arts & entertainment
Costco filled a
hole in my life
By Karin Slaughter
MY KITCHEN FAUCET died on me. For a normal
person this would be a mild irritant, but for me it
ended up being a slippery slope. To make a long
story short, in order to get the new faucet I
wanted, I ended up with an extra hole in my
countertop. My options were limited: Buy a new
countertop or fill the hole with a soap pump.
So, I chose to get a soda gun.
Like most authors, I always try to look at new
experiences through the eyes of my characters.
Unfortunately, this does not mean I can write off
my entire life on my taxes, but it does fill my brain
with lots of useless knowledge that has no practical application. Case in point: When a short story
I was working on began with the line “Will Trent
stared at the flashing red button on the frozen
Coke machine,” I knew I had to make myself conversant with frozen Coke machines, which led me
to all kinds of websites about soda machines,
which led me to soda guns like the kind they have
at bars that dispense six different sodas with the
press of a button, which in turn put it in my head
when I had that extra hole in my countertop that
its round shape was perfect for a soda gun.
See? Slippery slope.
The problem with soda guns is that you need
boxes of syrup to supply them. You would think
that in Atlanta, where I live, boxes of Coca-Cola
syrup would be growing out of the ground, but
that is not the case. After a quick Internet search,
I found that it is unanimously agreed by soda dispenser owners across the U.S. that the best place
to get syrup boxes is Costco.
I have been in my fair share of Costcos during
book tours, but I’d never been there as a shopper.
This is not to say that I did not avail myself of free
In this Connection exclusive, author Karin Slaughter
(see her interview on page 57) sheds light on how she
has to learn in order to educate her characters. While
the results look great in print, she humorously explains
how the information binges can take a toll on her wallet.
samples (I am a human being, after all), but I had
never had a membership before. From the
moment I joined, I found myself wondering how
on earth I’d ever managed without it.
That first trip was mind-boggling. Holy crap!
Have you seen those prices? Furniture, bedding,
lighting, giant TVs. Yes, yes, I know I was there
to buy syrup, but doesn’t everyone need a
60-inch LED smart TV, especially if it’s almost
$400 off? And what about that surveillance system I’ve been wanting so I can watch my cats
when I’m away? Or that beautiful side table that
would look perfect in my living room?
It was then that I saw the faucets. Not just
any faucets—my faucet, the one I’d just paid
eleventy billion dollars for that was painfully
cheaper at Costco.
I’m not going to lie. This was a heavy blow,
even though I’d saved roughly the price
difference with just one trip to Costco. But life
is full of lessons, and I had free samples to raid
before the warehouse closed.
As I left the building, I marveled at all the
bargains I’d gotten, as well as the fact that
the sun had been out when I
first entered the warehouse.
It wasn’t until I was getting
into my car that I realized I
had forgotten something. Syrup.
Fortunately, Costco’s customer service is the one thing
they never discount. A kind
woman let me back into the store,
and then when I realized there
wasn’t enough room in my car for
all the syrup boxes, she reminded
me that they would be open again in
Which is how I ended up buying a 60-inch
TV the next day. It’s exactly the kind of TV that
Will Trent would want for his house, so I guess
you could say it’s for research.
See? Slippery slope. C
moment I joined,
I found myself
on earth I’d