Keeping in touch with the liquor store

I recently stopped at the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine. The cashier put it in a brown paper bag and, as I took it from her, I noticed there were some words on the bag. I thought it was a message such as “Don’t Drink and Drive” or “Drink Responsibly.” But when I got to my car, I took a closer look and here’s what it said: “Follow us on Twitter.”

Of all the messages they could have put on the bag, this one seemed as unlikely to me as “Keep us in your prayers” or “Recommend us to your addictions counsellor.”

As odd as it seemed, I went ahead and did it. I followed the liquor store. I didn’t tell my wife, of course. I didn’t want her to think, “Oh no, my husband is a liquor store follower.” Soon word would get out, probably through a Facebook status update, and I’d be getting a visit from the minister at my church.

Minister: “Melvin, is there something you’d like to talk about?”

Me: “Uh … not really. Why?”

Minister: “Well, I heard that you’re following the liquor store.”

Me: “Yes, but only on Twitter. Nowhere else.”

Minister: “I see. So you haven’t friended the liquor store on Facebook?”

Me: “No, we aren’t friends yet, though I am quite friendly with some of the liquor store’s products.”

Minister: “I see. Were you in church last Sunday?”

Me: “Yes, I was there.”

Minister: “Well, you may remember that I talked about whom everyone should be following. Did I say anything about the liquor store?”

Me: “(gulp) … nope.”

Minister: “So who are you going to unfollow as soon as I leave?”

Me: “@LiquorStore.”

Minister: “And who are you going to follow?”

Me: “@TweetingMinister.”

Minister: “Good. My work is done!”

While I was wary of getting a visit from the minister, I was also curious about what type of tweets the liquor store would send.

Liquor Store: “Just kicked out a drunk guy. Tried to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels with his library card.”

Liquor Store: “I told him he couldn’t buy anything with a library card. He asked if he could borrow the bottle instead.”

Liquor Store: “A lending liquor store. Someone get the investors lined up. We’ll make billions on the IPO.”

The main purpose of the Liquor Store’s Twitter account, of course, is to keep followers informed about all the special deals –- and to answer any questions we have. This could be quite handy, I realized.

Liquor Store: “Kingfisher beer from India on sale today. Only $8.99 for a six-pack. Hurry in.”

Me: “Great! By the way, can you tell me if the Chinese restaurant across the street from you is open right now?”

Liquor Store: “No, I’m busy. Lots of Indian customers.”

Me: “Is Sanjay Patel there? He’s a friend of mine.”

Liquor Store: “How should I know if he’s here?”

Me: “Well, you could make an announcement.”

Liquor Store: “And what if he’s here … you want me to say ‘hi’ for you?”

Me: “No, ask him to look out the window and see if the Chinese restaurant is open.”

Liquor Store: “Oh, please. Why don’t you just call them yourself?”

Me: “It’s easier to tweet you.”

Liquor Store: “Ok, ok. Just this once I’ll look out the window and see if they’re open.”

Me: “Thank you. Can you also find out how much the moo goo gai pan costs?”

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. Hi Melvin,
    I really enjoy your blog, you always make me laugh.

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