Friday, March 03, 2006


The other day Tanya and I went to Costco to get a few things. It’s actually amazing at just how little stuff we’ll need in order to warrant a trip to the warehouse store. But when your lists comprises of “two gallons of ranch dressing” there’s not many options out there.

When we walked into the store, I noticed that they were selling framed artwork. Right there at the entrance. That’s nothing new. Costco has been selling overpriced crappy art for a while now. In fact, if you ask me, their art is the only overpriced thing that they sell. But really, how do you buy discount art? And if you discount it, is it still art?

Anyway, I spotted one piece in particular that was a departure from their normal crap. A nice Picasso print. I like Picasso. Sure, he painted a lot of crap. He drew even more crap. He did it to pay for things. He was one of those people who used to think, “hey, I could really go for a Monte Cristo sandwich, but I don’t have any cash on me. I’ll just pick up a crayon, draw a cheesy sketch on a napkin, and that should be enough to pay for at least a thousand deep fried sandwiches.”

So he would do just that. And now there are thousands of Picasso “masterpieces” out there.

But the print at Costco was nice. It looked as if it actually had some artistic thought behind it. And hey, we could always use a little more color around the apartment. So I checked out the price tag.


Yeah, it was real. A real Picasso. Right there next to the $20 cashmere sweaters and 2000 inch plasma screen TVs.

My first thought was “man, I’ll bet Picasso is rolling over in his grave at the fact that his art is now being sold at a discount wholesale warehouse.”

And then I remembered that Picasso was a whore. This is probably the very thing that he would have done himself is Costco had existed while he was alive. So, no harm done really. And you can get a Picasso at Costco. That’s pretty cool right?

My second thought was “hey, this original Picasso is sitting right here next to the huge front door. There’s only one lady guarding the front door and she’s barely even doing her job. And no one is guarding the paintings. (In fact, some were still sitting on the floor, as if the person in charge of putting up the display just gave up half way through. I had to leaf through some more affordable $4000 paintings and prints myself) I wonder how much effort it would take to pry this drawing off the temporary cubicle-type wall that it’s hanging on? Not much. And I bet I could easily get to the parking lot.”

But I’m not an art thief. Even if stealing a Picasso had been made ridiculously easy for me. That’s just not something I would do. But the opportunity was there. It just makes me wonder what all the fuss with security is about at fancy art museums. Costco isn’t so uptight. And Costco makes a lot more money. Maybe that’s it? Maybe they don’t care about the odd stolen Picasso?

Maybe I should have taken the opportunity?

No. Costco would cancel my membership for sure. And then what would I do when I needed those two gallons of Ranch Dressing?

I’m not going to Sam’s Club, I’ll tell you that! Sam’s Club is the devil!

Fun Fact: After about an hour of fine Costco shopping, Tanya and I waited in line for another 15 minutes to buy our stuff. When we finally got to the checker we were informed that our memberships had expired the day before. We weren’t allowed to buy anything unless we renewed. But our membership is attached to a business and about 4 other people’s memberships and it would have cost us $1,500. No way. We left empty handed.

There’s something very unsettling about grocery shopping for an hour and then leaving the store with nothing. I still forget that we didn’t actually purchase any of the things we shopped for. It’s screwing with my brain. I have to keep telling myself “we don’t have that ranch dressing, we don’t have that ranch dressing…”

And without a membership anyway, I wasted the perfect chance – possibly the only chance I’ll ever have – to become a big-time art thief.


Hey, here! I found a picture of the actual Picasso that I could have stolen. It’s in crayon, sure, but still pretty nice. $145,000 nice? Well…maybe not. But definitely “stealing” nice.

By the way, the Picasso drawing is entitled "Picador in a Bull Fight." Just thought you might like to know.

No comments: