Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

We’re visiting my Mormon brother and sister-in-law in Salt Lake City. I’m an agnostic heathen. We have five kids between us. Here’s a typical day…

10 a.m.Wheeler Farm: Kids feed ducks.
I step in pig poo.

12:30 p.m. Dinosaur Museum: Kids brush sand off dinosaur fossils. I forget protective goggles and get a sandcastle in my eyes.

3 p.m. Rec. Center: Kids love 10-foot twisty water slide. I get unexpected slide-douche.

I regain consciousness racing down Bangerter Highway in search of the one place you can get alcohol in this God-ridden land, the State Liquor Store. It’s a bleak, cinder-block bunker that looks like a prison for three-strike hard timers and Charlie Sheen.

I scan the parking lot like a pantyless celebutante about to make a crack buy, take a deep breath, exit my vehicle and sidle to the store.

Hey! They’ve got good wine just like at my local Trader Joe’s. I’m starting to feel normal again until I realize there are only two customers in the store. A man with tattoos of lizard scales on his face wearing a baseball cap with the word “Pussy” stitched into it and me.

How many bottles should I get? I’m the only drinker in the house. We’ll be staying five days, so… two bottles? But if I get two bottles that’s about eight glasses of wine and I don’t want to seem like someone with a problem.

I bring one bottle of Kendall Jackson to the cashier, asking where they keep their corkscrews. “We don’t carry corkscrews,” she deadpans.

10 minutes later I’m pillaging the grocery store where they don’t sell wine, but they do sell corkscrews–in the feminine protection aisle. I can’t go to the cashier with just a corkscrew. What’ll she think of me? She’s on her way to the Celestial level of heaven where you get to be a God in your own right.

If I buy this corkscrew I’m not getting into the lesser Kingdoms of Heaven, not even the spirit prison where the dead missionaries give you a chance to be baptized. Is there anything between the spirit prison and Hell?

I hand the cashier a box of OB tampons and my corkscrew, sweating as she rings it up. She’s smiling, but her flared nostrils are judging me. They’re saying, “You reek of unworthiness.”

I return to my brother’s where everyone has eaten, gone to bed, gotten up the next day, gone to the park and come back to watch Spongebob.

I ransack the cupboard for a wine glass, finding only plastic water cups and ceramic Postum mugs. Aha! There’s one drinking vessel made of glass. It has Sleeping Beauty’s castle and my nephew’s name etched on it. I cork and pour.

When in Utah, I’m an alcoholic.


Photo Credit

About The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful

Aging Vaintress, Mom Butler, Wife Dominatrix, Author of the Roman a clef "Into The Child: 40 weeks in the gestational wilderness"


  1. Janessa says:

    Bahahaaha!!! I felt that same way when I needed a cup of coffee. Gotta love Utah!

  2. Janessa says:

    Bahahaaha!!! I felt that same way when I needed a cup of coffee. Gotta love Utah!

  3. Al_Pal says:

    Hah. The liquor stores in Park City have a much more diverse & generally upscale clientele. ;p
    Also, there are good wines available nowadays with screwtops! ;p

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  4. I should’ve thought of the screw tops. Instead I was screwed. Yes, lame pun. Haven’t had my first bordeaux of the day yet.

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  5. Teri Carter says:

    hey I’ll see you at the liquor store and I have a corkscrew. We can be Utah heathens together. Yep I live here, and I know where every liquor store is within a 10 mile radius of my location. Yep in Utah you are either celestial or an alcoholic. Actually I prefer jack-mormon but what the hell!

  6. Amjad says:

    Hi Liz,I never did figure out why you lokeod so familiar to me. No matter, I enjoyed meeting you and visiting with you ar BlogHer Food. Good luck with your blog. Your doing great so far! Stay in touch.Best Regards,Mary

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