A few minutes on the sample table with Poppy, a piece of popcorn chicken
Every day, I am bombarded and attacked by starving customers whose rumbling food pouches nearly shake me off the cold, metal table, and my handler, recently retired, almost loses her precious hairnet when you swarm to the next aisle. And then what will stop luscious, lice-infested locks from falling into your food?
I feel bad for the sampler people, sweating profusely as they overwork their mouths with meaningful food facts because curious customers question the free food whose product facts you will speak about later at your dinner table.
If there is anything you do with your insanely exciting lives, push forward, using your junk-food-filled carts as crutches. Do not act clueless and interested in what I taste like. I am white meat that has been sunburnt. If you sample me, you’ll probably buy a box of my friends, lug them inside your home with the mountain of other bulk necessities, and eat them when energy levels begin to drop on your post gym, sweat-infused, flimsy bodies.
I assure you, we popcorn chicken are very healthy. It says so right on our packaging, “No Antibiotics Ever.” We are also excellent sources of protein. Twelve grams worth.
My favorite customer is the husband who is unsure of why he is at Costco, and how he got there. Waiting for his wife, unaware that she is filling up on fancy sample foods to make up for the couple’s lack of romantic dinner dates, he chows down on his foot-long hotdog and large Pepsi after he has whipped up a whopping $1.50 from the depths of his khaki pants. Unfamiliar with his surroundings, he wanders over to a nearby sample table. As he slowly bites into my steaming hot neighbor, fresh from the microwave, I watch as he devours a whole bagel bite like he has never eaten sauce, cheese, and dough before. It makes the 4-foot-10-inch sampler lady feel like her day was worth it, like the grueling task of warming frozen foods and meticulously arranging each bite onto fancy, paper doilies actually means something to the hungry husband, and I sit and hope that the lost man moseys over to the next sample.
My training never prepared me for the Costco pre-dinner rush, when all of your gazing eyes scrounge for the next sample and sometimes scare me off my doily, when I take a three foot dive onto the cold, foot-trodden floor.
The rush also excites me. I am met by all of your screaming, obnoxious kids who just want to go home, and they will not shut up until you permit them to try, for the first time ever, Barilla pasta dunked in Prego sauce. Their crusty-eyed, snot-dripping, adorable faces meet me almost at eye level, and I question if a second sample is still considered a sample anymore.
Hungry, greedy monsters, my handler and I both know that you were here two minutes ago. We watched as you sampled the American cheese on the Ritz cracker and stuffed your face with granola from that 5-pound, unpurchased bag that has its own seat inside your cart. We saw you walk into the frozen food aisle where you picked up a box of popcorn chicken, but put the box with the spinach and cheese quiches, right where it belongs.
What is so special about free food samples anyway? You people are self-made Paula Deens and Emerils. We are the worst appetizers to your spaghetti dinners or Chinese deliveries. So go ahead, keep trekking through, using your junk-food-filled metal carts as crutches. I do not want your gross, sanitized hands altering my GMOs.