Los Angeles, California is one of the most famous domestic places on earth. It’s a literal melting pot for people of all races, creeds, faiths, & social status’. It’s also a ginormous tourist hub, attracting visitors from all over the world, yearly, even as the state’s economy drills deeper into bullshittery.
If the internet has taught me anything, it’s taught me that people love to travel to densely-populated, semi-dangerous cities in the name of “vacationing.” Los Angeles is one of those places that seems harmless enough, until you find yourself being racially profiled or mugged at an ATM in broad daylight. Make no mistakes; L.A. can be dangerous, even to the natives.
We at R&WIFDP are doing our part in educating any possible out-of-towners with this technical guide to liquor store survival. We’ve provided the five most important steps, but feel free to let your fight-or-flight take over, if necessary.
Step One: Beware Of The Parking Lot
Liquor store parking lots are like club parking lots at closing hour. Everybody’s in a hurry to get back home because they found whatever it was they were looking for or it wasn’t in there.
Either way, they’re focused on returning to their base of operations, & it doesn’t matter if you’re standing in the way.
God forbid a drunk Mexican (no shots; I knew lots of drunk Mexicans) is counting his change while wheeling his pick-up truck like a bat out of hell when you’re just trying to go inside & cop some Trojans. Or some E&J with the free ice & plastic cups. It’s like playing Frogger, except instead of having two extra frogs at your disposal, YOLO.
Step Two: Avoid Random Eye Contact
Eye contact is the cause for a lot of life’s bullshit situations. Seriously. Most of the on-going problems you’ve encountered was because you insisted on staring at someone/something that you didn’t have any business being focused on. Think about it:
•Your Baby Momma
•That open-container ticket
•Getting beat-up by security outside that strip club
The list could literally go on for (p)ages, but I’m sure you smell my cologne. Not only is staring bad for your eye muscles & mucus membrane, but it could open a floodgate you didn’t expect.
I tell my kids to look at something long enough to know if it’s a threat & if it’s not, continue on. & I can’t speak for other cities, I’m talking about Los Angeles. Here, crazy people feed on attention like bleach on cheap denim. If you look long enough, they’ll surely involve you in their performance. I’ve seen it happen. Liquor store parking lots are riddled with “crazy” people.
The level of “crazy” varies but spans from the homeless guy who won’t take the sixth “no” for an answer down to the young, hotheaded gangbanger who’s been looking for a fight all day. The easiest way to avoid this special brand of bullshit is to avoid unnecessary eye contact with random folk.
Unless your life lacks spontaneity & adventure, the goal is to get in the store for your goods & get out, as quickly as possible. Anything else would be uncivilized.
Step Three: Properly Greet The Security Guard
Do not be fooled by liquor store security. Most of those cats are ex-knuckleheads who, if they weren’t earning this paycheck at the moment, would be at the liquor store, too, just like you. But alas, these brothers (& sometimes sisters) are our first & last line of defense & offense whilst we shop for weed wraps, condoms, & alcohol.
The thing that people forget about security is that they are not the police. In fact, it’s a security guard’s job to “observe & report” & nothing else. (I know because I was one.) Even if he’s as big as Michael Clarke Duncan (get well soon, homie) with a gun on his waist, his job isn’t to protect you from harm.
Your best bet when walking into a liquor store is to greet the security guard with a noticeable amount of respect. That way, if some young dude robs the place or that crackhead tries to set it on fire, at least he won’t run you over, like the others who ignored him. Don’t be one of the others.
Step Four: Never Buy Real Food Or Groceries
The problem with today’s superweed outbreak is that it gives you medicinal munchies & a trip to the local corner market could easily become shopping at the fake grocery store.
If you find yourself looking at produce at the liquor store (for the sake of time constraint, “produce” is any “food” that can be grown), you have done something wrong & one of your parents has possibly failed you. There’s no telling what the stipulations are for the head of lettuce or bunch of bananas, & it doesn’t take a high school diploma to know that supermarkets are where you buy things to eat. Unless it’s a snack. Make any exceptions at your own risk.
Step Five: Count Your Change At The Counter
As cold as the world is going in the liquor store, it’s three times worse going out. Therefore, as “Pops” or “Momma” counts out your change, keep your eyes on the dough, so you don’t have to count it again. This move – if done correctly – leads into the wildly popular fold-pocket-shove, a move that not only disposes of any visible cash, but it also blocks any potential lookie-loo’s vantage point. This works for the ladies also, fellas.
Remember that homeless guy who you threw shade at on your way in? He’s waiting on you, & now he has confirmation that you have money. Enough money to buy snacks & beverages & (possibly) drug paraphenelia & whatever else may be in that little black, plastic bag. Even in his delusional state of beard-scratching, can-collecting existence he knows that if you can afford a blunt wrap, you can spare some change.
Ultimately, your mission isn’t truly over until you’ve arrived back at your hotel room or that girl’s house. & if you’ve safely returned, thank me later.
Enjoy the rest of your trip!
Words by Tony Grands