The Invention of Costco Wars

March 4, 2010

Costco is a guilty pleasure of mine.

I feel guilty because my need for all that bulk-item goodness is unjustified.  My sweetheart and I have no hungry children to bulk-feed.  We don’t own a home so there is no garage for storage space.  We don’t even have a real pantry.  We do have a dog but until we have a yard, she will do without the 5’x10’x6′ welded dog kennel.

Then there is the issue of impact on local economies and the environment: The Costco effect.  I’m a student of urban planning and understand the importance of supporting local businesses to keep the dollars in my community.

But I love Costco anyway.  And an empty refrigerator is a waste of energy.

Last Sunday, I looked into mine and decided to brave the crowds.  Now, Costco on a weekend is one helluva foolhardy undertaking.  Nevermind the shuttle service required to reach the front door from your parking spot, the worst part is the people!  Thousands upon thousands seem to have set their alarms and avoided all breakfast treats in order to block every aisle just to stand in line for a 1″x1″ chunk of smoky weiner on a toothpick.  The Costco Effect on human behavior is worthy of academic study.

I needed some motivation.

Enter Kevin.

Kevin is in California.  I am in Chicago.  Witness the birth of Costco Wars:

Think treasure hunts with tweetphotos and double-dares.


1) Smartphone with camera

B) Twitter app/photo share (I use UberTwitter / Tweetphoto)


4) A sense of humor

I envision it like this:

Issue a Challenge: “Closest parking spot to the front door wins.”

Result: Photos come flooding in, of course, because everyone will play.  Players can follow along by including the hashtag #CostcoWars.  The winner is decided by whoever cares about winning, and the winner wins nothing but bragging rights.

Not even open yet and the lot was already THIS full?  Inconceivable.

Challenge 2 from Kevin: Lamest sample.  Suggested examples:  Granola.  Lay’s potato chips.  Air.

So that’s Costco Wars in a nutshell.  Do you have a challenge to suggest?  Add it in the comments and let’s meet online some weekend.

And if, someday, you’re at Costco innocently filling your cart with tubs of processed food and rolaids (Challenge #3:  Post a pic of a cart filled with processed foods and indigestion medicine), don’t be surprised to see a flash of light followed by the click of a trigger (I mean camera) and a swell of the theme from Mission Impossible.

It is a war after all.

PS – I never did make it out to Costco that day and Monday found me contemplating how peanut butter would taste with capers.  On Twitter, of course.  Adrienne intervened:

I definitely need a Costco run.

<Unfortunately necessary disclaimer:  This is a fun game suggestion and is in no way affiliated with Costco officially, although Costco employees are welcome to participate.  Please do not get hurt and absolutely do not hurt others in an effort to snap a picture for participation.  Jeez.>

And now for “Costco Wars pt. 2”

<div style=”float: left; margin-right: 10px;”><embed src=”; id=”1_540528c2_27ae_11df_bbcf_0019b9e56dac” name=”1_540528c2_27ae_11df_bbcf_0019b9e56dac” flashvars=”auto_play=false&clip_pid=kdgqhshzst&e=&id=1_540528c2_27ae_11df_bbcf_0019b9e56dac&skin_pid=wfxswdnlkf” width=”300″ height=”30″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” pluginspage=”; allowscriptaccess=”always” wmode=”transparent”></embed><div id=”1_540528c2_27ae_11df_bbcf_0019b9e56dac_anchor” style=”font-size: 8px; color: black; text-decoration: none; display: block; text-align: center;”><a href=”–InconceivableWallace-Shawn-Vizzini-The-Princess-Bride-&#8221; style=”font-size: 8px; color: black;” target=”_blank”>Inconceivable! sound bite</a> &nbsp;<a href=”; style=”font-size: 8px; color: black;” target=”_blank”>Wallace Shawn sound bites</a></div><img alt=”Inconceivable! sound bite” border=”0″ height=”0″ src=”; style=”visibility: hidden; width: 0px; height: 0px; margin:0; padding:0; float:right” width=”0″ /></div>

12 Responses to “The Invention of Costco Wars”

  1. I’m totally playing next time I suffer through a Costco trip. And i’m suggesting a challenge that I know I will win, because I’m fair and balanced: Most awkward public transportation trip home.

  2. feliciacago Says:

    Oh come on! How can you fit anything from Costco onto public transportation? A picture of you with a case of canned mushrooms balanced atop your crown, with a 10 lb bag of onions on your lap will indeed win the category. (Wait, those would be my selections. Yours please?)

  3. Teri Gidwitz Says:

    Ok… couple of ideas

    Challenge 1 most unhealthy contents of a shopping cart

    Challenge 2 most ridiculous example of lazy customer behavior you can capture (i.e. shopping carts left adjacent to but not in the return slots in the parking lot, frozen items ditched on a shelf some place, etc.) Provide a descriptive caption.

    I’ll try to come up with a few more.

    • feliciacago Says:

      Great suggestions! 1 will be a very popular category. I mean, really, who needs that giant tub of mayo with a handle? Carts with all boxed entrees and no fresh fruit make me sad.

  4. Mana Says:

    Have you seen those chicks in stilettos and bedazzled tank-tops at Costco? I have! So I’d like to throw a challenge in – the most over the top “not-for-Costco-shopping” outfit.

    My second challenge is, “the alcoholic cart.” We all know those people who only go to Costco for the booze ;P

  5. Ben West Says:

    GREAT idea! I went to Costco for the first time about a month ago (I know, I know), and something about the place definitely makes me want to make shopping there into an large scale event.

    I’m actually a little jealous that you thought of this first! 🙂

    • feliciacago Says:

      There is a mysterious entity that surrounds you when you enter Costco. It whispers in your ear and convinces you that capers by the peck are not only a great bargain but also essential to your survival.

      It’s diabolical.

      I have a lot of capers.

  6. kevin Says:

    Awesome suggestions! Keep the ideas and participation coming. Felicia and I are looking to take this thing global, and Costco is not even global yet. They may even thank us later for allowing them to expand, but I’m a little ahead of myself.

    For now, let the #CostcoWars commence!

    And, I agree with Felicia, don’t get hurt or hurt anyone else. My reference to ramming my cart into unsuspecting sample gluttons was a merely a metaphor for good, clean, and safe fun!

  7. […] 8, 2010 If you aren’t yet familiar with Costco Wars, take a moment to review the origin and rules of everyone’s soon-to-be favorite online interactive […]

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