You've heard me say it a couple of times in this blog that I'm going to the licorice store, when what I really mean is that I'm going to buy some wine. Or maybe some beer. But I'm really going to the liquor store. And today I'm here to tell you the reason why I call it that.
It all happened a long time ago, when a certain girl, who's going into the 7th grade this year, was in kindergarten at our school. Or was she in 1st grade back then? I can't remember which.
We have an athletic director at our school whose two daughters have since graduated, but his youngest, Maddy, still attends. I help her dad at school doing secretarial work occasionally for him, producing booklets when we host tournaments, and finding him help for sporting events when he needs it. And every year on my birthday or Christmas, he gives me a present.
One year, he let Maddy come along to help him pick out my gift. I remember her running into the school office with a big smile on her face, followed by her father, who was also smiling. She proudly offered me a paper sack, and very excitedly, said in her little-girl voice, "We've been to the Licorice Store and I picked you out a present!"
I'm telling you, I couldn't think what might be in the bag, other than licorice which I think tastes really horrid, but I was planning on being gracious about it. She was just so darn cute. And when I opened the bag, I was surprised to find that it was a bottle of bourbon. Maddy and her dad had actually been to the Liquor Store. I wondered if it had been a let down for her when she got inside and found no candy, but she seemed excited and happy with the present, regardless.
I was tickled, as were others who witnessed the scene, at Maddy's verbal description of the store, and it turned into a sort of catch-phrase at our school. Whenever any of us is having a really bad day, we jokingly say that we're going to need to stop at the Licorice Store on the way home. There's not much that drives me to drinking, well except when my son won't stop driving his hot rod Lincoln.
It was just so cute, and something that stuck. And it was better gift than the bourbon.
And that, my dear readers, is the story of the Licorice Store. See now? Aren't you glad you stopped by today to find out?
Don't worry. I plan on continuing my other story from yesterday . . .
Photo borrowed from Leo Reynolds at Flickr.com.