Let me tell you, I was at the end of my tether. It was a rainy day, no-one had anything to do, and the children were driving me mad.
Not only was I at the end of my tether, I was also at the end of the last roll of toilet paper. I was also out of peanut butter, Vegemite, tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of items required to keep a family of five from living on rice. In fact, we were even out of rice.
So the solution was obvious. Kill two birds with one stone, and take the three children with me to one of the Most Fun Places on Earth.
“We’re going to Colossal World!” I told them brightly.
“What’s Colossal World?” my son asked.
“Yay! Colossal World!” my four year old cheered.
“Huh...” my daughter said distractedly, which I took as a murmur of assent.
I bundled them into the car with promises of treats, and we drove the thirty minutes to Colossal World.
An hour and fifteen minutes later (because my Sat Nav is useless and I can’t follow instructions anyway) we arrived at the World itself. Except it’s not called Colossal World, even though it really should be. It’s Costco, the massive discount supermarket, and it truly is magnificent.
|some minor actress in a supermarket|
We bought all the stuff we needed – huge nets of oranges, ten-packs of toothpaste, immense tins of caramel-and-nut-encrusted popcorn (which one may argue isn’t strictly a ‘need’, until one tastes it, and realises it is essential to life) – and much stuff we didn’t. You see, here is the sneaky thing about Colossal World. They lure you in with their amazing value three kilo vats of smoked-salmon and half-dozen bags of genuine boiled bagels, get you drunk on savings and the bigness of it all, and then force you to walk down aisles filled with other tremendous bargains, so you end up spending five times as much as you would anywhere else.
I bought a set of five hair conditioners and five bottles of shampoo, in a brand I don’t use, for a type of hair I don’t have. I bought a Hello Kitty sticker book for my youngest daughter, despite her not knowing Hello Kitty, and having several sticker books already. I bought more tomato sauce than I could use in a decade, and more cheese than we can fit in the fridge. Oh, and two giant water soakers for the kids, which is final proof that Costco has the power to completely strip you of your reason.
So in the end, it was very much like any other family activity. You get home totally exhausted, having spent vast quantities of cash, and vow not to return for at least another year.
Unlike any other activity, though, the popcorn is amazing.