I like to drink. Much like Ray from the Trailer Park Boys, it’s a hobby. I’m what one might call, a professional. You should see me: I go into the liquor store. I pick out what I want. I go directly to the cash register and engage in a little chit-chat depending on whether or not the cashier is “with it”. Then, I swipe my debit card and walk right back out the door. After that, I drive home where I open bottles and consume the sweet nectar squozen from the teets of goddesses. And why shouldn’t I?! I’m 34 years old! I’ve done my time *finger points at the sky after I smell it real quick*. However, recently I was cock-blocked whilst my partner in crime was simultaneously cunt punted from receiving our alcoholic wares from the local Wegmans. It was a blood bath of selective stupidity.
There we were, Sarah and myself. From outside in the moonlight, it stands tall with an evil clock tower on its face, and much like the mighty vampires who are undoubtedly sleeping their days away in the dungeon beneath the parking lot, it sucks the blood from the surrounding local businesses with its size, deals, and fierce demon-grip. I believe the clock tower is only there to countdown the minutes that remain until every local business in the area falls victim to its free market sword. It is routine to begin looking for the tramcar upon entering this Dracula’s castle of bargains which is basically the Home Depot of supermarkets. I guess it needs to be called a megamarket, or an ultramarket, or a soopa doopa market. We purchased some knish or some such shit from the pre-packaged section of the store where they pack “home cooked meals” between thick layers of BPA. Now, this store evidently prides itself on looking like an old school Italian marketplace…which begs the question, why don’t we just have a regular fucking marketplace? Attached to this behemoth, which you can get to from inside the “regular” store, is the Wegmans liquor store. Why they don’t just put it all in one store is a mystery that I don’t care to solve, and I won’t try. So, let’s tuck our dicks into our anuses and march through the archway that leads us inside…shall we?
As I’ve already stated, I’m an avid drinker. I have frequented this store many, MANY times. In the past, I have seen parents with toddlers, kids, teenagers, and young adults in this hundred foot high concrete cave of booze, with looming walls of Jim Beam, Fireball Whiskey, and wines from all over the world sticking up like stalactites…or is it stalagmites? Soccer moms and dads walk in with their little snot-nosed accidents, who are usually sporting some kind of emo haircut which has still apparently not gotten old, pick up their booze, pay, and leave. Fairly standard practice, even for people with these smelly little fuckers in tow. I’m thirty four. Sarah is thirty two. I’m in this place nearly every day. This should be a cinch. So I thought.
I sped to the back to grab a sixer of Corona. Sarah did not speed anywhere because she has a disability and is not known for speed. This is fine, and I knew I should hurry it along because it’s not good for her to walk around for too long without a break. I walked up to the counter and said, “Hello,” and I put down my six pack. The woman, who obviously didn’t want to be there any more than I wanted to be anywhere but home drinking, said hello back and scanned my Corona. I then pulled out my debit card, and, out of habit, my license as well. Even though I have prematurely graying hair, gray hair in my goatee and plenty of tattoos, normally I’m flattered when asked for my license. In my mind, I say to myself, “Hey there, you aging fuck…you’re still pulling this shit off! I’ll bet every chick in here wants to fuck you.” It’s a fine moment for me. Then, everything turned to shit.
She then turned to Sarah, and said, “I need to see your ID too.” Sarah had left her ID in the car because had no intentions of buying any alcohol. Suddenly, I felt like I was magically whisked away to the fucking Twilight Zone of dumbfuckery. The cashier became nervous, stuttery and just started looking around like a white person who’s about to tell a black joke. After sensing something was amiss, I broke the awkward silence and said, “She’s not buying anything.” I was then told, “We are supposed to ID everyone.” Then, the mouth-breathing manager, who could’ve been mine and Sarah’s son if I got her pregnant eighteen years ago and she drank and smoked crack in all three trimesters, waddled by. The cashier began to communicate with him in a series of confused and pained single and single-and-half-syllable grunts. “The.” “She.” “No.” “ID.” “Uh.” “Should?” Mind you, this whole time, the woman still had MY license tight in her Kung-Fu grip.
The “manager,” or let’s just call him Johah Hill with glasses but with no commercial success or chance of getting any pussy, looked at me and stared. Judging by his hyperventilaty demeanor (Yes…I just wrote “hyperventilaty.” I have three degrees which means I can make up all the fucking words I want), I assumed he was taking in my tattoos, which still scare people, which is ridiculous in this day and age. Then, his eyes met MINE EYES! I could feel my eyeballs in my head flushing themselves full of blood and becoming red as Satan’s asshole after a $5.99 Mexican buffet washed down with the fucking Corona I just wanted to bring home and drink. C’mon chief, I thought to myself. Make the right decision here, fuckface. What the hell was happening here?
After the transmission of grunts was completed, she somehow made it clear to Jonah that Sarah did not have her license on her. He looked at me, and I, having hurdled past the frustration phase long ago, said that her license was in the car. Sarah stood there, very obviously trying her best to hold herself up before she collapsed. The cashier stood there, still holding my license so tight you’d think it was her Precious. I stood there, waiting to swipe my debit card. And then there is Jonah…the human version of a clogged drain, lost in the middle of the hardest decision he’s ever had to make in his life…something way beyond, Supersize? Or no Supersize? In my ears, trapped in this awkward vortex of barely discernable thought—I couldn’t hear it, but I sensed that high-pitched ringing that happens when some asshole in a movie gets clubbed in the forehead with a set of elephant balls in the middle of a stampede, and as the character is shaken awake, he or she isn’t sure if they are alive or dead, but we, the viewers, are sure that some serious head trauma has taken place before everything comes back into focus and the sound of chaos revs back up—I hear it…just hanging in the air like a senior citizen fart.
VRRROOOOP! “Can she run out to the car and get it?” This was when a fuse legitimately blew in my head. I wanted to say, Does she fucking look like she’s running anywhere? But instead I said, “Forget it!” while I made my first attempt to pry my license out of the cashier’s hand. I wanted to ask, If you need to ID everyone before any purchase can be made, why are we allowed in the store in the first place? and Why do you wait until we walk in, pick out our booze, stand in line, and then ring us up to get to the ID? This seems out of order. That’s when every other asshole with teenagers and toddlers I’ve ever seen buying booze in this place appeared in my mind. I began to wonder why they don’t card the eighteen year old that’s supposedly there with “dad” but they card the two of us. As I continued to try to get this woman to let go of my license, I looked at Sarah, and then, I looked at myself. Then I realized…THAT’S why, and it’s arrogant, selective, bullshit.
Once, when I was a teenager, my friends and I got a homeless guy named Homeless Joe to buy us six 40’s of malt liquor. We didn’t go inside the fucking place. We waited out in the van and hoped he wasn’t going to duck out the back door with our money. He was obviously of lesser means, and we were obviously a bunch of punk rock metal kids looking to get fucked up. The combo stinks of foul play. That said, if Sarah were underage and trying to get someone to buy alcohol for her, she wouldn’t come in the fucking store with me, assholes…she would wait outside. However, at Wegmans, it seems as though their policy is like that of the NSA, it’s all an illusion of safety for…I don’t even know fucking who because I could get crack faster and easier than that if I wanted no matter what my age…and because of this illusion, I’m 34 years old and stuck being policed by people who can barely communicate with each other in my presence. And, unfortunately, in this illusion, Sarah has disabilities, and I’m covered with tattoos, and we are in a liquor store together, so it is a MUST that they card BOTH of us because even in the eyes of capitalist consumerism, we are still considered less than, and some of the most fucked up people in the world, and even if one of us is legit, they have an excuse to frisk the other. That was the reason I didn’t go into the liquor store with Homeless Joe. If I had gone in with my dad, no one would’ve said shit no matter what their policy. If Homeless Joe had gone in with his son, no one would’ve said shit about that, either. The policy is null and void, and I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes. When I see them card the fucking eight year old with its soccer mom, and I get to watch her ass throw a fucking fit, I’ll feel like the policy treats us all as equals. The liquor store is no place for an eight year old anyway, you dumb fucks.
In the end, I successfully pried my license out of the woman’s hand, which was comparable to getting an important key out of the atrophied hand of a corpse, told them their policy was bullshit, slowly made my way to the car with Sarah, went to the liquor store up the road, and paid an extra dollar fifty for Corona.
Apparently, dignity costs a dollar fifty…unless you’re at Wegmans.