Column Classic: Got Limes?

By Lisa Scottoline

You may have seen the news story that one of the major big-box stores has applied for a liquor license, which would allow consumption-on-premises.

In other words, you could drink while you shop.


Happy days are here again!

Reportedly, the store is doing this because it’s expanding its grocery and food items, but I don’t care why.

Bottom’s up!

I already love shopping in big-box stores.


Everything is BIG!

If you need to buy laundry detergent, the smallest bottle is 187 ounces.

And that’s concentrated, so it’s the equivalent of an entire ocean of laundry detergent. 

That’s why I buy All laundry detergent.

Because it’s ALL.

In fact, you will die before you run out of laundry detergent, and you can bequeath it to your children. So after you have given your all, you can give them your All.

If you buy a can of coffee, it will be shrink-wrapped with 4700 other cans of coffee. You’ll have more caffeine than you’ll ever need and you can share some with your neighbors, so your entire block will be highly productive.

Or start a war.

I also buy multicolored gummy vitamins in a big-box store, and I now have 3,2029,348 vitamins. If I took them all, I would gain a superpower.

Or grow a third breast covered with rainbows.

Which might be the same thing.

But you get the idea, the bottom line in big-box stores is that everything is big, plentiful, excessive, and way out-of-proportion.

Ain’t it great?

The shopping carts are humongous, too, perfectly in scale with the massive stores, so that between the immensity of the warehouse space, the gargantuan shopping carts, and the over-the-top quantity of each item, when you step inside the store, you’re a Lilliputian stepped into Brobdingnag, which is the land where the giants lived in Gulliver’s Travels.

You probably knew that.

But I had to look it up.


Anyway it’s a good analogy, because that’s pretty much exactly how I feel when I’m pushing around one of those big carts, and like you, I go into the big-box store for one item and leave with several hundred.

In fact, I have been known to leave the store with two full carts, which shows you that Lilliputians love to shop.

Now that big-box stores will allow you to drink while you shop, I’m imagining myself walking those glistening, extra-wide aisles behind my cart-as-big-as-a-house, a Lilliputian sipping Lambrusco.

I don’t have that many inhibitions to start with, and for me, liquor only makes things worse.

Or better.

I buy too much in the big-box store when I’m sober, but if I shop while I’m drinking, I’ll shop until I drop.

Or until I drip.

Or both.

I might buy EVERYTHING.

Whether you think drinking-while-you-shop is a good thing depends on whether you’re the massive corporation that owns the big-box stores or my retirement fund.

Either way, I’m in.

It certainly improves people’s attitudes about running their errands on the weekends, if they can do them beer in hand.

It changes your Things To Do list into a Things to Drink list.

I’m wondering if the shopping carts will have cupholders in the shape of wineglasses or maybe tiny ones small enough to hold a shot glass.

Shot! Shot! Shot!

Shop! Shop! Shop!

But what happens when people start drinking while they’re driving those scooters in the store?

I foresee major collisions.

It brings a whole new meaning to, “Pick up in aisle four.”

Employees will come with a broom.

And a breathalyzer.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline