Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet is a customer-focused organization.
We appreciate your feedback. Here are some of the comments and questions
Help for the Humor Impaired
Every once in a while, we get a letter from some
indignant Black Rock City citizen about the shameful nature
of our corporate sponsorship and branding. We like these a
lot, because it just goes to show...uh, well, we're not sure what it
shows except that people can be kinda, uh, earnest.
Date: Wed 12 Sep 2001
From: Blake Rogers
Subject: Violence After Costco Files Heist
i'm glad you wrote to me, because you're just the man i wanted
to talk to. i think you exist on a low intellectual level. i'm
not saying you're stupid - although it certainly seems that
way and i'm not talking about your poor communication skills,
grammar, etc - i'm just saying you are a mainstream person
with mainstream ideas that goes to burningman and thinks he
knows where its at but is essentially ignorant. certainly you
are not a radical thinker with any interesting opinions. you
are small-minded. listen to yourself. listen to bob dylan's
"ballad of a thin man" if you are curious about how connecting
to a more enlightened worldview.
additionally, you have very little sense of humor.
you cannot accept flux, and think that just because you and
your group puts work into the process that you *own* its entire
outcome, like mcdonalds owns every fucking word that starts
with "mc", like burningman.org thinks it "owns" burningman. i
don't think *all* or even a majority of the people that filled
out those forms give a flying fuck if they're matched up by you
guys or redistributed, certainly not those i spoke with. they
knew they'd get a better match if they could just choose them
outright. simply because i fill out a form does not in any moral
sense give you ownership over the form, even if you design the
context in which i fill out that form. furthermore, if the form
is silly and my answers are silly, that information is not truly
"private" nor really property in any meaningfull sense.
also, my interest was never to de-escalate the situation; simply
because you're a jerk and a bully and a control-freak doesn't
mean i should seek to de-escalate the situation in response
to your violence. misinformation is integral to pranks, silly
boy. tricks are not just for kids. do you think assaulting,
battering, and pulling the hair of a guy half your size (in
response to an explicit and obvious performance art prank) is
"de-escallating? yeah, right. what planet do you live on? oh,
i know - you live on planet george bush. irony: compare me
to a frat-boy? violence is a frat-boy response, baby. i am
not remotely akin to a frat-boy. who the fuck do you think
you are to tell me about growing up? is violence a mature
response? i am a mature and peace-loving guy, and you should
thank me and my peace-loving burly guys for not pounding you
to an unrecognizable pulp after what you did to the brilliant
sweet ninja, oh master of war. the rangers wanted the situation
de-escallated, but not for your sake, simply because it made
political sense because of your violent response and potential
police involvement etc; one ranger, a tax attorney, lecturing
me on the finer points of performance art law - ahem - there was
a wise older ranger clearly amused as he told me to disperse.
the heist was the result of collaborative artistic involvement
of many people, old burningman hands, new burningman hands,
weirdos and random people. many people knew it was going
to happen (well in advance) and thought it was hillarious,
including dpw/rangers, art car drivers, costco insiders,
and lots of folks all over the playa that i approached but
it just wasn't their cup of tea. how does that compare to
fratboys rushing the burningman tower? you're right though,
doing something like that to the dpw would have been an act of
another order. anyhow, i guess there's no accounting for taste.
i spoke with so many people about this, and only a few
conservative people feel the way you do; a very small-minded
minority. most people including me think you're egotistical and
take costco far too seriously and that your group is hardly
a parody of commercialism and corporate attitudes but rather
simply bringing those attitudes to the playa. and by the way,
you screaming "i've been coming here for eight years...! -
the irony was was really priceless; everyone had a good laugh
peace and power to the people,
here's the story as i am telling it:
while i was waiting in line to trade gina bunny in for a
soulmate at costco it occured to me that it would be funny if i
stole their soulmate profiles, redistributed them, and the
costco doorman thought it would be funny also and gave his tacit
consent, expressed that some of the group would find it funny,
acknowledging that some wouldn't as well. he suggested i case
the joint and what to pay attention to, i did and discovered the
files and the layout of the place and how it could be
penetrated. so i rounded up some cool people who remain
anonymous to carry out the deed, picked up my soulmate's profile
and told the costco doorman that i'd planned it and would carry
it out shortly. my ass was covered and the plans were laid.
there was an artcar driven by a pinkhaired woman, a ninja, a
general prankster, and a few burly dudes. the plan was to have
the burly dudes walk in a back door and stand by the files doing
nothing except blocking the way while the ninja slipped the
files and himself out the corner of the tent, handing them to me
to run to the getaway car. we all drove up to the edge of the
playa and ring and got out and the ninja slipped into the costco
tent, i waited by the tent corner, pretending to take
photographs. suddenly the burly dudes waiting by the door were
pointing at the fileboxes, i picked up a box and the ninja
grabbed the other and we made our way out to the artcar and i
stashed the files under a blanket and yelled "out to the playa"
and our illustrious driver gunned the car around, however the
ninja wanted to sneak one file back which was even more funny so
we waited in the car while he snuck one back in the tent and
snuck back in true ninja style. i yelled "out to the playa" with
more gusto, however the ninja wanted to do a drive by and wave
the files in the air so we prepared to drive around ring in
front of costco; this proved unnecessary as we had already been
discovered by their fascist capitalistic leader who was
screaming about thefts, private property, how they work so hard,
how he'd been coming 8 years, and the law would get us... and i
was saying fuck you this is performance/participation art, the
leader grabbed the ninja by the hair and unleashed a rain of
blows upon his head, back and shoulders, the burly guys
disappeared, their bold yet unsentient leader was pulled off and
the rangers came and the sheriffs came and this red haired girl
on a bike shows up, the high maintenance goddess who gave me a
"live your dreams" sticker and got in between all of us and
chilled people out a little, their leader was yelling at the
rangers to make the goddess get away from the scene of the crime
and all these people were crowded around, someone was taking
pictures (i want copies). the ninja made a public statement
about being a ninja, one ranger at the scene, a "tax attorney",
lectured me that this was in fact stealing personal property, i
was laughing my ass off. anyway, we gave the files back and the
rangers told everybody but the fascist leader and the ninja to
stay, and the driver and i headed back to camp. i heard from
participants in the heist that the "employees" were very
cooperative during the heist inside the costco tent, looking for
someone's glasses or something and helping the ninja find the
files. the ninja's camera is still missing.
Date: Sat 7 Oct 2000
From: Adrian Truini
Subject: Re; Costco Theme Camp
I found it incredibly offensive to to see, hear, read about a
theme camp named Costco. I don't care what pun they were trying
to make the fact is they were advertising a huge corporation in
a place that is SO blessed with zero corporate influence. It's
absolutely one of the most beautiful things about Burningman -
NO corporate influence NO advertising NO bullshit. The fact
that these morons chose a corporate name for their camp only
goes to show how brainwashed their poor minds have already become
by living in this astonishingly corporate influenced world. In
the world of advertising there is no such thing as a bad
advertisement. ANYTHING that gets the name of the company out
there, firmly entrenched in people's minds is better than nothing.
The fact that the Burning Man organization allowed such an
advertisement to exist astonishes me. Especially when they ask
people to go through the somewhat arduous task of covering up
corporate logos on there trucks and vans.
Maybe next year there won't only be a Costco but also a Walmart
and Sam's club theme camp. And it wouldn't matter what their
theme was. The fact is you'd have Walmart and Sam's club
plastered all over the What Where When guide. Stupid!!!!!
Who the hell are these morons that think they're being cute?
It's exactly this type of thinking that corporations are striving
for, to the point where they would love it if we forgot that there
was ever anything else, ever any other way to live, to be. It's
almost a form of flattery that the jokes we make the gripes we
have center around a corporation or their product because it
means that they are a part of our lives, a part of our minds, a
part of us. And its disgusting.
The concept of their camp was a good one though. A brilliant and
fun idea. So I guess they aren't really morons, just brainwashed.
I hope Burning Man can truly keep corporate influence the hell
out. It is NOT WELCOME!!!!!
Date: Mon 9 Oct 2000
From: Maid Marian
Subject: Re: Costco Theme Camp
Adrian, one of the things you'll see a lot at Burning Man is "parody". I've
included Rico on my response to you as he's one of the primary organizers of
Costco Soulmate Outlet, and I'm certain he'd like to engage in a friendly
dialog as to why they chose that name. Please be nice to him, he's a good
man and as committed as that come towards the ethics of Burning Man.
You will never find "corporate sponsorship" at Burning Man, and when logos
interfere by force on vehicles and tshirts you'll see the citizenry work to
reduce their presence.
However, it's through parody that we can reclaim things from our world
around us, and I don't believe the use of Costco denigrates the burning man
You will be amused to know that CostCo has threatened to sue because they
had a website up using their name. Also, National Geographic tried to sue
another theme camp called Irrational Geographic. Now, if you ask me the fact
they they've been agressive towards these camps is all the more reason
to have them thumb their noses at the corporate legal eagles and do as they
please at Burning Man. I mean what better to have than nekkid people walking
into the "un" Costco. Doesn't that mean we can rebuild and redefine things
as we wish?
someone burned the Nike "swish" this year, and other Nike products (no
tennis shoes due to toxic problems with that)...i think we should co-opt as
much of the commercial world as possible. I DO agree there is a limit, but i
don't see that we are at a point where we need to define that for the
thanks for your email.
Costco Legal Wrangling
We were first contacted in July 1998 by Perkins Coie, the
law firm representing PriceCostco in legal matters related
to the Internet. That year, Costco's understanding of the
Internet seemed a little fuzzy. Their lawyers came at us like
trained attack dogs, leaving threatening voice mails, sending
threatening letters and FAXs to my service providers, and so on
(or perhaps this was just the personal style of John Morgan, the
particular lawyer who dealt with us). We changed ISPs weekly,
filtered visitors and so on, for a good long while. In the
end, little came of it, except that we tried to be a little
clearer on these pages that we have no affiliation with Costco
Last year, after our Corporate Website Redesign, we got
a registered letter from another attorney at Perkins Coie,
this time with a very different tone. Much more understanding,
careful, thoroughly researched, and, well... with it.
They were careful to explain that they understood what we were
doing, why we were doing it, and that they understood the humor
in a "discount warehouse store dealing in soulmates." They went
to lengths to say they respected our right to free speech.
I felt bad for ever saying that they were humorless.
We sometimes wonder at the people who wander in off
the playa completely clueless, even after we explain CSTO's
services. I can truly say, even if not all of our customers
do, Costco's lawyers get it. We're trying to be good
coporate citizens. They seem like nice enough people. We don't
want to cause them any extra trouble. Really.
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998
From: Mark Krenz
I'm sure you flinch at the sound of that word but I just
thought I'd let you know that some guy named Bruce called tech
support last night and left a voice message saying that we
should terminate the user that runs www.thespoon.com because
of the costco page. The guy said that he was a stockholder
I had to forward the message to AJ and John, but I just figured
you'd like to know and also wanted to say, "more power to
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998
From: Jay Campbell
Subject: Re: web pages (fwd)
I received a letter from a law firm representing Costco
Wholesale Corporation explaining how your site was directly
violating copyright and state tradename laws, and a request
to take the site down to avoid legal action. Upon review of
your site, I am in agreement, and it will not be reactivated.
If you would like a copy of the letter (which also mentions
previous legal action around this same matter) please send me
a fax number.
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998
From: Jay Campbell
Subject: Re: web pages (fwd)
> I hope you are not allowing yourselves to be bullied by a
> large corporation.
I'm afraid we are. In no uncertain terms, they've stated
"Costco must pursue this matter to preserve its rights and to
protect its reputation and goodwill." Admittedly, I don't know
all the subleties of trademark law, but I have noticed that
most television parodies I've seen use a spin-off of the name
being mocked -- not real names or logos. Even if your content
eventually proves to fall under the "fair use" category, I don't
have the resources to get tangled up in a legal fray at this
time. You may call it cowardice; I call it choosing my battles.
On a personal note, I'm sorry to see you being pursued. As a
rule, I do defend the rights of my customers to post whatever
material, regardless of social mores, that they wish .. without
letting the company step over to the wrong side of the legal
line. Our server houses conspiracy fanatics, fetish pornography,
and net.kooks of all flavors; it does not, however (to my
knowledge) house child pornography, nuclear bomb instructions,
or any other illegal content. Personal taste isn't a factor
.. it's the law. I won't rant any more; I just wanted you to
know this wasn't a cold, corporate, stock-answer decision.
Good luck in your future endeavors.
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998
From: Dan Johnson
Subject: By the way
Rico, I know you were having some, uh, challanges with Costco,
so as a satisfied Costco Soulmate customer and a young
eager-beaver law student, I did a little bit of research on
I found this on Perkins Coie's own web site. It is a landmark
case that decided that a provider is not responsible for the
content of its users over which it has no editorial control:
Zeran v. America Online, 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 11/12/97),
affirming 958 F. Supp. 1124 (E.D. Va., 3/21/97), cert.
denied.: America Online (AOL) was not liable for allegedly
defamatory postings by one of its subscribers. Plaintiff
maintained that AOL was negligent in permitting anonymous
postings by an AOL subscriber accusing plaintiff of publishing
materials "glorifying" the Oklahoma City bombing. The court
affirmed that the claim was preempted by Section 230(c)(1)
of the Communications Decency Act, immunizing Internet service
providers from "distributor liability." Such liability would
create a disincentive for providers to review content for
potentially objectionable material, and would thus frustrate
one of the CDA's chief aims. If service providers were subject
to liability upon merely being notified of allegedly improper
material, it would place upon them a burden of investigation and
judgment far greater than that required of traditional print
publishers -- an impossible burden in the Internet context,
and a clear invitation to third parties to foment lawsuits and
leverage settlements by merely sending notice and demanding
action. This was not the intention of Congress.
Furthermore, you might want to point out that The Onion
frequently has stories that parody not only real companies
but real people (Microsoft, Bill Gates, etc.)
Thought you'd want to know if it came up in the future.
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998
Subject: stand your costco ground, citizen!
i had a similar experience when the 666 cough syrup people
objected to certain material on my site poking fun at the name
of their product. what ended up is that the president of the
company weighed in and, over the objections of his lawyers,
congratulated me on the site and offered to sponsor me in some
way. i'm still thinking on that one. but anyhow, the whole
story's at: http://www.cardhouse.com/g/write/666.htm
i enjoyed your parody. see you on the playa! (i'll be in
Date: Mon 7 Aug 2000
From: Burman, David J.-SEA
BY EMAIL AND US MAIL
Re: Costco Soulmates Trading Outlet
Dear Mr. Modes:
When you spoke to my colleague John Morgan about your "Costco
Soulmates" store at Burning Man and your related Web site, you
stated that it was just a joke and would soon be ended.
Costco has a sense of humor and a respect for your free speech
rights. At your request, Costco delayed formal action to allow
you voluntarily to terminate use of the Costco mark. You have
not done that. Instead, it appears that you have expanded the
Web pages using Costco's intellectual property and that you
intend to use the Costco mark at Burning Man again this year.
That forces us to decide whether your use of Costco's
intellectual property is necessary to your expression.
It appears that use of "Costco" is unnecessary to the joke. The
joke was that a large warehouse store would sell "low cost
quality soulmates." You have made far more use of Costco's
intellectual property than is necessary to evoke the Costco
image. You could have used another name for your joke, but
instead you have used Costco's name and familiar red logo. You
admit that you were not trying to attack or comment on Costco;
you state instead that you are an admirer. Your own "fine print"
and your use of hidden text and metatags suggests that you just
wanted to use what you accurately call a "famous" name to draw
attention to your store and to your talents as a Web developer.
As you say on your site, "Yes, I do it for money."
The "disclaimer" that you added to the Web site is useless.
Putting aside its text, it is not tied to every use of the Costco
mark and is not even on the first page of the Web site. It
appears that the only way someone might happen to find the
disclaimer is if they wonder why the Costco name at the bottom of
the page is an active link; the other eleven uses of the Costco
name on that one page do not link to the disclaimer. We do not
agree that it would have been sufficient, but you easily could
have made the disclaimer visible instead of hiding it.
Costco does not own the idea of warehouse stores, and as far as
Costco is concerned you are free to have a Soulmates warehouse
store at Burning Man, and to mimic the public practices of
warehouse stores. You are not authorized to use the Costco name,
however, whether at Burning Man, in the text of your Web site, or
in hidden text or metatags, and you must avoid any confusion with
the real Costco.
We will continue to monitor your use of Costco's intellectual
property. Costco respects your First Amendment rights. We urge
you to respect Costco's IP rights by not using Costco's name and
by taking all reasonable steps to avoid confusion with the real
Costco. There is ample time for you to modify your store and
your Web site before the next Burning Man. Your prompt
cooperation will ensure that your activities are expressive and
David J. Burman
Date: Wed 27 Dec 2000
From: Burman, David J.-SEA
As you might recall, I am one of the attorneys for Costco. As
you say on your website, you "have yet to respond to [my] nice
letter." Or to my phone calls. I know that you made some changes
to your Costco Soulmate pages, but you have not taken them down,
as you promised John Morgan over a year ago.
Costco has a sense of humor, has nothing against you or Burning
Man, and does not want to sue anyone. But they also do not want
to lose any rights, especially to more commercial ventures, by
standing by now. Without suggesting that these steps would be
sufficient if done by someone with a commercial motive, would
you consider the following, assuming you aren't ready to take
the pages down completely and intend to participate in Burning
Man again next year?
1. Add to your disclaimer that your efforts are noncommercial,
that they are intended as humor, and that you believe they are
protected by the First Amendment.
2. Change the name on the web pages and at Burning Man to a
derivative that will still evoke the connection to Costco while
not directly using that name ("Kostko"?).
3. Remove "Costco" from your metatags.
Please call if you have any questions. We will continue to monitor.
Any commercial use of the Costco name, marks, or copyrighted
materials will result in action without any further warnings.
NOTICE: This communication may contain privileged or other
confidential information. If you have received it in error,
please advise the sender by reply email and immediately delete
the message and any attachments without copying or disclosing the
contents. Thank you.
We've had the pleasure of hundreds of customer success stories
that have worked their way back to us. These stories warm the
cockles of our heart.
We often hear these from campmates who complain that
their friend has disappeared for days at a time with their
new soulmate. These stories sometimes come to us in the form
of email directly from people who have found to their surprise
(but not to ours) that they really had found their soulmates
Have you found your Costco soulmate and have a success story to
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2001
Subject: thank you!
Hi Hi! this is just a note to let Rico know that me and my
soulmate are still best of buds almost one year after meeting
at BM 2000 thanks to Costco (a wholly owned subsidiary of
Kanadia). Thanks Rico and all the other wonderful Costco
folk. Will there be a soulmate reunion thing this year? A
soulmate wall of shame? Can't wait to see you guys again at
the KBK. Come by for a drink with us dirty Kanadian girls (
you know us all too well ).... luv luv adia (the low-fi ninja
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000
I guess that since you have contacted me, I will take this
opportunity to tell you about the awesome fucking amazing
incredible soulmate I picked up at your camp in 1998! Actually,
it's not quite that simple.
In 1998, I stopped by Costco and filled out an application. It
was the end of the week and when I went back, I discovered that
I had been given a boy and a girl (being bisexual and all). I
was exhausted, and never went and found either of them....
Fast-forward to the year 2000. I decide to make a reconaissance
mission to Burning Flipside, being held in Austin, TX to
see if I want to move to the area. I meet all sorts of
wonderful people, including a lovely woman named Lola. One
night somebody turns to Lola and says, "Hey, Leopard Queen." I
perk up immediately on the mention of the name.
"Are you Leopard Queen from Gigsville?" I ask her. She admits
that she is, indeed, one and the same.
"Ohmigod!" I say. "You're my soulmate!" I explain the rest of
the story to her while everyone else sits about, dumbfounded
at the scene before them.
Since then, she and I have spent quite a bit of time together,
and it's working out beautifully. We will both be living in
Austin soon, and have identified each other as ideal partners
in crime. I can't even tell you how pleased I am with my
Feel free to use our story as one of your success stories. We
had several wonderful photos taken of us over the weekend,
and I will send one when they are in my hot little hands.
Best wishes, and thanks again.
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001
Subject: RE: Leopard Queen
My soulmate and I are doing wonderfully, thank you very much. I
think Lola said she just got some photos back from Folsom St.
Fair in September, and I'm sure there's a couple of good ones of
us. I'll ask her to scan one and send it your direction.:)
Yes, we are both in Austin, and tearing up the town on a regular
basis. Very fun, to be sure!
Gotta run, Fiona
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000
Subject: lost playa love
hi guys i was one of your many soulmates you tried to
find a mate for but to no avail the guy you gave me
wasn't the one. ironicaly though i helped direct a guy
to you and we had a wonderful time for the whole week
well as all romance stories go here is the glitch i
had his e-mail address and i washed it. we traded
costco cards and i have all of that info do you think
you might be able to connect me with him? what is your
always going home to brc
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998
From: "Eric Rachner"
Subject: soulmate report
Eric of Montauk procured up one (1) Soulmate Voucher on
Thursday, referencing Angel of Nub Cirkus. Contact was
established on Friday morning. Subsequent sightings may have
occurred at Bianca's, underneath the Man, on the open playa, and
elsewhere, for the remainder of the festival. Soulmate status
has transcended the originating context of Burning Man '98...
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998
My soulmate actually got in touch w/me today.>:) Cool.: Eh..:)
BtW...that was the best theme camp in my opinion..:) hope
to see you back next year...:)
LONG LIVE COSTCO SOULMATE TRADING OUTLET>>:)
Friends of Costco
A collection of letters from people who have bothered to
contact us off-playa.
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001
Subject: desperatley seeking my soulmate!!
Hi there! I did not make it to the soulmate trading post,
however my soulmate did. He is from Vancuver and his name is
Jason. He is 38 years old and was matched up by you guys with
another man. I met him in center camp and we didn't exchange
e~mail addresses! Our energy was so strong the our friends
picked up thier cameras and started snapping pictures of us.
I don't know if you have any information on your "custumers",
but if you do and you are committed to introducing soulmates
than I must beg for your help. My name is Elizabeth and I
live n Los Angeles. If you can not help me, thankyou anyway
for your time.
<3 elizabeth <3
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000
From: Bill Yontz
Hello and thank you for putting up your fine website.
(http://www.thespoon.com/costco/) Wow, your store is really
big! The Costco near my house is nowhere near as big... it's
not even a FEW square miles. They don't have soul mates at
my Costco, but there's a checkout babe that I want and to whom
I've been sending telepathic communications. She's really cute,
notwithstanding her racial handicap. You see she's an Inuit,
which means she has really small hands and feet. I know
that's a turnoff to some guys and she certainly will never
win any swimming contests, but I bet she would be a very low
maintenance girlfriend! To be honest, as long as she can work
the cash register she really doesn't need long fingers, so I
commend the folks at Costco for giving her a chance. After all,
we humans all need to feel useful and productive in society,
and Eskimos are NO EXCEPTION. I wonder if I could ever learn
to do that clicking sound with my mouth that she does when
she speaks her native tongue? If not, her family may shun
me. Dating is scary enough without cultural and linguistic
barriers, don't you think? I think that's why your Soulmate
idea is so great. My last girlfriend was homeless, which
was pretty cool because she was so appreciative of anything
I would do for her. For instance, if I brought her a bottle
of Night Train from the store she liked that a lot because
usually she would have to trade her body for some drink,
and then it would be a bottle that someone had already been
drinking from or maybe even urinated in. Or if I brought her
a clean blanket she would love me for it...even if I bought
it second hand from Goodwill and it had holes in it. Sure,
her hygiene left something to be desired but what she lacked
in cleanliness she made up for in appreciation. Before that I
dated a runaway who lived at a halway house in Hollywood. She
was a lot of fun for the most part, but being abused as a
child left her with a really bad attitude and she was prone
to stealing. Also she was a "carver", meaning she would use a
sharp object to cut my name and names of musical groups into
her skin. Some guys have a fetish for chicks who carve but I
found it a bit disconcerting. Sure, it was great her being
underage and so promiscous but the cons just outweighed the
pros so I had to break it off. Sorry for the digression...I
was originally writing to tell you that I really like your
idea and that I hope to convince my local Costco to follow
your lead. So getting back to the original subject, do you
think that if I brought my Inuit girlfriend anyone would want
her? Would she have trouble in the intense heat there in the
desert? You must remember that evolution has spent 50 thousand
years preparing her people for subzero temperatures. Also,
from a cultural perspective she may resent being traded so
I may have to bring her in a heavily tranquilized state. I'm
thinking Thorazine. Looking forward to you thoughts...
Yours in Christ,
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 1999
From: Ted Casino
Subject: Hostile Takeover Or Whatever You Want To Call It
RE: Takeover Attempt
It is my understanding that the recent kidnapping of a
Disgruntled Postal Worker in center camp was either part of
a hostile takeover attempt or a misguided action devised to
silence the Disgruntled Postal Worker's main point-of-purchase
attractant who was causing, or attempting to cause, a general
decline in applications at the Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet
through his relentless electronically-amplified badgering of
said applicants to abandon their place in line for a free copy
of the new Larry Harvey book entitled "Larry Harvey Speaks".
This Disgruntled Postal Worker (your author) would like to
thank the Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet for not dropping him on
the playa and treating him with "kid gloves" during this action.
Disgruntled Postal Worker
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998
Rico, my name is Jeffrey, idolgical father of the Temple of
Atonement Theme Camp. Damn... what a wicked concept... I am
so there; cudo's to you and your on a magnificent concept!
Is there any method of expediting myself into soulmate bliss?
Lemme run down the recent events in my life in an attempt to
prove that I am incapable of locating the correct person.
In the last two months I've been subjected to the following
by someone whom I had known for 15 years:
contrived 911 call
emergency restraining order
permanant restraining order
child custody hearing (cited BM participation as bad behavior)
in which custody was granted to me at *her* discretion; I
haven't seen my 7 year old son in two months.
Yes, I have a lawyer. ;-)
In short, the woman whom I put through college, supported and
provided for made me homeless in less than a day and damn am I
ever in need of professional service as I obviously couldn't
locate a true soulmate if she came up and clubbed me like a
I emplore you...
I beg you...
Find me a soulmate or I shall surely perish. ;-)
Costco Lost and Found
Once in a while, we will get letters intended for Costco
Wholesale. We have no affiliation with the chain of discount
wholesale stores (except that we are members and love them and
do much of our Burning Man shopping there, as do many BM
attendees). The few misdirected letters we've gotten, we've
forwarded along to Costco customer service. These visitors
apparently failed to notice that there were nekid people and
a picture of Burning Man on the corporate banner, or merely
dismissed it as a particularly pruient Costco marketing
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998
From: Mark Mulligan
Subject: customer service
To whom it may concern,
upon a visit to the northlake blvd. lake part FL. store I was
very surprised. I arrived at the store about ten min. before
opening and found about fifty customers waiting outside for the
store to open! the doors did not open till exactly ten
o'clock not a second sooner.
Now don't get me wrong I am the customer service manager for
the HOME DEPOT in Jupiter fl. so I know what it is like to deal
with the public from both sides of the door, but you should
Know that the customers waiting outside all felt that the store
has very poor customer service. The employees that opened the
door were hurried and annoyed by the number of people waiting.
I know that your people have tasks to perform before opening
the store but the fact that we were waiting seemed to set them
I shop in Costco quite often and have felt that the customer
service was lacking at most times.
I know when we have customers waiting outside at my store we
announce that we are letting the customers in and start our
day. If the customer is waiting for us we offer them service to
get them on there way. when I tried to find the store manager
the members of the staff I asked could not tell me where he was
of if he was there, how is that?
Your company is overall very good and growing fast don't let
yourselves grow past the customer service that got you to that
Please respond so I know I haven't wasted my time in trying to
inform you of something you might not have noticed.
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998
From: Missy Clayman
Subject: RE: customer service
Thank you for forwarding this message from Mr. Mulligan.
Membership Services Department
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998
From: nellie kookesh
Subject: RE: customer service
I would like you to know that, if the store in Juneau
is serious about catering to the rural communities in
alaska that they should be prepared.
All of our travel is done by ferry, and we sometimes
cant afford to take our vehicles with us to haul our
groveries. So then, it seems that on more than one
occasion, costco did not have ONE box or ONE bag to
carry our groceries in and we are traveling by BOAT.
Why even sell the items if there is nothing to put
them in? We didn't have enough pockets to put all of
our stuff in. It seems that if you are going to sell
products, then provide bags and or BOXES WITH LIDS!
This was during the christmas season when everyone is
shopping. If we are paying to shop, then at least
provide products to carry our groveries home in.
Fred Meyers has never let us down in that regard.
Costco Witness Protection Program
Disturbing, but funny:
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999
From: Concerned Employee
Subject: Report of employee Theft.
I work at the Costco store in Monrovia CA. And have been a long
and faithful employee of Costco. I have always worked hard and
keep my nose (clean). I make very good money at Costco. (Thank
God) And Costco has always treated me fair. I will have to be
a little vague at times in this report so you do not discover
my identity. This letter will be sent to other heads of
employment at Costco. To inshore and inform them that (you)
have full sentence of this letter to you.
I learned of the thefts that have been going on for sometime
now. At a party that I attended with other Costco employees. And
later that nite on the phone.
Lou and Sherry Trevino work at the Monrovia store in Monrovia
CA and are Husband and Wife. Mr. Trevino works in the meat
dept. And marks a code on the meat packages. He marks the better
priced meat at a lesser meat for his wife and friends at a
lesser price. This has been going on for sometime now. Jewelry
and other merchandise is being stolen out of the store by
the Trevino's. Sherry Trevino is (Inventory Auditer) and can
hide the theft for days or weeks untill the merchandise is
well out of the store and sold. Also Mr. Trevino is a ex-felon
and has lied on his employee application that he was not. Lou
and Sherry have been involved in the theft of cigarettes at
the Lantana store the time that the thefts came through the
roof. And other thefts of cigarettes at other stores. When
I first started working at Costco, Husband and Wife were not
allowed to work at the same store. I can see why now.
Your friend and faithful Employee,