’s durability and longevity starts, especially with our city’s numerous Sam’s Clubs on the top of their capitalist game now. I would like to say head on down Western and check them out, but if you do, to Hell with the rules and regulations—just walk right in and help yourself to a cheap hot dog, no membership needed.