My liquor store.

I live in a wet county that is surrounded by several dry counties.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the weather.

For you people who actually live in the world and haven't heard of this concept, this is what it means.

The county I live in sells liquor.  There are liquor stores.  You can buy a case of beer at the gas station.  You know, it's like... civilization.

In the dry counties around me, this is not the case.

There are no liquor stores.

You can't buy beer.  Or wine.  Or vodka.  Or gin.  Or tequila.

Bootlegging still exists.

When a wet county exists in the middle of several dry counties, there are usually a plethora of liquor stores.  This is certainly true in my situation.  Directions to my house include the phrase "Go over the bridge and past all the liquor stores," and everybody knows exactly where I'm talking about.

It's high class out here in the boonies, y'all.

Anyhoo, I picked MY liquor store early on, based on a couple things.  1) It was on the side of the road that prevented me from crossing the street and/or making a left turn - because I HATE to make left turns - and 2) It has a drive-thru.  As the Mama of two very active little boys who could do a shitload of damage in a place full of glass bottles, I appreciated the option of pulling up to a window and placing my order.  Also, they always had suckers there for the kiddos, because who would go through a liquor store drive-thru unless you had a carload of kids, right?

What I didn't count on was was the fact that the lady who is ALWAYS on drive-thru duty, 24 hours a day, six days a week (liquor stores are still closed on Sundays out here in the wild, ya know, because of God) would stay drunk at work and would be largely unable to fill any order that was more complicated than "a case of Bud Light, please."

I occasionally get a wild hair and try different tactics to see if she will be able to do something crazy like, I don't know, sell me a bottle of wine.  Last week, I thought that if maybe, just maybe, I went early enough in the morning, right at opening time, that she perhaps wouldn't be too drunk to help me buy wine without getting out of the car and dragging my kids inside the place.

Lazy and entitled.  That's me.

I pulled up to the drive-thru and waited patiently for her to come to the window.  Minutes pass, and she finally woke up and opened the window.  Uh-oh.  She had recently moved into Hangover City, from the looks of her.

"Good Morning," I said cheerfully.  "I'd like a 12 pack of Bud Light Lime in the bottle and two bottles of Oliver Soft Red wine."

Blank stare.

"A 12 Pack of Bud Light Lime in bottles and two Oliver Soft Reds, please."

Blank stare.



Something switched on in her alcohol-soaked brain, and she started moving around.  First up, she pulled out a handful of suckers, which she thrust at me, then she turned and wandered off in the direction of the beer.

She came back toward me with a case of beer, clearly cans, and no wine.  She then put it on the counter, grabbed a second handful of suckers which she passed out the window to me, and started to ring my sale.

"Um, excuse me?  I'm sorry (I really wasn't.  I don't know why I always feel compelled to apologize to  other people when I tell them they're wrong.) but that looks like cans.  I asked for bottles.  And also, my wine?  The Oliver Soft Red?"

She reached down under the counter and I saw my life flash before my eyes as I envisioned a gun coming up and pointing at my face and OH MY GOD I'M TOO YOUNG TO DIE!  I DON'T EVEN HAVE A TATTOO YET!  handed me a bunch of doggie treats.  Um, ok?  Thanks?  My kid will love these?  I guess pet owners use the drive-thru, too.  Then, once again without saying a word, she turned and wandered off toward the beer.

She was back relatively quickly with what appeared to be the correct beer.  And still no wine.  As she started ringing it up, I prompted gently, "Um, my wine?'  Her response once again was to wander away without looking up.  She came back with two bottles of wine that she immediately put into a paper bag.   We finished our transaction smoothly, I declined more suckers, and I was on my way.

When I got home, I put my beer in the fridge and took the wine out of the bags.  It was Oliver Soft White.  Whatever.  Close enough.  Also, and somewhat inexplicably in my bag I found several Slim Jims which I had not paid for.

So here I sit, drinking my white wine, eating a free Slim Jim and tossing doggie treats up in the air for the boys to catch in their mouths and bring back to me.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to go back through the drive-thru to get some rum.

I can't wait to see what I come home with this time.


  1. I hardly know where to start. I guess I'd never realized that most other states don't have wet and dry counties. I finished reading your post and went and asked my husband just to make sure this strange fact was really true. I've always been jealous of Florida because there you can buy wine in the grocery store. There are no drive-thru liquor stores near me, and I'm feeling a tad bit jealous. If I'm running errands with the 12yo and a liquor store is on the agenda he'll ask for a particular one depending on if he wants the only place in town we can find Big Blue soda or the place that has an extensive selection of Jones Sodas. A 12yo should not have favorite liquor stores, I know. Lastly, how is the Oliver Soft White? I haven't tried that one. Oh, yeah, and now I think I can go back to work. Sounds like I'm totally qualified to work a shift at your liquor store. I can hand out suckers and milkbones with the best of them!

  2. @Angie, I think it's crazy that an old drunk like me ended up living in a place where buying liquor isn't necessarily a given. The dry county thing seems to be a Southern thing - imagine that. I feel certain that my kids will also have a favorite liquor store, based, apparently, on what dog treats are offered. I'm glad to hear you're ready to go back to work. Should I grab you an application? Oh, and the Soft White is pretty darn good. It's a little sweet for my taste, but totally drinkable.

  3. don't talk about my mom like that!

  4. Ah, memories. The days of being trapped at the drive-thru at the Chuck Evans on Louisville road are coming back to me now. With a vengeance, I might add...just got diagnosed with degenerative disc disease from all those years of hauling around kegs of beer.


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