Party store

My boss wrote me on our chat feature at work, and whenever it isn’t work-related she starts: “Not work-related.” So then I can take off my suit and floppy tie, kick off my low nude heels, and talk as a regular human.

She was reading a book by someone who grew up in Detroit, and the author kept referring to a “party store.”

“I just assumed she meant the kind of place where you can get streamers and balloons, but after awhile it was clear she meant a convenience store. Is this a Michigan thing?”

Is this a MICHIGAN thing? You’d better believe it. We ALL call convenience stores party stores. When I first moved to Seattle, I went out with one guy who caught me saying “party store,” and also, “the UP,” just assuming everyone knew that meant the upper peninsula. Assuming that everyone knew there was an upper peninsula.

“A party store?” he asked, when what I described didn’t involve pinatas or colored paper plates.

“Yeah; you know, where you buy your liquor and your beef jerky and your lottery tickets,” I said. The other thing about Michigan—at least when I lived there, which was 30 years ago—is you can buy alcohol the same place you buy beer and wine and why the hell not?

Here you have to go to the ABC store, and I don’t even know why they call it that. Like, liquor is one of the first things you learn? Liquor is as easy as a, b, c? Anyway, whenever I go to to one, which happens like once every two years or something—before a party, but not before a party store—I feel sort of sleazy.

Also, they are not open Sunday, because of God, and Sunday is one of the two major days you might want liquor, if you ask me.

Anyway, to reiterate, the guy I was dating, who turned out to be a terrible ass, asked, “A party store?” And when I gave him the line about it’s where you buy your beef jerky and your liquor and your lottery tickets, he said, “That’s a party for you people?”

Well. Yeah. Kinda. Wouldn’t it be to you, Mr. Seattle Snob? What’s a party to you? Asian fusion and a latte? Getting on a ferry and donating to Greenpeace? Asshole.

There was a party store I stopped at after school when I was in junior high (and it was junior high then) where I’d get faux 7-Up slurpees (I mean, that’s a 7-Eleven thing. So this guy, knowing what his competition had, imitated them but they weren’t called Slurpees, which if you ask me is a disgusting name) and a Chick-o-Stick.

And do you know that TO THIS DAY the guy who runs the store knows who I am?

So, party stores aren’t ALL about liquor. They’re also about candy and soft drinks and cigarettes. All the things that make life worthwhile.

My point is this: What local thing do you guys say that somehow you found out was a local thing? What’s your “calling soda ‘pop'” of your locale?

When Grammy first moved to Michigan, she was at the grocery store and told the bag boy to just “put it all in a poke,” and he didn’t know that meant “bag” in West Virginian, and she was humiliated and never said it again.

Things like that. What you got?

Go to the party store and get us all drinks and maybe the latest Elle and then we’ll talk.

136 thoughts on “Party store

  1. I am in New Zealand and everything you Americans say is weird to me because of course it’s not us kiwis who are weird. We say chips for what you would call chips, but hot chips for what you would (I assume) call fries. We have dairies instead of party stores or convenience stores. You can buy wine and beer from the supermarket (grocery store) any day of the week and harder stuff from liquor stores which again can be open any day. Fizzy drink is soda. We go to the shops, not the store. Bag is used for every possible receptacle except for a box (carton, I guess). So paper bag, plastic bag, handbag, rubbish bag … you get the gist 🙂 When we go out shopping we say we are going to town. I could go on, this stuff fascinates me!

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  2. I went to a bank to get change for a large bill while I was on a business trip in San Francisco (back when banks would still give you change even if you didn’t have an account). The teller asked what bills I would like and I ended the list by saying, “And five singles.” He looked up and said, “Oh, you’re from Chicago.” True. When I asked how he knew, he replied, “Mostly only people from around Chicago use the word “singles” to discribe a dollar bill. Most people call them dollars or ones.”

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  3. For some reason my family, in Wisconsin, called sloppy Joe’s barbecue.

    I’ve heard others, not sure from where, call them loose meat sandwiches. (Ew)

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    1. Loose meat sandwiches was a thing on Roseanne. Roseanne and her sister had a loose meat sandwich shop.
      I’m from WI and I prefer to call them sloppy Joe’s. Calling them BBQ is confusing to me!
      Also there is a custard stand in Milwaukee that calls them Spanish Burgers.

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  4. My childhood friend’s grandmother called blue jeans “dungarees.” Recently I learned “dungarees” is more often used for what I had always known as overalls.
    In NJ little girls used to wear “bubble suits” which are better known as rompers. Until I moved to the South I had never heard “Jon Jon” for the kind of rompers little boys wear.

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    1. In the Navy, the flared jeans we had to wear were called dungarees. In a pinch, they can be used as a flotation device, although I never figured out how I was supposed to get my dungarees off once I had fallen in the water.

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  5. In Ohio liquor stores are called state stores. A place where you can drive your car through and get beer soft drinks and snacks is called a drive-thru.

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  6. When I was in my 30s we moved to Guadalajara, Mexico and I soon found out that lots of things that I grew up saying in Texas were not universally known. I had no idea that other people didn’t use “fixing to” in everyday language. After standing in the kitchen all day canning things or making tamales and getting tired I would sit down and then say I’m all stove up now and can’t get back up and people didn’t have a clue what that meant.

    We always say Coke to mean every flavor and you have to ask what kind of Coke do you want.

    I grew up in west Texas like Gladys and know about Pinky’s liquor stores at the county lines. Still today we have liquor stores that aren’t open on Sundays, and no beer till after noon on Sunday.

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  7. I call a shopping cart a “buggy” and have done so for as long as I can remember, but have NO idea when I started doing that! I grew up in Florida, Texas and Virginia before settling in Tennessee. Also, in Tennessee … our liquor stores in town are open seven days a week!! It was such a big deal when that happened … some people still aren’t over the fact that we have wine in grocery stores now! LOL!

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  8. I went to school in Arizona and was handed a broom when I asked for a sweeper (it’s what Ohioans call a vacuum), and got a ice cream float when I asked for an ice cream soda.

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  9. The only things I can add to this conversation are “pop”–I am drinking one now–Dr. Pepper, my favorite, and the game Duck, Duck, GRAY DUCK! Never–not ever–goose. That is just WRONG.

    Now, if you want me to talk teen slang, I have many fleeting examples.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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    1. Duck Duck Gray Duck was my game growing up in Minnesota. When I found out my children were learning Duck Duck Goose in the very same school building I was very sad.

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    1. We who live UTI go “out east” to see you. For me, a P/M girl anything west of Bayshore was almost the city.

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  10. This isn’t a saying so much as a regional snack, I guess. Anyone else eat saladitos, by themselves or in a lemon? Saladitos are dried, salted prunes. I used to walk to the 7-11 after school and they sold half lemons with a saladito mushed in the middle and then I bought extra saladitos to add to the lemon. They sold them in a big jar for a nickel. You could reach right in and grab whichever ones you wanted (nowadays, the clerk wears a glove and gets them for you). I also eat them plain. You can find them in every convenience store in Tucson,
    AZ but I have a hard time finding them here in SoCal, surprisingly.

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  11. I once worked for a woman who was from West Virginia. I remember her telling me I should wear a taboggan when I left as it was cold outside. In Michigan a taboggan is a type of sled. This seemed like odd advice until I learned that from her neck of the woods a toboggan is a stocking cap.

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  12. In Wisconsin when we visited a water fountain was called a bubbler. I’d never heard that one before. I know about sack for what we call a bag because my mother briefly lived in Maine as a teenager.

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  13. YES to the Michigan things! Party store, pop, coney dogs, Detroit style pizza, the UP, up north (NOT the same as the UP), the lake (which one)…

    I heard that Almond Boneless Chicken was a Michigan thing. Not sure though, as I’ve not tried to find Chinese food when travelling elsewhere.

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  14. Tennessee all my life so I never knew that spaghetti sauce was really gravy to my husband’s family. Gravy to me is flour and meat drippings.
    Also, pronunciation is different with them. The drawers are draws in the cabinet. They are still looking for “over yonder”. I tell my husband he speaks with forked tongue.

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    1. Draw is a NY/North Jersey thing. When I worked in retail the people from there referred to their tills that way while the rest of us said drawer. There is a big debate about sauce versus gravy much in the same vein. I knew women directly from Italy who said sauce.

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      1. Yes, depended on which part of Italy your family came from! I’m from northern NJ; according to my husband, I say just about EVERYTHING wrong. I don’t care, at least we know how to pronounce the short a vowel sound, unlike most of the rest of the country and especially DC. Ugh.

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    2. I taught in the high school that the Soprano children would have attended, had they been real. Believe me, the sauce vs. gravy question was debated hotly and sometimes with fists. The best I could figure was that sauce didn’t involve meat, while gravy did. So: marinara is sauce, bolognese is gravy. Maybe.

      Also in NJ: Taylor Ham vs. Pork Roll. We moved to NY and would ask friends to bring us Taylor Ham when they visited, so you see where we stand on that topic.

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      1. Perhaps that is the distinction. A friend’s mother made crab gravy that her nine children and thirty plus grandchildren loved. It was Fra Diovlo style ( from the devil, hot and spicy) so I was not a fan.

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        1. Ooh! If you were there (JCHS) in the late 80s to the mid 90s, perhaps our paths crossed. I was always there as a long-term sub, and loved it.

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          1. I’m thinking they would have been at WEHS, no? But I left in 1981, so our paths wouldn’t have crossed. My brother is still there, so I visit whenever I can, just to eat all the terrific food up there!

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  15. Californian here; when I moved to Texas I couldn’t believe that only beer and wine was available in the grocery stores. My son moved to NC several years ago and when he bought his house, there was a long highway (70, I believe) leading into his town. One day I was riding with him and he remarked that there were a lot of UPS stores on that road. He was referring to package stores, which are liquor stores there. Not gonna lie, I thought the same thing!

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    1. I turned 21 in college in Miami, where you can get liquor at Walgreens. Then I moved back home to Georgia and the first time I tried to buy wine it was a Sunday. DON’T GET ME STARTED GAAAAAH

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    2. Some of the bars in NJ sell liquor too. There are ones with neon signs that say package goods in the window.

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  16. Living in California my entire life, I had no idea that other states had alcohol restrictions until I went to The River (Colorado River) in high school and in Arizona, you couldn’t buy alcohol until noon. The drinking age was 18 (PARTY!) but no booze until noon. What kind of commies were these people? We’d be standing there, shifting our weight back and forth just waiting to get our drink on. Then I went to South Dakota over Memorial Day weekend and not only could you not buy alcohol on Sunday, you couldn’t buy it on holidays either so we literally drove to Wyoming just to buy alcohol and right over the border, was a tiny town that was nothing but liquor stores and bars.

    I mean, in California, they sold alcohol in convenience stores, supermarkets, drive-thru dairies, drug stores, just about anywhere. You just couldn’t buy it between something like 1:00am and 6:00am or something like that. In high school, there was this one drive-thru dairy owned by an immigrant couple and we knew they’d sell to anyone, as long as you showed an ID. Didn’t matter what kind of ID. So there we’d be in our cheerleading uniforms, showing them our high school student ID cards and they’d sell us a 6 pack of Michelob.

    Life was so much simpler back then.

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    1. When I was a kid in Texas we lived in a dry county, meaning a county that did not sell alcohol. This man went one step off the county line and built himself a town. This town had 4 liquor stores and a couple of houses. That’s it. That’s the whole town. So if you wanted liquor you had to drive to Impact to get your drink on. Years later they voted our county wet and Impact is now a ghost town. Oh, and the name of the liquor store was Pinky’s.

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      1. I remember Pinky’s!! I was born out in west Texas and Pinky’s were at every city limit or county line, whatever they were measuring by. Also, they would give you a plastic roady cup of ice when you bought a bottle of liquor.

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  17. I grew up just outside of Midland and whenever we made the trip to the Fashion Square Mall we would stop at The Depot for a coke freeze/generic slushy! Your post brought this long lost memory back, thank you!

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  18. I’m from Michigan too. I currently live in Tennessee and they have no idea what doorwalls are. I’ve lived in Tennessee for 18 years now and I will, and always will, call it a doorwall.

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          1. Doorwalls! Wow, I never heard that term before either. But when we first moved to Arizona in the 70’s, I guess you could call them doorwalls – at the 7-Eleven stores. They would open up the whole front of the store! I couldn’t believe it! They are long gone now – just regular doors to make sure the bad guys cannot sneak in. haha

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    1. I will never understand that term. When we moved to Michigan and someone mentioned a doorwall, I was clueless. Shouldn’t it be called a wall door?

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  19. In SC, ABC store is a legally required name designation for “Alcoholic Beverage Control.”
    Also called “Package Store” because – from what I was told – you had to carry any bottles out of the store in a brown paper bag (“package’). Related to brown bag laws, I guess?

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    1. Huh, is that why? Here in Massachusetts they say a LOT of weird things (like seltzer or tonic when they mean soda or pop), and they refer to the liquor store as the package store, or “packy.” I grew up in Toronto, and there’s a lot of Canadianisms out there, but at least we have the excuse of being another country. We used words like tuque and chesterfield and double-double and mukluk.

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  20. Agita. I picked it up when I lived in NJ. It’s basically the same as unease/discomfort/agitation , etc. As in “I’m planning to add Carol to this committee, but let me know if that gives you agita.” Pronunciation: AH-jih-tuh (or A-jih-tuh with a short A like apple). It tickles me each time I use it.

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    1. I grew up in Philadelphia with a Summer house “down the shore” (New Jersey/ possibly NY thing?). I relocated permanently in 1980 and I learned terms like agita. Is it possibly Italian? We have a large Italian population which my area of Philadelphia did not. I lived in the largely Polish/ Irish section. Areas were made up different nationalities then, some still are. South Jersey was the Italian section, I lived in the Northeast.

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  21. I have never heard of them being called a “party store” but I love that. In Arkansas they’re pretty much all called gas stations, whether they actually have gas there or not. Oh, and we still have dry counties, so I have to drive to the county line liquor store to get m’wine. The grocery stores inside wet counties (eww) have beer and wine but hard liquor has to be purchased at an actual liquor store here. And none on sundays in stores but you can get alcohol in restaurants, which makes a ton of sense. Yay, Arkansas.

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    1. I’m in NW Arkansas, near the Missouri line, which, blessedly, has a Macadoodle’s! The liquor, beer, wine store of which dreams are made. Also lottery tickets and a few handy snacks.

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  22. Distinguished was raised in Pennsylvania Deutsch territory and his family said when it rainy hard that “It’s making down out!”. When thunderstorms come up, at the first big boom someone will call out, “Ta tunder of Tor!” (The thunder of Thor). I think that was left over from someone in the family who was a new immigrant to our great nation a couple of generations ago. In my family a hard rain was “raining right down”.

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  23. Here in eastern PA our convenience stores are named Wawa. You cannot buy beer, wine or liquor in the Wawa, just hoagies and coffee, etc. To buy wine and liquor you’ll need to go to a liquor store run by the state and a separate store to buy beer. In the early days of the pandemic the government shut the liquor stores but allowed the beer stores to remain open. Because essential.

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      1. Yes, I was going to say hoagie too. It sounds strange to my ears after living in New Jersey full time for forty-one years. Hoagie is used in the towns just across the bridge from the city but it’s a sub (sandwich) here. We also have cheesesteaks here but they are rarely as good as the ones in Philadelphia.
        The liquor situation in Pennsylvania is strange with the beer distributions, the state run LCB stores (Liquor Control Board), closed on Sundays too. New Jersey is much more normal and Pennsylvania residents crossed the bridges to NJ where there were/are big liquor stores with shopping carts (buggies for some).
        We don’t say going to the beach, we say going down the shore. Does anyone else say that?
        What you called party stores we call candy stores. There were tons of them selling candy, ice cream, newspapers, cigarettes, some magazines.
        We have Wawas here too. I got a diet cherry Dr Pepper fountain soda there yesterday. They have their version of Slurpees as well. They have lots of snacks, fancy coffees, soups, sandwiches etc. I will be hitting them up for my soda fix when the supermarket has none of my favorites.

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        1. OMG, candy stores! I remember those! Always went with my dad to get the Sunday paper and he’d usually buy me candy…those stores always smelled like bubble gum. My brother and I would get baseball trading cards there, too.

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    1. I grew up in western PA and never understood the beer, wine, or liquor situation. We have lived in Michigan for the past fifteen years, and boy do I love the convenience. We can buy any liquor, wine or beer at the supermarket, party store, drug store and even the gas station! And even on Sunday! I also grew up saying pop and used hoagie and sub interchangeably. Several years ago, I tried to order a hoagie at Jet’s Pizza and the poor girl had no idea what I was talking about!

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  24. Here in CT we call our liquor stores, Package Stores or The Packy, as in “need anything at the packy?”

    Up until a couple years ago we had zero adult beverages anywhere except the packy, then they let the beer and the hard seltzers into the grocery and convenience stores. But if you want wine or liquor, you gotta go to the packy.

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    1. Are milkshakes frappes there? They are in Massachusetts, which is super weird because that’s the french word for milkshake.

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  25. All sodas are cokes. The old folks called sleeping bags snoogins and tires cassons. My stepmother still calls clothes hangers racks.
    I was 25 years old before I knew that Cheddar cheese wasn’t called rat cheese. I moved to California from Texas and I felt like I was in a different country.

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      1. Exactly. My grandad and dad both called them cassons. So when I went to buy tires in California and asked the tire guy how much did the cassons cost he laughed for an hour. I didn’t know that wasn’t normal

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      1. She calls the actual clothes hangers that. She has a bunch of weird sayings and she is from the same home town as my family and grew up with my dad.

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  26. I love a topic like this! Thanks JUNE! I grew up only an hour from where I live now but apparently we have localized sayings. I referred to a banquet room that you would have a wedding reception or something at as a party house and no one knew what I was talking about. And when I went to college in the Southern Central NY area someone asked me if I wanted to go out for a speedy and I thought, man these guys get right tot he point. Turns out it is a submarine sandwich. Which I guess is a good euphemism for the sex…. so maybe I was right in the first place! HA

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  27. “What kind of coke do you want?”, is a question asked here. Then one replies with the soda they want.
    We also have crawfish boils in the spring. I know that’s a general AR/LA/TX/MS thing. They can be called any number of unappealing names (mud bugs), but they are delicious.

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    1. I lived in NC at one time along the coast and somebody asked me if I wanted a low country boil. I had no idea what they were talking about until she explained it. Then I was OH! frogmoore stew.

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  28. My husband grew up in Lansing, and we lived in Battle Creek for three years. I’ve never heard this before! Just asked him, and he said sure, that’s what Michiganders call convenience stores. Then he told me about one we’d often pass off of I-69 that was even called Party Store. Guess I never paid attention (or thought about streamers).

    I grew up in New Mexico and never questioned the things we said, but now that I’m back, I realize how goofy it is that as kids we called any dirt lot a mesa. As in “I’ll meet you on the mesa,” or “I cross the mesa to get to school.”

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  29. In NY submarine sandwiches, aka subs are what we call the long rolls stuffed with meats and cheeses and whatever. In Ohio they call them hoagies and they are also called grinders in another part of the country.

    Nick Tahou’s here in Rochester, throws mac salad, beans, french fries, hots or cheeseburgers and meat sauce on a paper plate and calls it The Garbage Plate. Not sure if they make them anywhere else. Also, white hots are big here.

    About an hour down the thruway, near Buffalo, they have a stand that is famous for it’s steamed hot dog, slit down the middle, stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. They call them Whistle Pigs. My husband, from Rochester calls them pigs in the blanket. I like Whistle Pig better.

    Why are all my examples about food? What does that say about me?

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      1. I googled it, hot dog. Red ones and white ones. It looks delicious.
        I have a question about the beans, I automatically assumed beans baked with bbq sauce which is what we generally have with meat here (my Connecticut born grandmother made some amazing bbq baked navy beans). In a picture of a garbage plate, the beans looked like white beans. Which is it? I’d eat it regardless!

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        1. I think you are seeing the macaroni salad, not white beans. And you are correct, the beans are in a bbq sauce. The white hot dogs are pork. It looks like a train wreck but it’s really pretty tasty!

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    1. This is funny to me, I’ve lived in the south my whole life. I associate “grilling out” with burgers and hot dogs or even chicken. “Having *A* bbq” can also mean that. But to “eat bbq” is smoked pork or beef type talk where I am.

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    2. When I was a kid my Dad got transferred to NC with his job but we had lived in Chicago. He had made many business trips down here prior to the move and had already experienced barbecue and pig pickings. When we came down, he took us to Parker’s BBQ for supper. When they brought out the barbecue I asked why they were bringing us tuna fish because that’s what it looked like to me.

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  30. When I moved to Texas my fist visit to get a Whataburger the asked me if I wanted that “all the way”. Yes, I want it cooked all the way! My ex husband smirked, told the cashier I wasn’t from Texas. It means do you want everything on it.

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    1. When I moved to California from Texas, I went to In & Out. My nephew had to explain that In & Out had their own language. He had to explain what a 4 x 4 grilled animal style was.

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  31. Once again come to June’s blog for the education. Maybe ABC is alcohol, beer and cigarettes. The first time we went to New England there were, probably still are, ABC stores all over the place, we finally asked what they were and was surprised they are liquor stores. In GA they are liquor stores, but many are Buckhead Bottle Shoppe, all fancy with the shop spelling, but why bottle shop, they are selling booze, not bottles.
    I’ve always called a grocery cart a buggy. My grandmother that grew up in western NC called a bag a poke and a Coke a dope. She was old enough to remember when Cokes had the real dope in them. A soft drink, regardless of the brand or flavor, is always a Coke here in the home of Coca-Cola.
    A bit off subject, but are any of you old enough to remember pulling candy? It was like big rolls of taffy in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and lemon flavors. It.was.the.most.delicious.candy.ever. When I was in first grade we could buy pulling candy for 10 cents a roll and my mom would tie a dime or quarter in the corner of a handkerchief so I wouldn’t lose the coin on the way to school (we walked to school, it was seven blocks). We would place our order one day and the next the candy arrived. I’ve never found any candy close to that delicious pulling candy.
    Tee

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    1. Having grown up in the South, when a family moved down from Wisconsin and called it “soda pop” I thought that was the strangest thing. When our family put vanilla ice cream in a glass and poured root beer over it, we called it a “brown cow”. What did you call it? Root beer float?

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        1. My parents were from the Midwest so I wonder if that’s where they got the name. We once had a family visit us and we asked them if they would like a Purple Cow (made with grape Nehi) and they didn’t know what we were offering so I guess it was only called that in our family.

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    2. This is off topic, but thank you, Tee, for reminding me that when I was a Camp Fire Girl I would walk to school in uniform with a dime for weekly dues tied in a corner of a handkerchief. A handkerchief under the pillow was also the method by which a blood-tinged tooth tied in the corner (making a one-eared bunny puppet) was transformed overnight into a shiny dime.

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    1. As a child I would not eat chick-o-stick because I seriously believed they were made of chicken and that just grossed me out. I had forgotten all about that until I read June’s post today.

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  32. Also, I have never had beef jerky, a Slurpee (faux or otherwise) or a Chick-o-Stick. And that will remain so.

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      1. Isn’t a chick-o-stick just the inside of a butterfinger candy bar? Sans chocolate? My fillings hate those but they are delish.

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    1. Slurpees/Icees (we call them Icees) are great! I always thought. Chick-o-Stick was the chicken version of beef jerky. I had NO IDEA it was candy.

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  33. “Wouldn’t it be to you, Mr. Seattle Snob? What’s a party to you? Asian fusion and a latte? Getting on a ferry and donating to Greenpeace? Asshole.” CLASSIC.

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  34. I recall my aunt in Massachusetts calling liquor stores “package stores.” But then she also called her husband “Patches” because he never repaired anything to her satisfaction, so maybe I should research this.

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  35. Proabably a Cheese Crisp. It’s a Sonoran Mexican food dish that’s a tortilla cooked crispy with melted cheese and sometimes chilis added. I’m from AZ and until I moved to TX, I had no idea that was an AZ thing and not a universal dish. Oh how I miss them!

    CommandoBarbie

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    1. OMG, yes. I miss those so much. I did manage to talk one place into making one for me here in Anaheim, but they looked at me like they thought it was beyond weird, but I was in heaven. So delicious.

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    1. The only one I can think of right now is bumbershoot. I had never heard the word until I moved to Washington state. It’s an umbrella. People don’t typically say “it’s raining, get your bumbershoot” but most people will know what one is. Does this count?

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        1. Not since the “Rona” upended life. No, we don’t call it that here but it sounds like it would be local back east.

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      1. My mom calls it a “bumble shoot”. I thought it was a British term. Sometimes I use it & no one knows what I’m talking about. We’re from Long Island.

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        1. I looked it up, it’s bumbershoot. Could be hearing that as a child I always thought she was saying bumbleshoot. Hahahaha.
          Tee

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  36. I live in a part of Pennsylvania that is known as Pennsylvania Dutch country. Except it’s not Holland Dutch, it’s German dutch. I guess Deutsch became Dutch somewhere. While the dialect is dying, the older folks have very heavy accents and different ways of saying lots of things. It was quite an adjustment when we moved here from 45 minutes away where it wasn’t a thing. One of my favorite words that I’ve learned is “Wunnerfitz”. Basically, it means “nosy”. You can ask someone a question and preface it by saying “Just for wunnerfitz, where were you going last night?” Instead of saying someone is chatty, they’ll say they’re on the wunnerfitz committee. There are lots of unique things, but wunnerfitz is my favorite. Especially the committee.

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    1. My aunt and uncle moved from Philadelphia to an area between Lancaster and Reading in 1984. It really is like a different world there but a delightful one. I have Amish blood and I love their food. My aunt calls them “the dutchies”. The Diner prices are reasonable in the old fashioned places and she says it’s because the Dutchies won’t pay more. The Farmer’s Market near her, Zerns, closed this or last year. So sad. There are others but Zerns was really something years ago.

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