Two grumpy old men got into a fist fight at Costco, and surprisingly it wasn’t over the last known Costco Café polish hotdog on earth. No, this fight was at everyone’s happy place, a place that keeps most of us coming back time and time again, a place that comforts us on our darkest of days. Yes, two old-timers desecrated the sanctity of the free sample line by having a full-on punching match during the free sample lunch rush.
The business section of The Washington Post is doing its job by keeping us up on the daily business of Pepaws in Greenville, South Carolina, and this week it involved fisticuffs at the free cheese table.
The men, remaining anonymous for the potential shame brought on their families, were both presumably taking their regular strolls through the aisles of Costco, when they felt a bit snacky and did what most of us do: ditched the toilet paper shopping in favor of a free lunch buffet. A 70-year-old man was waiting patiently in line for his turn to cop a little paper Dixie cup full of unspecified cheese, when a 72-year-old man in a Hawaiian shirt swooped in out of nowhere, cut in front of the line, and grabbed his cheese sample OUT OF TURN. Well, this made the younger grandpa’s blood boil (he must’ve been on a low blood sugar crash made worse by his delayed turn at the free cheese).
But stealing cheese was not to be the end of the ordeal. The 70-year-old man then went to wait in line for a free cheeseburger sample, and, you guessed it, the Hawaiian shirt-clad monster attempted to cut in line AGAIN! This time the 70-year-old had had enough and called the man out on his cheating ways. “I will do it again!” the 72-year-old desperado allegedly proclaimed, to which the 70-year-old retorted: “You’re a jerk.” That’s when the cheeseburgers hit the fan. The Washington Post reports:
A Costco employee who was working at the stand told police that she saw the two men arguing in front of the sample station. She described a man in a Hawaiian shirt handing a loud blow to the other man’s head.
Police later identified the older man and gave him a call. The man told police “that he did have an altercation with a man in Costco and that he hit the man’s hat off his head after the man got in his face,” according to the report. The 72-year-old said he thought the younger man was going to hit him because he was balling his fist. He said he slapped the man, rather than punch him with a closed fist.
An officer wrote in a supplemental report that surveillance footage showed the man swinging his left arm at the other, knocking his hat off and then backing away, as if out of fear that the other man would strike back.
The only way justice will truly be served is if we get to see that surveillance footage. Someone start a Change.org petition STAT!
I get this fight. It’s nearly impossible to endure a trip to Costco without undergoing a series of complex emotions that lead to mental and adrenal exhaustion. First is the agitation of battling maddening crowds of housewives while talking yourself out of throwing crap in your cart you know that you don’t really need. Then you’re boosted by the adrenaline rush from the money you save from buying 800 buttered croissants at once, followed by the disappointment at the register in finding out that your bill was still $400 more than you expected. Finally there’s the remorse that you’re going to have to do it all over again in a matter of two weeks after you’ve eaten all of your croissants while binge watching The Crown. It’s a messy cycle, the extreme highs and lows of shopping at Costco.