Were you aware that April is Alcohol Awareness Month? Huzzah! I mean, I’m pretty aware of alcohol, but thanks for the reminder.
Speaking of the booze, I was on my way to the bank after work, intent on depositing my paycheck and then going home to make dinner, when a little voice in my head said, “hey, why don’t you check out the Penguin store?” An impromptu sidle around one of my favorite stores? Why yes, little voice in my head, that sounds like a fine idea, thank you for the suggestion.
When I arrived, the doors were propped open and the first thing I noticed, tucked discreetly in the corner, was a hotdog cart. Let me reiterate: in a small retail store, there was a hotdog cart, wedged in the corner, serving hotdogs. Then I noticed that people were holding little plastic cups of dark liquid, that with the accompanying lime wedge and swizzle stick I immediately recognized as a cocktail. I strolled in and was greeted by a chipper salesgirl. The crowd, size zero fashionistas and pasty hipster boys, along with an out-of-place gaggle of i-bankers, were queued up at the makeshift bar. I made a quick lap around, then got in line for a drink. Something wasn’t right. It seemed like a private event, but if it were a private event, why was the door thrown open to all comers? Why would the store fete patrons with free drinks and dogs? Would I escape without making a purchase? A quick browse around is one thing, but impulse shopping while buzzed on free hooch is quite another. I decided that as with a great many situations in life, I’d just smile, nod, act like I belonged, and then I’d leave before arousing suspicion.
I got in line to cadge a free drink. The sponsor was rum, and when presented with my options I chose a rum and ginger beer. (I think I may have found my new summer drink.)
I made my way around the store, fingering the wares, keenly aware that everyone here seemed to know each other, at least tangentally. I maintained my established low profile and moved around with an affected sense of purpose. Rum and ginger beer consumed, and with the crowd increasing, I took out my cell phone (thank you trusty prop) and pretended to go outside to make a call as I made my hasty retreat.
When I crossed the threshold, a plump PR girl was stationed at the door, checking everyone who tried to enter against her list.
I have no idea who the party was for, but thanks for the rum. Besides, if I need to buy any Penguin clothes, I’ll probably just head to Filene’s Basement. Next to a free drink, one of my favorite things is a bargain.