McKibbin’s Scribblin’s: I only wanted some beer…
What’s the difference between bad luck and irony? I know the dictionary definitions spell it out, but sometimes a life experience can show us a little better. Or can it?
Case in point: The City of Rifle imposed fines on several alcohol-related businesses for selling to minors last summer, as can read about elsewhere in this issue of The Citizen Telegram. The fines included closures of Jon’s Liquors and Choice Liquors for three days, Sunday through Tuesday, Jan. 5-7. I’d think the penalties were apropos to the crime; no objection from here.
However, on Monday night, I thought I’d stop and pick up some beer and watch the college football championship. Jon’s is on my home, but I knew they and Choice were closed for the previously stated reason. I also knew Rocky Mountain Liquors was closed for repairs to damage caused by that arson fire in October.
I mistakenly thought Rifle Liquors was still open next to the roundabout and the Subway restaurant on Airport Road. Not. They’re gone and the space is now a cell phone business, I think. Probably has been for awhile and I should have noticed a while ago. My bad there.
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So a quick review of my memory files told me that left Shale Country Liquors as the only liquor store still open. I’m thinking, “wow, they must be taking in a windfall tonight.”
So I tried – emphasize the “tried” – to turn left off Airport Road to turn around and head back to town. But this was shortly after 5 p.m. and good grief, what a rush hour! I must have waited for 5 minutes with my blinker on, as one vehicle after another after another kept driving by, headed towards the roundabouts. And I thought the backup on the I-70 exit was bad in the nightly rush hour…
Finally, I checked my rear view mirrors and turned the right side blinker on, moved over and eventually found a gap in traffic by Starbucks and turned around. But that’s not the ironic or bad luck part. Just an inconvenience, I’d say.
As Paul Harvey says, here’s the rest of the story…
I drove through town and as I pulled up to Shale Country Liquors, it looked like they were raking in the business. All the parking spots were taken and other vehicles parked nearby. Inside, a line of customers stretched out behind the cash register as the only staffer I saw tried to ring up sales, collect the money, get credit and bank card payments approved and also deal with the drive-up customers.
I could understand why it looked like I might miss kickoff. But I was patient.
Then – here’s the ironic or bad luck part – the cash register stopped working.
“Sorry guys, it’s going to be a while,” the cashier said. “I’m gonna have to call my brother to get it going.”
Disappointed, maybe even a few disgusted, faces and groans were seen and heard. A few guys put their beer back in the coolers and left and I finally decided to follow suit.
It turned out Jon’s Liquors could have picked this coming weekend for its three-day closure but wanted the same days as Choice, for some reason. This whole episode – and this column – would have been avoided if they had waited. Ironic?
At least for a time Monday night, it seemed to me to illustrate either that or just bad luck, more so for Shale Country Liquors, maybe, than me. Both?
Anyway, I still enjoyed the football game.
Mike McKibbin is the editor of The Citizen Telegram.
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