I’m still a vodka drinker but I don’t drink nearly as much as I used to. Once upon a time, a 1.75 liter bottle of the stuff would last me a few days. Now, it last me a few weeks—maybe even a month. At my age, I’ve finally learned to cut back.
When I got all moved in at my new apartment here in Covington, Kentucky, I decided to celebrate. I wanted some vodka. Not feeling like walking to a liquor store, I knew the Walgreens on Madison Avenue had what I wanted. I wanted Heaven Hill vodka. A 1.75 liter bottle would cost 12 bucks. It would last me a long time, but when I searched for it at the store, they were out of it.
“Do you have any of the Heaven Hill vodka in stock?” I asked the clerk behind the counter.
“Do you see any?” he said.
“Well, there you go.”
I have no idea why this clerk doesn’t like me. He never has. He’s older, never has a smile on his face and always seems annoyed with me. I hate it when he’s the guy behind the cash register.
I picked up a few grocery items while I was there and got a small bottle of 7-Up to mix with the vodka Walgreens was out of. I made my way back to the front of the store and the grumpy cashier.
“What’s the cheapest vodka you have in stock?” I asked him.
The liquor case is to his left. Looking annoyed (yes, his normal look), he walked over to it and a few seconds later, returned to the cash register.
“We have Svedka, $11.99,” he said
“What size bottle is it?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe a fifth. Maybe bigger”
“When is the Heaven Hill coming in?” I asked.
“How would I know?” the cashier said.
I stood there for a few seconds trying to decide if I wanted the Svedka vodka or not. The cashier stared at me.
“You want it or not?” he asked.
“I’ll take it,” I replied, not feeling good about the purchase.
The annoyed cashier went back to the liquor case, got the bottle and started to scan the items I was purchasing. When he was done, I swiped my credit card through the machine, not paying any attention to the dollar amount. I wanted to get away from the grumpy cashier.
Walking home, I thought about the nice cashiers at Walgreens, then thought about the one I had just encountered. I wondered if he’s grumpy with the rest of his customers or if it’s just me.
When I got home, I put my grocery items away, including that bottle of Svedka. I found my receipt in one of the plastic bags, looked at it briefly—then more than briefly. Something was amiss.
The Walgreens cashier had scanned everything I had purchased except the vodka. Somehow he skipped it. I hadn’t paid the $11.99.
Now I think if it was any other cashier, I would have walked back to Walgreens with the bottle, told the cashier that he or she had forgotten to scan it and would have paid for it. Know what? I didn’t do it with this guy. I accepted the free vodka.
Svedka vodka taste much better than Heaven Hill vodka. Svedka is imported Swedish vodka and taste just fine mixed with that 7-Up I purchased from Walgreens. When I drink it, I think of that annoyed and grumpy cashier and remind myself that guilt is a useless emotion.
(Picture from losangelesliquor.com)