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How I got a tab at the liquor store

Author: Johnson
Posted: 31 May 2004

Lemme just run this one down real quick-like.

I went to the store tonight to grab some beer for the boys and some soda for Krystal. Upon reaching the register at 10:50pm with a 30-pack of PBR and a 2-liter of Coke, the dude rang it up at $18.50 or so. I reached for my ever-present debit card and discovered that it and my wallet were not so ever-present. Quelle surprise. Actually, it is a surprise, as I take my wallet out of my pants on the average of once in a blue moon. This time, though, it was up on my desk, avoiding being a pain in my ass but doing absolutely no good.

I turned to Philippe and said something like "shit shit shit, my wallet's upstairs -- what you got for cash?" He thumbed through his wallet and produced twelve dollars, falling well short of our goal. I then turned to the dude and explained that I was going to haul the 30 back and exchange for a 12, and he stopped me dead in my tracks with a "wait a sec, hold on..."

"You know what? Take it. I'll be in on Friday, come by then and settle up."

I'm paraphrasing. But, essentially, this guy told me to take home a 30-pack of PBR plus a bottle of Coke and to get them back later. Now, I know for almost four years I've put these guys, or their kids, through college. I've seen this liquor store go through renovations. I've seen employees show up randomly one day and I've seen some of those disapparate into the void. I've even seen some of the more permanent fixtures on the street or in Stop n' Shop, and embarrassedly given a nod and a "hey, what's up?" knowing full well that they probably have no idea who I am.

This is a new level, though. I don't know if I'm comfortable with it because, well, it's my local liquor store and, well, it's a discomforting fact that I'm known on personal recognizance enough to walk out with thirty cans of PBR and a bottle of Coke and know I'm good for it. Especially seeing as I skipped ahead of some poor motherfucker that was counting out change to pay for a bag full of King Cobra 40s. On the other hand -- damn, I sure felt like the man. I walked back to the house feeling like I'd advanced to some secret level unbeknownst to the usual guy in there buying a couple singles of Bud Light for the ride home or some stupid yuppie couple looking for a bottle of wine to celebrate some random holiday no one cares about.

I mean no offense to the usual denizens. I've bought good beer, cheap wine, excellent wine, cheap liquor, top-shelf liquor, and goddamn, I know our house sold them out of 30-packs of PBR for two weeks in a row back when we all moved in last September. However, I'm most often that guy standing with a $16.50 30-pack of PBR in a line full of Tufts kids buying Heineken or whatever's the new trend this month (I still hear PBR's up-and-coming).

And so, Dave, I drink this PBR to you. Cheers.

I hope you check out the site like we told you to last weekend, and I hope you read this in particular. I'll settle my tab on Tuesday with that tall guy with the beard. Know that, while disconcerting to myself, we appreciate your contribution to Team Totally Awesome.

Peace out.

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