Friday, August 18, 2006

Thanks Costco Chili Guy...

Today was a fairly uneventful day as far as bakeries are concerned, I was running a lot of endless errands and had little chance to bakery hunt. Perhaps I will come across some bakery news for you later on, but as long as I'm posting: a salute to the Chili guy at Costco.

Yesterday my mother and I ate a delicious dinner at Costco, the best deal in town really. Two hot dogs and two refillable drinks, all for three bucks!

Of course, these hot dogs are not as good as the ones from dog stands sprawled across Copenhagen, now those are some dogs to get your hands on. Besides a bakery visit, Danish hot dog stands provide the perfect means to warm one's belly while exploring this chilly Northern European paradise. Even better were the days when my host mother greeted me with piping hot sausages after school, wrapped with her homemade bread dough and there for the taking! Oh happy day... In Denmark, even the dogs at 7-11 are inexplicably good, not to mention 100% more edible than those at the American version of the convenience store. 7-11 also has a small bakery case in its Danish stores with items that appear mediocre (in comparison to other Danish bakeries), but still much more upscale than any baked goods you might find in a 7-11 in the States.

At the same time that I am reminded once again of all things Scandinavian missing from my life, I have found that cheap American hot dogs at Costco have a certain charm of their own. As my mother and I feasted upon our dinner at the outside cafeteria, we commented that the only thing that would make our meal better was a healthy serving of chili on top of our dogs. If you're an onion lover, you're taken care of with a heavenly self-serve contraption which allows you to turn a crank and generously smother your dog in all the free onions you can eat (the same with relish, mustard, and ketchup). Had I seen a suggestion box, I would have recommended a complementary vat of chili too. But little did I know that Costco had surprises in store for me.

As we ventured inside to purchase zillions of miscellaneous objects within Costco's warehouse, we came across a Costco sample stand. Now, sample stands in Costco have always been near and dear to my heart. I have never, I repeat never, taken for granted the opportunity to sample clam chowder, miniscule bowls of cheerios, beef jerky, and frozen fruit desserts within a three foot radius and two minute time span of one another. But this was a special day.

We are greeted by a Costco employee, who is surprisingly jovial and pleasant despite his employer's forcible hairnet mandate. He is serving none other than canned chilli, and we instantly comment that this is fate. Coincidence? I think not. He expresses the same after hearing about our recent meal, and then offers to use his powers that be and ladel some chili onto some new dogs for us.

"Go outside and get a couple more hot dogs and I'll pour some on" he suggested. I have no problem doing it. I've done it before." We were too full already to enjoy, so we just sampled a bit of chili with a ridiculously tiny plastic spoon instead. It was the thought that counted though, and that is why I salute you Costco Chili guy. Thanks for taking a chance on a stranger-- you're clearly a fan of life. Chili guy, you take hot dogs and make them better, and we love you for it.
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