Friday, July 17, 2009

Whiskey, Lemons and Chocolate

7:10pm Friday night

I think I'm going to the liquor store.

The night is still very hot, almost like a furnace blast blowing across the porch. Dinner is done and the water fight has ended.

Dad, can I come with you?

Really? Why do you want to go to the liquor store? I'm not going anywhere else.

I just want to spend time with you. Is that ok?

Absolutely. Let me get my keys and flip flops.

I unlock the door and sliding into the car seat is similar to rolling into a sleeping bag that has been sitting on the lawn during the midday summer hours--stifling. I turn on the CD player.

Is this Tool?


Is it new?

No, one of their releases from 2001 I think.

I pull out onto 1300 East and head south. Not many cars on the road for a Friday night. At 1300 South, I turn west. As we drive by a neighbor's house on that street, a neighbor we both don't care for, we make stinky faces. At the same time. We both laugh at this. Now turning north on 1100 East.

Hey, can we come back to Liberty Fresh and get some lemons?

No. We don't need lemons, do we?

Please? They are sooooo good and you can even use one for your beer.

I'm not having beer tonight, I'm having whiskey. That's why we're going to the liquor store.

Well, still, they are really good.

True. OK, we'll get some on the way back.

Across 1700 South now and passing the Scientology office right next to the Post Office. Those Scientologists are a tricky bunch. Hard to get a read on them. Not Christians, not Muslims, not Buddhists and not atheists. Not even nihilists. I'm going to declare them aliens. Changing the music now to the iPod. CSS.

This is a good song. Who is this?


Are they speaking Spanish?

No, Portugese I think. They are from Brazil.

What's this song called?

'Music is my Hot Hot Sex'.

He makes a face.

Um, ok. It's still cool.

Now pulling into the liquor store. Busy night. Weekend has arrived, it is summer and it is time to party. An abundance of parking spaces however. It's also walking weather. At least it is for the drunks who can walk from Fairmont Park. Tonight, it's mostly middle aged women getting wine for parties, young couples getting gin and vodka and actually a few dads with fathers and daughters grabbing exotic beers and small pints of the hard stuff. We enter. A policeman says hi. We say hi and continue walking on in.

I know that guy! I've talked to that policeman before, at the jewelry store at the Gateway. I was asking him about his gun. Wow, that is cool.

You know the policeman at the liquor store? That is random dude.

No, seriously, I know him. He probably doesn't remember me.

Well, go say hi.

No, that's ok. Where are we going?

To the whiskey aisle, I told you.

90 seconds later we are back in the car with the booty. CSS comes back on.

I really like this song. Can we start it over?


The song commences. The beat is setting a certain mood, the one you wait all winter to find. A hot summer evening mood.

Dad, what does whiskey taste like?

I would say carmel but kind of sour carmel that burns your throat on the way down. But it doesn't really hurt.

(yucky face being made) Gross. That sounds horrible. Why do you want it?

I like to mix it with Coke. It has less calories than beer if I mix it with Coke Zero.

Why do you even drink it? Do you need it?

No, I don't need it. I just like to relax with an adult beverage on a weekend.

Now pulling into Liberty Heights Fresh. This place is also busy. Two guys pull up next to us and get out at the same time. I walk ahead, a nice breeze cruising through the parking lot, and open up the door for them. They say thank you. I feel a small nudge.

(whispering) Gay.


(whispering again) Those guys are gay.

Yeah? So?

Just sayin'.

Glad you identified them. Everyone needs love and happiness. Don't you agree?

Yeah...where are the lemons?

We locate them in the middle of the store. They are at the top of a display of really good looking fruit. I love this place. A neighborhood garden two blocks from our front door.

How do you pick a good lemon?

Look for a deep color, and they should be a little soft but not too much. Smell them, they should be really pungent.

(inhaling) Wow, they smell great. Holy crap, I want to eat one now.

We reach the check out line and survey the chocolate brownies. The are made with exotic chocolate and were baked today. I pick one up.

I need this brownie. I mean, I need it.

I'd rather have a piece of their bread.

Really? Over this luscious bit of chocolate heaven? Come on man, this brownie is money. You usually can't say no to a treat.

OK, let's get the brownie.

We pay and walk out, just slightly ahead of a family with a daughter that looks about 12 years old. She steps out in front of us and holds open the door.


She smiles.

(whispering as we get into the car) She's kind of hot.


Yeah. I mean, I'm not going to ask her out or anything or ask her to go with me. But, she's hot.

I put the car in D and then change my mind and put it in R. As I reverse, I realize I could have gone forward and pulled onto 1100 East a lot easier. Now I have to basically do a U turn to head North again.

You just pulled a Lucy.

A what?

A Lucy. You know, when you do something kind of dumb? Like Lucy, on that show, she's kind of a klutz?

Oh I know about Lucy. How do you know about Lucy?

I've seen the show at my dad's. Christa pulls Lucies all the time. She once spilled water into her purse and it soaked everything.

That sucks.

That's a Lucy.

The sun is a little lower now as we pull into the driveway. The CSS song is winding down and the cat is lounging further up on the driveway. Our hands full of good things, we shuffle across the porch and head inside.

Friday night begins.


  1. What a classic father-son moment! We really need to have you guys over for a bbq before the summer ends. Gabe can be the entertainment.

  2. loved this slice of life. submit it somewhere. j.

  3. In Manti, pulling a Lucy is called pilling a Marconi or pulling a Costanza.......

  4. Pulling a Marconi!!! I love it.

    The Costanza one, not so much.

    I will submit J.

  5. I loved this post, Phil. And, I've been pulling Lucies all my life.