M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, July 08, 2002  

In my experience, one of the areas where states tend to differ most widely from one another is in their liquor laws. You might live in a state where it’s legal to drink beer and wine in restaurants, but you won’t find anything stronger on the menu. Whereas, across the border, you might be able to get a scotch and soda with dinner, but only if you bring your own scotch. Maybe the state on the other side will allow you to have plumbing in your house with warm and cold running Guinness, while the next state over will only sell you a case of beer if you buy a box of ammunition at the same time. There might even be states where the bars have to kick you out at 1:00 a.m. and the liquor stores are closed on Sunday, but there’s no reason to get ridiculous here.

Drive-up liquor stores aren’t really common where I live, so something about them seems kind of odd to me. There’s some part of me that wonders why they don’t all just change their names to “Drive-up N Drink” or something like that. It’s not like other liquor stores discourage customers from driving to them; they all have parking lots, and they generally don’t lend out hand trucks so you can cart home your cases of firewater on foot. Maybe I’m just putting too muck stock in the stage of the liquor-buying transaction that forces you to actually transport the stuff to your car. Like if you can hold off on cracking the seal during the thirty seconds between cash register and driver’s seat, you’ll probably be able to make it home sober, but if a cashier just reaches out a window and hands you a fifth of Jack Daniel’s with the cap already off and a straw poking out of the top, that’s too much temptation. I’m aware that my position isn’t entirely rational, but then attitudes toward alcohol seldom are.

So it was kid of fun to spend part of this past weekend in Illinois, where we actually had a chance to patronize a drive-thru liquor store. Now, this wasn’t a drive-thru liquor store in the sense that McDonald’s has a drive-thru. Technically, those are more like “drive-pasts,” but they don’t call them that because it sets up unreasonable expectations for people tooling by on the street out front. This, on the other hand, was an actual hangar-style building that you actually drove into, then actually chose and paid for your purchases without ever actually turning off your engine. Once inside, the aisles were wide enough to allow drivers to browse through them and grab stuff off the shelves from driver’s side window height.

Okay, that last part isn’t really true.

Trash and I were inordinately amped about this rare (for us) opportunity to buy joy juice from behind our seatbelts. However, our host and chauffeur, longtime Quad Cities resident The Engineer, had other plans. Being a longtime Quad Cities resident, he knows just about everybody in town (or, more accurately, towns), including the guy working at the liquor store. For some reason, in the course of buying the liquor, The Engineer placed a higher priority on walking into the store and talking to his friend than he did on letting his friend see him driving through the store with a couple of grinning rubes from out of town pointing dorkily at bottles of Pucker from his back seat. Go figure. As it was, he walked into the store, leaving us sitting in the car and hollering, “Hey, where are you going? Get back in here!” Eventually we admitted defeat and followed him into the store, but not before I swore to avenge us by saddling him with a dopey Internet pseudonym like “The Engineer.”

Actually, we do want to thank The Engineer and his lovely SO for putting us up this weekend. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the phrases “putting up” and “putting up with” are so similar? Perhaps they have similar etymological roots. That would certainly be appropriate in our case. Anyway, we’re grateful for their hospitality and the next time they come up to see us we plan to repay them by talking them on a Minneapolis bar crawl at half past midnight.

posted by M. Giant 2:19 PM 0 comments


Post a Comment

Listed on BlogShares www.blogwise.com
buy my books!
professional representation
Follow me on Twitter
other stuff i