Monday, November 18, 2013
Let me in!!
I don’t pay much attention to buildings that offer the opportunity to buy hard liquor in bulk. The last time I was in such a store was while Riley was in hospice at the nursing home. That would be more than a year ago. I wanted to buy a small bottle of tequila because I was in a highly unusual mood for a Margarita. I was disappointed that the main ingredient for my desired cocktail was so expensive, but I bought it anyway and haven’t been back since. When you only drink every three or four months, even a small bottle has a tendency to last a while.
In North Carolina, the liquor stores are all state government alcohol control board operated. They are aptly name “ABC” stores. In my mind that seems like a childish name for such an adult product. But that’s off the track a bit.
I was driving down the main road in our town which has only two ABC stores. There is one as you enter the beach area and another just about midway down. Both stores are on the same main access road which runs the entire length of the Outer Banks. The one store I frequented when Riley was drinking was the one about midway. It is flanked on one side by a CVS store and a major grocery store. Across the street are numerous fast food restaurants. It is a busy, bustling corner.
I was going to the grocery store and when I turned at the appropriate street, I noticed that there was no longer an ABC store on the corner. It was gone. Like there one day and gone the next. But, even more than that there was no sight of there ever having been a store of any kind in that location. The building had been replaced with an empty lot.
What the heck??? Was there now only ONE ABC store on the island? My first thoughts were what are all those alcoholics going to do if they only have one store to get their precious liquids? This area has the privilege of have a large percentage of “drinkers”. ABC stores close on Saturday evening and do not re-open until Monday morning. An image when through my head of drinkers who needed to have their supply replenished before the store closed and who had waited until the last minute to complete that chore. The image goes something like this using myself as the alcoholic/drinker in need:
I drive to my usual ABC store and see that I’m the only car in the parking lot. I think how lucky I am to get such prime parking. The inside of the store looks dark, but maybe it’s because I’m getting here so late. When I reach the end of the walkway ramp, I find the front door to be locked. I check my watch. No shouldn’t be closed because it’s about 10 minutes before closing time. I step back and look at the building quizzically. OH! Wait! There’s a sign…
This store will be permanently closed as of (whatever day is the day before today). We will re-open at our new location in the Surfside Shopping Center at our normal opening time.
Oh my goodness!! I don’t even know where the Surfside Shopping Center is! Do I have enough time to get there? I grab my cell phone and call a friend to find out if she knows where the new store is. She tells me it is right next to the Stamp Store. OK. I know where that is, but I don’t know if I will make it in time.
I put my car in gear and head to the Stamp Store. I run every red light and weave in and out of the traffic. Panic is setting in as I realize I may not have enough time. Then I see the sign over the window front “ABC” Beverage Store. I park right in front and push open the door as the manager heads towards me to lock out anyone behind me.
Phew!! I made it! That was a really close call. I must never wait until the last minute again.
I’m so happy I am not a person who must have a stash of alcohol available every single day. I have been blessed to not have that penchant or gene or whatever it is. On the other hand, I know the business hours of every single Starbucks and Coffee House on the island. I would probably die from withdrawal if I had to survive an entire weekend with my java.
To each his own poison...
at 11:52 AM