Drive-thru windows, although necessary for all of us who find ourselves perpetually lazy when it comes to food, never really had any significance in my life. Sitting in a line full of cars during lunch hour for rubbery chicken tenders from Burger King or that mystery chocolate or vanilla tasting chemical McDonald’s calls a “milk shake” was certainly not on my agenda.
Cue Daiquiris and Co. and its drive-thru daiquiri window.
Most Louisiana natives will read this and go, “…your point?” But to the rest of America, this is could very well be the holy grail (one that might be the spring board to acute alcoholism, but a holy grail nonetheless). And to northerners, specifically of the New Jersey breed, this is completely unheard of.
Let me fill you in. New Jersey not only has strict laws regarding open containers in public, they also have a Division of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) that regulates commerce of alcoholic beverages in the state. New Jersey doesn’t even sell beer of wine in grocery stores because each grocery chain is limited to only two liquor licenses, and most liquor stores close at around 10 p.m. and may or may not even be open on Sundays. Better stock up on Saturday.
This is what the state website had to say about drive-up alcohol sales:
“For public policy reasons the Division of ABC prohibits the sale of alcohol from drive up windows. The relationship between alcoholic beverages and the operation of a motor vehicle is such that the Division of ABC has determined that this type of service could result in the irresponsible consumption of alcohol. In addition, it does not provide the licensee with the best opportunity to visually observe the patron to ascertain whether that patron is of legal age or is impaired or intoxicated.”
This is actually humorous if you think about it in the right mindset. No, drinking and driving is absolutely not humorous by any means. But it is humorous in that my home state doesn’t trust us enough to safely transport an alcoholic beverage home before drinking it. If anyone has ever witnessed someone from New Jersey drive, that should be reason enough. We are maniacs (but because we have to be – dodging Pennsylvania and New York drivers every day on the highway turns you into a NASCAR driver real quick).
Let’s imagine that NJ somehow was allowed to have a Daiquiris and Co. I’m going to tell you exactly what would happen.
It’s a given in NJ that if the speed limit is 50, you should be going 65 so as to not be tailgated and/or have obscene gestures thrown at you and/or honked at. Usually it’s all three. Let’s add the “my-daiquiri-is-melting-so-hurry-up-and-get-me-home” dilemma, and let the games begin. Chaos would ensue.
That 65 you were doing? Make it 75 now. And be sure to account for the Mario Andretti behind you in his tricked out V8 Mustang weaving between cars (even using the shoulder to do so) for fear that his “Knockout Punch” might be the incorrect temperature once he reaches his destination.
Don’t forget to account for spillage, too. Because let’s face it, that little strip of masking tape over the straw opening isn’t going to do much good when Mr. V8 engine has to slam on his brakes at a red light so he doesn’t completely go through the vehicle in front of him. That daiquiri would be all over his leather interior.
Solution? Do what any good NJ driver would do, put the drink tray on your lap, cigarette in the left hand hanging out of the window, and drive with your left knee. To make it fun, have your cell phone in your right hand so you can tell your anxious friends that you’ll be back with their drinks in two CENSORED minutes (although now that’ll get you a $100 fine). Then, pull what we call a “Jersey slide” by switching all four lanes at the last second, to probably make an illegal left turn. Blinker is optional.
Sadly, this is why Daiquiris and Co. can never, and probably will never exist in the tri-state area. But hey, I’m in southern Louisiana now. Who else wants a “Pain Killer” after work?