Searching For Small

Written by Cliff Yankovich

"One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small."

Do you think the Airplane (yeah, I am talking about the Airplane -- don't give me that "Starship" hoo-hah) shopped at Sam's Club? By the second aisle I began to have the feeling that something was surrealistically wrong with the picture. Had I taken the "small" pill?

It really started at the entrance. What the heck is wrong with this grocery cart? Been driving `em solo for years now and this one just didn't feel right. Wait a minute -- the thing is way too big. Sam's has grocery carts that have to be over some kind of load limit law. The oversized cart was just the beginning of my small day at Sam's Club.

Maybe I just didn't belong there at all. Maybe the whole place is designed to keep people like me out. "Excuse me," I said to the helpful, courteous employee, "Can you tell me where I can find the dog food?"

"Sure thing," says he and he proceeded to tell me how to get there.

Five minutes later I was back. "Excuse me," I said to the helpful, courteous employee, "Can you tell me where I can find the proper dog food if one doesn't operate a kennel or happen to own a pair of Newfoundlands?"

Key-ristmas, every bag of dog food in there weighed in at about 75 pounds or so. Just so happens my dog is a beagle kind of thing. With all her optional equipment, wet hair and full pockets she weighs about 12 pounds. What am I going to do with a two year supply of dog kibble? Suppose she runs off or is kidnapped or something? What if she happens to crave another brand six months into our commitment to this huge bag? I know its dog food, but mightn't it go stale? Granted, dogs are not the most discriminating eaters, but even she might turn up her nose up at old stuff that smelled of fish guts when it was fresh.

This got me to thinking. I looked around some more. Sure, I love Honey Nut Cheerios, but where in my cupboard am I going to put THAT huge box? Salsa is a good thing, but I am not ready to commit to a container of it that I have to lift into the cart with both hands. And if I was to buy that big thing of cranberry juice, two problems arose. Number one will it fit in my refrigerator? And B, who is going to help little Amy pour herself a glass of it every time she wants a drink?

Then it hit me - I was being discriminated against. Uhhhohhh.

That was it in a nutshell. Okay, my dog isn't the size of Trigger, I don't have eleven children living at home and we aren't hosting a wedding or a fire department breakfast anytime soon. Clearly, Sam's was picking on me and making so I could not buy the products they sell. Don't they know I know a lawyer? Are they really asking me to launch a lawsuit, write a book, do talk shows and post a web site decrying their lack of concern for my personhood? The fact that they have built a national chain of stores designed to keep me out is a pretty clear indication of their total disregard of my situation.

Well, once my little mind starts down a path like this, there is no stopping me. Never mind the discrimination; I began to realize how Sam's Club is working toward the destruction of America.

Sure, those are strong words, but give me a second to back them up.

Americans are overweight, are we not? Everyone knows those excess pounds lead to all kinds of health problems, early death, poor performance in track and field events, and a host of other conundrums. So if I go to Sam's and purchase my favorite cereal in the one foot by two feet box, then it only follows that I will overeat in an effort to keep the cereal fresh. It is hard enough for me to avoid over consumption of ice cream without having a five gallon tub of it in my freezer crying out to be saved from freezer burn. This is not only encouraging me to be overweight, Sam's club is MAKING me that way just like Phillip Morris made me smoke and my mom made me act out in school and... well, you get the picture, don't you?

The subtle influence of Sam's upon our culture, health and general well being became crystal clear in an instant. Ever try to order a "small" soft drink at any fast food places lately? Read the menu boys and girls, most of them don't even offer a small size of drinks or anything else anymore. It starts out with "Medium", then "Large" and then goes off into "Super-Size", "Biggie-Size", "Mega" and what ever else they can think of to lure us to our doom. (I haven't figured out who exactly makes up "them", but "they" certainly must be a consortium of executives from Sam's, Burger King, 7-11, and Enron and the whole deal is no doubt under the watchful eye of Arthur Anderson.)

How many pounds of sugar and how many calories make up one of those portable vats of soda pop? Why have they made it so it is flat out economic foolishness for me NOT to get the value meal with the Mega-helping of fatty fries? Why can't I get a small cola? Where did the "small" serving go?

Wonder what Jeffery Feiger is doing these days? Hmm, hafta give him a call.