March 7, 2012

A Six Pack, Two Beers And A Pack Of Cigarettes

You know how sometimes you remember something and you aren’t really sure why it sticks in your mind… it just does?

A long time ago in a far away land, no wait… Anyway when I was a teenager I worked in a small grocery store near my house.

Every evening, without fail, this same man would come in red nosed buying the same thing, a six-pack of beer (I don’t recall the brand), two more beers and a pack of cigarettes.

He was a nice man, didn’t flirt like some of the older guys that came in, he just smiled, didn’t say much, bought his purchases and left.

The other cashiers and sackers would make comments about why eight beers? Was that what it took to get his buzz each evening? And why not buy a case or carton of cigarettes instead of stopping by the store each and every evening?

I’ve thought about that over the years and decided he was probably the type person that would drink however much he had and by only purchasing eight beers at a time he kept himself from drinking too much even though drinking eight beers every night isn’t at all healthy.

I should mention that here in Oklahoma we have liquor laws so this beer couldn’t be over 3.2 in liquor content to be sold in a grocery store.

Maybe it was the same thing with the cigarettes, if he only bought a pack he would stop at the end and if he had more he would smoke them.

I’m not sure how old he was, being a teenager anyone over the age of 25 looked about the same to me until they reached really old, you know, like 50. I’m guessing he was probably in his 30’s. I don’t know if he was married, I don’t remember a wedding ring but that doesn’t really tell much since not all married men wore rings back then. Heck, not all of them wear them now.

I’m assuming he had a wife since he never bought food, but then again it’s possible he bought his groceries somewhere else. Maybe he kept his food purchasing separate from his partying stash when he shopped.

And if he had a wife, what did she think about Mr. Eight Beers and a Pack? Was she okay with it? Did she overlook his addictions since he came home every night and kept a job? Not being a womanizer prowling around at night can be a plus in many women’s books. And then again maybe she was a nag and those beers were how he put up with her every evening.

I don’t expect he lived to be very old with that way of life but then I might be surprised, some people seem to have a cast iron liver while others don’t last very long on that diet.

By the way, he was my favorite customer.