As vices go, mine are pretty benign. Don't drink, don't smoke, not into porn. Only stimulant I use besides light, dry Utah 5% blower is diet coke.
From time to time I try to moderate my diet coke consumption, but the truth is I like to go to the convenience store and get a 44. Anything less, and I'm left wanting more. (Wow, unintentional rhyme there. Sorry. Vizzini: stop rhyming, and I mean it. Fezzik: anybody want a peanut?)
When I first started my current job, I frequented the 7-eleven that's two blocks away. It's close enough to walk, though in cold weather, even two blocks is a long way with an icy cup in hand unless I'm wearing gloves.
But besides the cold, walking to the 7-eleven has other drawbacks. It just so happens that the 7-eleven is also on the same block as the apartments where pretty much all of the crazy people and junkies in Salt Lake City happen to live. This of course makes for an entertaining walk some days and a somewhat frightening walk on other days.
I heard recently that there was a stabbing at the 7-eleven. Not surprising given the neighborhood and clientele. I'm sure, however, that this was not the first, just the first I'd heard about.
Stabbings and verbal tirades from people in their underwear notwithstanding, the neighborhood never actually got to the point where it was a deterrent. That distinction was reserved for the owner. This particular 7-eleven franchise is owned by an older couple, both of whom are often behind the counter loitering. Even when their paid staff is there doing an adequate job.
One day, not coincidentally the last time I was there, the female half of the couple opened up the hot case where they keep the pizza and hot wings and potato wedges. I figured she was getting something for one of the customers but thought it odd that she was reaching in there with her bare hand. Then there was no plate or napkin or even waxed sheet to put it on. Then the pizza went straight into her mouth. Right behind the counter. Right in front of the customers. No napkins or other hygiene products were in sight.
At that point I was done. I thought about throwing out the diet coke, but you don't see crack addicts throwing out a rock just 'cuz the dealer had a runny nose. So I just went back to my office and tried to forget.
The staff at the Maverick four blocks away are all quite nice and seem to keep their hands clean and their nails trimmed. I've gotten to know them quite well of late.