The Hard Stuff


I never developed a taste for “spirits” but have a hard-to-explain fascination with the endless variety of hooch I see in supermarkets and convenience stores. If there’s no one in line behind me I will sometimes quiz the clerk.

Q: Do all of these sell?
A: Yes. This is primo, point-of-purchase shelf space so they wouldn’t stock it if it didn’t sell. (Even Fireball?!)
Q: Who buys those little “airplane” bottles? And why?
A: Lots of folks. For the drive home. One clerk said she’s seen customers drink on on the way out the door.

In my naive, never-been-a-drinker way, these suggest a “lower class” of drinker than the guy with a bottle of single malt in his wet bar in the den. Maybe there’s danger implicit in this photo that holds my gaze.