This week, or maybe last, there was an announcement of a strike threat at the LCBO. Now this is serious stuff folks. In Ontario, the only place to buy liquor and wine is at these provincially-owned stores. If they close their doors, you are having a very dry summer even with all the rain. At first, I chose to ignore the news. I was pretending that it didn’t really matter. It would be a good way for me to clean up my act and abstain from my nightly glass(es) of wine. It wasn’t totally virtuous on my part because if the stores were closed and I couldn’t buy wine then I didn’t have to make the decision one way or the other about giving it up.
But, as the This-Coming-Monday Strike Deadline loomed, I thought well, maybe I should go and get a couple of bottles, why not? So there I was on Thursday on the streetcar going down to the big store on King Street where I knew they had the biggest selection and the most cashiers. I didn’t want to make the same mistake I made the last time there was a strike threat. Then, I had waited to go to the store until the penultimate day before the deadline. When I got there, there was a massive crowd and empty-ish shelves. I was forced to buy my second favourite brand of wine but I had something in my basket at least. There was a sense of panic buying in that store. I felt a little embarrassed to be part of it, but I was not going to put my bottles back on the shelf. Once I was in the line, I was committed to make it to the checkout which was so far away I could barely see the clerk at the cash register at the front of the store. As I stood there, inching my basket forward with my toe, I pondered this behaviour on my part and thought that, perhaps, I should be concerned about my addictive personality that had me standing for hours in this line. But I certainly wasn’t about to pull out at that point.
This time, I went prepared. I had the book I was reading and another just in case I finished that one while I was standing in line. I also took along my iPad so I could take pictures of the madness and pretend I was really there to do research for this blog and needed to illustrate the craziness that I had experienced the last time. But, alas, there was no madness. There were no crowds. There were no mile-long line-ups for the cashier. And, there were still five bottles of my favourite wine on the shelf. I did resist buying more of another brand knowing that that, indeed, would be a sign of my addiction.
When I got home, the cats looked at my bulging backpack with accusing eyes. I told them they were no better than me. “What about their addiction to catnip, huh?” Who was it who
forced me to plant the catnip in a hanging basket so that certain black-and-white cats in this house didn’t destroy it before it even got a chance to grow? They snorted and ignored me. So I showed them proof of their decadence. After only a few leaves of nip, they were stoned on the front porch. It was embarrassing. After seeing the pictures, they decided that we should just tolerate each other’s bad habits and keep our righteousness to ourselves. I don’t think Rose will be able to keep that promise, but we’ll see.