Recently I got to observe people in one of the wildest places on earth: Sam's Club at Christmas time! I made sure to arrive at approximately 3:30pm on a Saturday, which is a horrible time for productive shopping but ideal for sample consumption. Yes, I am a sample mooch; I confess this with a bit of shame. Nevertheless, I like free food, and I will continue to whole-heartedly pursue any strategy that will satisfy my palate. One thing I've learned, whenever there's a higher traffic pattern at Sam's, they really go all out with tons of samples.
As I was making my rounds, I was astounded to see that I was not the only one with this intention. People of all persuasions were circling the sample boths like third-world vultures. As soon as a new morsel reached a plate, men and women alike would reach in and snatch it in the blink of an eye. What blew me away was that these people were not even trying to act nonchalant. They had resorted to their natural instinct for survival, going on a full offensive to gather food.
After watching this for several minutes, I learned that I had to resort to this sort of behavior if I were to enjoy the riches of the sample aisle. It paid off big. I enjoyed two different kinds of shrimp, eggnog, cheese on a cracker, salami on a cracker, sausage and cinnamon toast, chip and queso, two kinds of cake, turkey salad on a cracker, bruschetta, olive dip and ham. It was magnificent!
On my drive home, I began to ponder this event. Soon I was completely mystified by my experience. What in the world could possibly possess adults who have more than enough money to survive, who in all likelihood had not missed a meal in the last decade, and who are (I am assuming) normally somewhat dignified in public to act like a bunch of alley cats? Where would this motivation come from?