Convenience Stores

The local shop. Close, convenient, full of weird shit you have never heard of and bloody expensive.

Not pictured: Exact fucking change

Just The Facts

  1. Convenience stores have profit margins that make in the big banks weep with envy.
  2. There is always something cut price available.
  3. Unless you can read Korean or Polish - you'll not know what it is.

An Inconvenient Truth

Every culture has convenience stores, which are laid out for the owners convenience, not yours. They are usually owned and operated by immigrants - Vietnamese or Korean in the US, Indian or Pakistani in the UK, and various foreigners in Europe.

A dying breed.

The convenience aspect is threefold:

  1. They are local. Never more than 5 minutes walk from where you live, which means most Americans drive there anyway.
  2. They are open most of the time. If you want eggs at 3 am, you know the convenience store is open - and out of eggs.
  3. They sell a little bit of everything. Although rarely anything you want, at prices you really can't afford.

The "Food"

You are hungry, and there is nothing in the house but a jar of pickled capers. It is 1 am and you have been drinking steadily. Time to hit the convenience store!

Frozen Food

Oh yeah! A meal!! If you are lucky.

Most hungry drunks head straight for the single beat to shit freezer to grab the ground equivalent of airline food - the TV dinner. Deep frozen, almost inedible and with cheapass soya gravy over everything, these fill you up - until you puke them later. Sadly, after shifting bags of ice, blocks of mango ice cream and bags of frozen french fries, you find they are completely out. Shit!

Canned food

Tinned fish and spinach - not an ideal end to the night.

Dammit, lets try find the drunk's standby - canned mac and cheese. Nope. Man - there are masses of cans here, there must be something I can eat. Ah, sod cooking - lets grab something ready made.

Chinese labels make you feel drunker. Just go by the pictures.

The "Deli" Cabinet

There may be the odd surprise in the deli section

If you are lucky, your convenience store will have a chiller cabinet, where pre-prepared food has been sitting for several days, slowly getting more rancid as time goes on. At least you will be able to blame tomorrow morning on the food.

Hot Food

Wait! Holy shit, they got hot food here!! Score!!!

The saddest part of a convenience store - the dread hot dog rollers. After cooking for roughly 6 weeks, these things are put in the cheapest damn bun that can be obtained, and covered with stale mustard and off brand ketchup. They are tough as leather, and so indigestable that they go through your system intact. The hotdogs are still better than the burritos.

The Drink

Giant Sodas

Everything is bigger in Texas

Most convenience stores sell soda. Usually 90% ice ad 10% soda, as there is no fucking way you can finish the monstrous amounts you get. These things are not cups, you can use the containers as buckets, or emergency coffins, when you have finished them.

Slurpees

Sugar - check. Cold - check. Taste - none.

Look, we know it is hot out. But please, have some fucking taste! Sugar syrup so intense it would kill a beehive, fluorescent colourant, and ice. Only in America ...

Coffee

Oh, YEAH!

Convenience store coffee is amazing. It doesn't taste of much, but the added shot of pure caffiene sobers you up instantly. This allows the cashier to short change you - you are jittering so hard you don't notice. It has the added bonus of making it impossible to rob the joint.

Cheapass Beer

'nuff said

Convenience stores sell beer. Shitty, shitty beer. Still, any port in a storm, eh?

Off Brand Spirits

Far be it from us to argue with GIS

These are makers you never heard of, flavors you never heard of and hangovers like you never dreamed of at prices you won't believe.

Other Shit

Convenience stores come into their own when it is time to buy weird shit.

You need vitamins at 5 am? They have about 1000 varieties, from manufacturers that have never heard of FDA approval. Caffiene tablets to keep you awake to finish those 18 essays due tomorrow? There is a whole rack of them. Lost a shirt button? Yep - buttons, needles and thread in neat little packets are hanging from a rack.

Truth in advertising?

Of course, the big sellers for convenience stores are lottery tickets and scratchcards, as most stores are Government mandated prole tax collectors.

Not a huge selection, is it?

Cigarettes, tobacco and rolling papers are the other big seller. Do try not to buy papers and cigarettes at the same time - why make it totally obvious you are preparing for 420?

Comics are also sold

And finally, many sell newspapers and magazines. The newspapers are strictly for the benefit of the old, who don't use the net for their daily dose of propaganda. The magazines, usually a 50:50 mix of gossip rags and soft porn, are far more popular.