Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This girl walks into a shoe store and

We have wi-fi at the house now and it is so dang fast and I can access ANY site I want! I feel so free after years of trying to get around the internet censors in China. And the censorship was getting heavier and heavier as time went by, which always left me with this ominous feeling that one day I might wake up and be able to access chinadaily.com.cn and nothing else...

Anyhoo, have you all been looking at the green stuff? I hope so.

Since segues don't appear to be my strong suit this morning ("anyhoo" is not a segue, I admit that) I will make no attempt to give you one now. I'll just go straight to a great Nashville story for you.

My BFF Pat came to Nashville to help us get settled in and we wanted to celebrate with a glass of wine. The kitchen was completely bare so I went out in search of a liquor store where I could get a bottle of wine, some wine glasses and a cork screw.

The name of the one I found was so perfect for the Deep South. "Mr. Whiskers Liquor Store".

I quickly picked a Yellowtail Chardonnay from a collection of wines so impressive you'd hardly believe it belonged to a man named after his mustache. But I could not find the wine glasses and cork screws. I walked through the whole shop twice and finally gave up.

As I was checking out I asked the guy at the register where the corkscrews were.

"We can't sell cork screws here. Tennessee law," he said.

"You can't sell cork screws?"

"Tennessee law," he echoed.

I must have looked really pitiful at that point. I was after all wondering if I would be able to swing the bottle of wine at the side of the house and open it without shattering the whole thing.

He whispered to me, "You can buy a corkscrew at the shoe store next door."

"Seriously?" I asked. "You can't sell me a corkscrew but the SHOE STORE can?"

"Tennessee law."

By then I was actually enjoying the thought of opening the bottle of wine with some unconventional method but I wondered if he was kidding about the shoe store so I decided to find out.

The shoe store next door wasn't one of those crappy shoe stores that sell last year's shoes at next year's prices. It was a serious operation. One of those orthotic places that make molds of your feet and do heat-sensitive impressions and stuff.

"Can I help you?" asked a friendly, white-haired lady.

"The guy at Mr. Whiskers told me I could buy a corkscrew here?"

"Yes, let me finish with this customer and I'll get one for you," she said.

"Oh, I don't really want one. I just wanted to know if you really sell them," I answered and then walked out.

So let's re-cap here. In Tennessee wine is sold in liquor stores and corkscrews are sold in shoe stores.

Shoes, it seems, can be sold in shoe stores.

Everyone got that?

Tennessee law.


Chris & Shelley Courington said...

As you will learn, if you haven't already, it gets even more bizarre. Beer can be sold in gas stations, special beer stores, and supermarkets. Wine, only in liquor stores. However, some beers with high alcohol content can only be sold in liquor stores, too. As you've discovered, liquor stores cannot sell any of the implements one might need to actually drink the wine and/or liquor. :)

Miguel Ulloa said...

I was in Tennessee with David's family about 5 years ago and experienced the same problem. Well, I didn't got to a shoe store to by a cork screw, but I learned I couldn't by alcohol in a grocery store. So, I was quickly informed that we needed to get our supplies at the grocery store and then go to a liquor store. Odd...

Helen said...

I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that on Martha's Vineyard, you can get wine, glasses and cork screws at the liquor store. And beer only at the liquor store and gas station. There's a liquor store in town called "Town Provisions" - I made the mistake of going in there with baby Robby to see if they sold milk. The guy looked at me and no joke said, "No milk here, but you can give your baby Baily's if he really needs a drink". Don't schools in the south go back really early? Like in Aug? when does school start?

Judy Wang said...


Melanie Gao said...

Chris I'm going to set up a home still and be done with it.

Miguel, funny that we both made the same discovery in our early days in the city. We must have the same priorities.

Helen that doesn't surprise me. But since when is liquor a provision and milk isn't? School starts August 15. Pray for us on that day, kay?

Love you Judy!

karen Weeder said...

Hi Melanie, That is really funny! I am really curious what else you will find in tennessee. So if I am going to Tennessee I will make sure I have a spare one in my suitcase.

This tuesday we are on our way to Romania. We will probably encounter some funny situations.

Still miss my KB-buddy

Melanie Gao said...

Karen I can't wait to hear about your adventures in Romania! And I miss you too. I'm going to try a new KB class this week at the YMCA but it won't be the same without my Black Tiger girls...