Naked ladies at Costco

And time marches on…I’ll get back to that.

So last night we took the kids to Costco for dinner.

Last week I started teaching/training for a new job, secondary English here in Vegas at American Preparatory Academy, and it’s rocked my world in the most fun and exhausting way ever. Direct Instruction, it’s the real deal. Suffice it to say, Mama hasn’t done much cooking this week.

We were browsing the Costco aisles and sniffing for samples when my girls pulled me aside. June is nine now and Georgia is seven (what?!) and they are quite the little biddies. As in, hanging out with them is like hanging out with a couple of old ladies. Full of chatter and propriety.

“Mom,” Georgia said, “They have a magazine back there that is really inappropriate.” Anyone who knows us knows that “inappropriate” is my favorite parenting word ever. It is, in fact, the most versatile word in the English language; perfect for describing everything from bad television to eating after 8 pm at night.

“Really,” I said, not thinking too much of it. I mean come on, it’s Costco. Super Family Shopping.

“Yeah,” June piped in, “It has a naked lady on the cover of it!”

I raised my eyebrows at this, and poked around for clarification. “You mean a picture with a girl in a tiny swimsuit?”

“No!” Georgia said, then was quickly trumped by June who added, “She had NOTHING on and is just covering her private parts, like this.” The girls then posed for a demonstration…oh mercy.

We quickly made a 180 and marched back to the supposedly naked lady gracing the Costco shelves. To my abject horror, there was, in fact, a fully not clad, birthday-suit-wearing, naked lady on this month’s cover of Women’s Health. Thank you Photoshop. To be honest, I didn’t even notice last night who it was because all you could see was how totally naked she is.

So my girls and I took a copy of the naked Ms. Vergara and trooped off to the customer service desk. My heart was pounding by this point and my inner lioness was doing warm-up pilates, readying for a serious showdown. I was going to roar big time on this one, my 12 and 14-year-old boys had been looking at the magazines with the girls and both been totally exposed to this. It was a 7-up-in-my-veins kind of moment.

But as we got to the front of the line I abruptly changed tactics. “Girls,” I said, “I want you to explain to the ladies what happened.” They nodded importantly and stepped to the counter. Bright faces, green eyes, the picture of appropriate. The two gals at customer service smiled at them warmly.

“Excuse me,” June began.

“We were looking at the magazines–” Georgia

“With our brothers–” June

“They’re 12 and 14–” Georgia

“And we saw this one on the bottom of the shelf–” June

“It was VERY inappropriate–” Georgia

“So we brought it up here to show you,” June finished and with a flourish I turned the magazine over.

Both the women behind the counter gasped. Hey, a naked lady is a naked lady, and Costco is no place for naked ladies.

They were absolutely appalled. “Oh my goodness,” the one helping us said, “Would you wait here? I’d like to get a manager.”

A moment later, Doug sauntered over. Picture your typical Costco dude, late 40’s, going gray and bald, faded jeans, red vest, and a name tag.

He came up with a pasted smile on his face. “How can I help you?” Doug said.

And then, in perfect synchronicity, my daughters told him the story at the exact same time, with one voice. It sounded extremely coached and scripted (it wasn’t, we’re just natural performers here, people) and his smile moved from plastic to patronizing. I could see his mind working it out, two kids, coached by mom, etc.

As they finished the story I held up the magazine. “Sir,” I said, “Does this look like pornography to you?” he bristled.

“That is not for me to decide,” Doug said, ” And I would never say that,” oh please, “But if it offends you, I will happily take it down, just for you.”

“Just for me?” I said. “Sir, what about all the other children who–”

“Ma’am,” yes he ma’amed me, “You are the only person who has complained about this, but if it will make you feel better, I will remove them.” And with that he turned on his heel and walked away from us.

Not very satisfactory, but at least they were coming down.

The girls and I gave him a ten step head start and followed behind. He got to the magazine rack and reached down to pull the hefty stack from the lower shelf. As he turned with an armload of Women’s Health, the breeze caught him and suddenly, the entire slippery mass spilled from his arms, blanketing  the main aisle at Costco.

Naked. Ladies. Everywhere.

Let’s just say looked a bit more uncomfortable. And flustered. Hard as he tried, he couldn’t seem to corral those slick little Sophia Vergara’s, they just kept getting away from him, the coy little devils.

“Oh!” my sweet girls quickly said, “Here, we’ll help you!” They rushed over and started helping him stack the porn into a nice neat pile.

“No!” he said, “Please…uh…I’ve got it…just…go with your mother…”

Can I just say, it ended up being a most satisfactory end to our confrontation. Eyes out this month for Women’s Health, mother’s and father’s beware.