Tonight hubby and I stopped at our new, friendly package store that just opened about a mile from our house. Hubby had been there before and showed the proprietor how to open his Pepsi machine, so he's already a preferred customer. He'll probably build up a lot of frequent shopper points there. As we were leaving, hubby told the man behind the counter, "Don't ever let her come in here alone."
Which reminded me of another story from my senior year of high school. This one also involved my BFF Jason, who was sort of indirectly responsible for my not getting to go to Homecoming my senior year.
We were going to see a friend of ours, and he asked Jason to pick up a bottle of vodka for him. Now this is back when the drinking age in our state was 18, but Jason wouldn't be 18 for three more months. And I wasn't even 17 yet. But there was one liquor store in the next town (we lived in a dry county, for heaven's sake) that would sell to minors with no questions asked. It was called Bubber's. Not Bubba's, which would have been Southern enough, but Bubber's. Bubber himself was on duty on this particular night, but there weren't many other customers. We were always happier when it was a little busier, just in case Bubber wanted to relieve his boredom by checking id's and busting underage customers.
We were headed to the counter with our purchase when I heard a man's voice behind me say my name. With a question mark at the end. Now keep in mind that A) I have an unusual name, so it wasn't likely he was speaking to anyone else; B) we were NOT in our hometown; and C) even if we HAD been in our own town, I shouldn't be hearing someone call my name in the liquor store.
I turned around slowly, and I almost fainted when I saw my step-brother sitting there. Out of uniform. Because not only was he my step-brother, he was a police officer in the town we were in. I hadn't seen him in a couple of months, ever since his father/my step-father died.
"Jimmy!" I said, with all the suave sophistication you would expect from a 16-year-old in a liquor store who has just been busted by her police-officer-step-brother. "What are you doing here?"
He cocked an eye at me. "Funny, I was just about to ask you the same thing."
"Uh........this isn't for us." Wow, this sophistication thing was getting to be really easy. I was a natural at it. I even waved the bottle at him for emphasis.
"Uh huh," he replied sarcastically. He wasn't usually sarcastic with me. "I didn't see you here, did I?"
"NO!" I almost screamed it.
"And I'm NOT going to see you here again, am I?"
"Um, no, absolutely not."
I didn't know why he let us off so easily. Maybe he thought Jason was old enough. Or maybe he was showing his appreciation for how much Jason had done for the family during my step-father's illness and death. Whatever the reason, we hightailed it out of there (vodka bottle in hand).
The next day was Sunday, and Jason and I were off together again, as usual. He took me home, planning to stay awhile. When we drove up, Jimmy's car was in the driveway.
CRAP!!!!! Why did he let us buy the vodka if he was just gonna bust us the next day?
We went in the carport door and scooted on past the living room, barely even acknowledging that anyone was there. We went straight to my room and shut the door, planning what we would say when Mother descended with all her wrath. And boy did she have a lot of wrath. This is the same woman who once spanked me with a butcher knife, but that's a story for another post.
Jason and I cowered in my room when we heard Jimmy's car departing. I have to hand it to Jason, because if the situation had been reversed, I would have dumped him at the curb and skedaddled out of there quick like a bunny.
Mother's voice shrieked through the house when she called my name. Determined to put up a front to the very end, I opened my bedroom door.
"I just wanted to let you know Jimmy and Kathy were gone. Y'all can watch the Super Bowl now."