10 Things That I Noticed on the Way to Buy Beer Tonight

Note: This little nugget is from way back in the day when I was flailing around on another network. I was still trying to figure out my voice, but there are glimmers of things to come…

1. The overwhelming layer of dead leaves in the front yard.

I’m sure the depth of the deadness is violating some type of municipal regulation. We’re not talking a couple of cute little drifts. We’re talking “how the hell does the mailman get to the front door”? We have 4 billion trees that Jesus apparently planted, ancient things, each of them capable of producing enough fallout to fill a football stadium. It’s basically a losing battle, trying to keep up with the output.

So, I don’t even try. I just let them keep falling until April. Because they will. It takes that long for all of the leaves to break free and make their way downward through the criss-crossing network of branches. This makes our yard the trashiest one in the neighborhood, because all the other lawns on the street are pristine. (To be fair, most of those people are retired, having enough free time to individually name each single leaf before tossing it into the mulcher, so the competition is a little unfair.) Still, I should do something about the leaves. Maybe next year.

2. There is still something odd going on in the house at the end of the street.

We’ve never figured out exactly why, but there are always at least 5 cars parked in front of this house. Always. And sometimes that figure goes up to 10 or so. A few of the cars are the same, but the rest vary. We’re convinced that this dwelling is either an illicit daycare facility or a drug den. It’s got to be one or the other, no in between. Trouble is, since we’re not sure which it is, we don’t know which number to call to report these people.

But we DO know that it’s a pain in the ass trying to navigate that end of the street. Whoever these visitors are, they just park wherever they want to while they run in to pick up their child and/or dime bag, leaving the people who actually live on this street to carefully roll through the war zone at two miles an hour. I really can’t stand that house. When my car is paid for and the insurance is caught up, I’m driving through the front window and finding out just what the hell they do in there.

3. There’s a warning light on the dashboard that one of the tires is low.

Hmmm. I don’t feel anything. Do you?

4. Some people two streets over are getting a new driveway poured.

Making mental note to sneak back later tonight with the body of that person who wouldn’t stop asking “is it cold enough for ya?”

5. There’s something rolling around under my seat.

I suppose I should reach down and try to figure out what it is. But that journey always ends in confusion and dismay. It’s usually an item that mystifies me as to its origin and purpose. A can of Aqua-Net hairspray? Seriously? And how did it get here? I didn’t know they even made that stuff anymore. Who the hell is driving my car when I’m not paying attention?

6. One of the radio stations is still playing Christmas music.

Then again, I still have Christmas leaves in my yard, so I really shouldn’t judge. But I won’t let that stop me.

7. The traffic signals are blinking at one of the intersections.

Great. These people can’t even handle it when things are working correctly, so this should be a real funfest. During rush hour, no less. This is going to take forever. Some would say that this is God’s way of telling me I shouldn’t be on a quest for demon alcohol. I know God better than that. He wants me to drink. We’ve spoken about it. Otherwise, I would be in jail for murder, and that burns up taxpayer dollars. Yes, kiddies, I drink to save you money. You’re welcome.

8. Why is there a cloud of thick, black smoke blowing across the street I just turned on?

All of the cars around me slow down to take a gander. We see nothing to indicate a source. We all peel out at the same time as the realization hits that we could be blamed in some way or held as a witness. This is the South Dallas instinct. Get your ass out of there before somebody recognizes you or writes down a tag number.

9. The cashier at the beer store hollers out my total before I am fully in the door.

On the plus side, this is convenient and expedient. On the down side, it’s clear that I have purchased the same set of goods way too many times in one establishment. I’m probably even part of the training curriculum for new employees. (“That smart-ass guy driving the Toyota RAV4 with tires that need air and crap that falls out from under his seat when he opens the door? Michelob Ultra, 12-pack. Got it?”)

10. The lady in front of me in line is actually purchasing a feminine hygiene product.

Really? What took place in this woman’s life that would lead to this? Granted, I understand that you can’t always time things. But this is a beer store. There’s a drugstore right next door. And all she’s buying is the box of maxi pads. She chose to come in here first? I think I finally understand what happened with the last national election…


Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 01/07/11. Slight changes made. As this post is nearly a decade old, much of the situation has changed. (I’m now retired and have the time to name my own leaves, we have a lawn service that whisks away the leaves before I can do so, and I was never implicated in whatever burned down on that one street.) But the daycare meth-lab at the end of the street? It’s still open for clandestine business and is probably on the verge of being designated a local landmark…


25 replies »

    • With my Toyota, it’s usually the spare tire that is low. Which doesn’t make any sense to me. If the tires that are actually supporting the car are just fine, how is the one tire that isn’t doing squat running out of air?


  1. Haha we have an Indian takeaway that calls my husband Mr Stuart (that’s his first name not his last) and knows what he’s going to order as soon as he calls, they recognise his voice before he even says who it is! This is when my middle grandsons are visiting and they refuse all gestures of home-made, wholesome food and will only eat takeaway curry. This may also have something to do with the fact that when they were younger, they would accompany my husband to collect the order and the owner would give them a lollipop each. They secretly hope this will be included now, but are too old and cool to go with Grandad and find out!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Number 7; Gonna use that.
    Number 9; Relieved to have read The Juice Nut’s comment above, so don’t feel as bad confessing that one pub I use to frequent had our drinks on the bar ready by the time we’d walked from the door. A Chinese takeaway I used to frequent once gave me a christmas present.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I freely admit that there’s been a pub or twelve over the years who were fully aware of my signature drink, and they would begin preparing such as soon as they heard me pull into the parking lot. As for the Chinese food angle, there’s currently a local buffet where I don’t even have to say a word when I walk in the door. I am quickly escorted to my favorite table and someone races into the kitchen, hollering out that they better get a fresh batch of Lemon Pepper Chicken on the serving line, pronto… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. #10 Some women simply do not care who sees them purchasing such items. I sort of envy them (or did in the day. My time spent hiding the Tampax under a cereal box in my basket are over. Thank the Lord). I noticed on one occasion that my significant other was more embarrassed about that stuff than I was though..and to torture him I’d make him go buy the product. I have no comments about the alcohol pursuit, given that they only sell 3.2 beer (is that bad or something?) at the quik-e-stops, and you have to go to the State owned Liquor Store to buy actual buzz juice. There you are subjected to a full body search (with cavity included); you have to produce 82 distinct and separate forms of I.D., even if you look like Grandma Moses and can produce that newspaper clipping from 1932 that you’ve carried around because it’s so darn funny; and all the other members in good standing of the predominant religion give you the hairy eyeball, judging you, although they’re breaking the same rule as you are. The cost, after taxes and fees and donation of your firstborn, is so exorbitant that you briefly consider planting a crop of potatoes and making your own…homegrown. This is exaggerated, but not greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a masterful comment and I am trembling in appreciation. (The newspaper clipping sent me over the edge.) Bit of trivia: Despite Dallas being one of the few bright spots of semi-liberal thinking in a state otherwise crammed with conservative madness, the particular part of town where I purchased this home twenty-odd years ago was still zoned as “dry” due to arcane regulations still on the books. Buying alcohol of any kind required an arduous journey and the packing of a lunch. That has since changed, but I was in a dark place for a long time…


  4. You drink the same beer as my brother-in-law, so if you’re ever in the vicinity of Springerville, Arizona, be sure to stop by for a visit. My sister makes killer red chili pork.
    Remember Michelob Dark? That was the one beer I didn’t mind in my college days, then someone told me drinking it made me look like a snob. This tells you the kind of crowd I hung with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Firstly, your brother-in-law is clearly a man of refinement, at least when it comes to swilling. Secondly, I also once had a fondness for Michelob Dark, despite the alarming cost (and the inherent snobbery of such). Sadly, this was during my lean college years, when most financial matters came down to “if I buy this thing that makes me happy, I won’t be able to afford next semester’s tuition”. So I would settle for the lesser cocktail and dream of better days, which essentially encapsulates my life at that time…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lynette. It’s fun looking back at some of my older, dusty writing and seeing where my head was at the time. It’s not always fun (I was extremely bitter for a while there), but then I stumble across something which is somewhat decent and I see the signs of what I am now…


  5. “Some would say that this is God’s way of telling me I shouldn’t be on a quest for demon alcohol. I know God better than that. He wants me to drink!! We’ve spoken about it.” hahahahaha!! Glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read this 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I’m thinking, if this car is so smart that it can tell me when something is wrong, why can’t it drive itself to the dealership and get things resolved? Stop bothering me with your issues… 😉


  6. Great observation about the mysterious house with zillions of cars. It would be thrilling to crash through the front window to see What’s Up. (If you do, please send the YouTube link.)

    Once I worked in an office building across the street from an apartment block. The apartment directly across from our office had a handwritten sign taped to the living room window, but we were unable to read it due to distance, smudged ink, etc. However, we had many theories re: crime and illicit activity.

    One morning, a coworker said, out of the blue, “I’ve been to the other side.” We did not know what she meant. She pointed to the apartment across the street. “I’ve been to that apartment,” she said. I was in awe – she was like Grace Kelly in “Rear Window”!

    We did not ask if she went there of her own free will, or if they harmed her, or even if she was OK. We asked, all at once, “What does the sign say?”

    The sign said, “A New World Is Possible.” That was it. A hopeful wish for humanity.

    What a rip-off.

    Liked by 1 person

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