As midnight drew near, a seemingly intoxicated customer walked in looking for beef jerky. It cost $1.50; she was 50 cents short.

“When’s closing time?” she asked the clerk. “I’ll get it to you before then.”

It used to be 2 a.m., the clerk replied. Now, at the urging of police, the store closes at 12 on weeknights, sacrificing neighborhood convenience in the cause of crime prevention.

“Damn!” said the customer. “How about tomorrow morning?”

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