Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lollipops and Beer

While you may hear about how hard it is for small businesses to survive, there is one small business that is never going away: the local liquor store. Why?


Yea, you read that right. Lollipops.

Those of you without kids have probably never noticed the small bucket of DumDums next to the cash register (at every liquor store in Boulder, is it just a Boulder thing?). Even if you have, it probably didn't occur to you that it is a brilliant marketing strategy.

My son was about one when they started asking casually, "Does he want a lollipop? Still a bit young? Maybe next time."

I resisted for a long time. After all, I didn't want him eating candy/corn syrup/anything before dinner. Or worse ... would he know what to do with it? What if he bit the candy off the stick (choking paranoia scene plays in my head).

Around his 2nd birthday, I caved. "He's been so sweet today. Everyone likes a lollipop now and then, it can't hurt anything." Little did I realize how amazing is the memory of a two year old for the taste of lollipops, the word lollipop, the word beer and the direction of the liquor store down the street.

Life has changed a little since then. The first words out of his mouth in the morning are, "Lollipops and beer?" When I pick him up at day care, he doesn't say, "Go home, see daddy?" anymore, but rather "Lollipops and beer?" If we go for a walk, he pulls and pulls on my hand to head towards, you guessed it, Lollipops and Beer.

It's hard enough to resist having a beer on a Tuesday night. It's even harder when your kid has a vested interest in you buying beer. Like I said, brilliant.

It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't say it in public. It's incredibly embarrassing, especially in Boulder. I mean, what kind of parents are we, giving our kid lollipops on a Tuesday night?