There’s a liquor store in Providence that I visit sometimes. The owner keeps a small dog in what appears to be a spacious apartment– soft bed, toys, a buffet of food– behind the counter.
If you pay for your stuff in cash, the owner might prompt her dog to put your change in his mouth, run around the counter, and deliver it to you. With his mouth. It’s a (slightly moist), cute party trick, and it would be cloying except for the infectious joy both the owner and the dog show when it happens.
The last time I was there, the owner had placed a paper bag over a bottle on the counter. Written in Sharpie were the words “New: Look Under Here.” Alcohol is already a social object (I’m feeling theoretical, so I’ll go so far as to call it an actant). The little things the owner of the store does make the experience of buying booze more playful.