Thursday, June 29, 2006

Noble Rot

Kansas leads the nation on many issues. Paved roads per capita and anti-gay bigot funeral picketing, for example.

Kansas is also the leader in per-capita beef production (as well as per capita bull manure production, as this blog attests).

But Kansas still lags behind most of the rest for the free world in enacting reasonable liquor legislation. Recent steps taken by the state legislature have helped move us in the right direction, but still (<-- that's a pun, get it?). It's like Kansas didn't get the memo when prohibition was repealed. Too busy totaling their tees I guess. That's a shame.

For one thing, those of you who don't live near the state line and can't have your wine shipments sent to a friend in KCMO, you're missing out on some great wine bargains. For another thing, there are some great businesses suffering because of the old-maid attitude toward drinking.

Throughout my high-school years, I worked at the Kingfisher's Inn in Marion. It was a great job (my best friend who was the son of the owner helped me get it). I started out washing dishes but worked my way up to a senior cook position. I learned a lot about the value of hard work and the value of having a good time from Bob and Kathy, the owners.

Well, over the past 10 years as surrounding counties began to liberate their liquor laws, Marion County fell behind. The fine people of Marion refused to allow restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages with a meal. Can you imagine having a medium rare filet without a glass of Cabernet? Me neither.

And neither could many of the regular customers who would come from as far away as Wichita and Junction City. When other counties started allowing wine with dinner, Bob and Kathy couldn't compete. Finally, a couple of years ago, they had to close the restaurant.

They couldn't find a buyer of course, because any competent restaurateur would check out the local liquor laws. As far as I know, the place is still vacant. Bob and Kathy were forced to find work elsewhere.

The tragedy is that the rural community lost a valuable business and priceless community members. All because they didn't want to allow wine with dinner, something I believe Jesus was in favor of.

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6 comments:

  1. At least the teetotalers' actions correspond to their beliefs, misguided as they be. What gets me is the Kansas liquor distributors, who have no problem with drinking. They just insist that you buy the booze from one of their approved liquor stores. And since they have the required muscle in the state legislature, that's what the law says.

    Can you imagine buying a pair of pants online then picking them up at the Jones Store and pay an extra fee?

    Cheers!

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  2. I understand Marion Co finally passed liquor by the drink last year, though. Things do change there ... just a little slower than in some parts, is all.

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  3. My folks had told me of the Kansas liquor laws from back in the 50's when they were growing up in the Dodge City/Spearville area. It doesn't sound like it has changed since. They used to have to bring their own booze in a brown paper bag into a restaurant. That's just kooky.
    No wonder they moved the family out west.

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  4. Joel thanks for the update. Say, you should be a reporter or something. Anyway, I hope someone reopens the Kingfisher. I have a lot of good memories from that place.

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  5. You kids may not remember this, but it wasn't much more than twenty years ago that Kansas required the purchase of a membership (I think it was $10.00) card at an establishment before they could serve you a drink.

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  6. I certainly hope the laws over there get relaxed. Not for me personally, I don't care.

    But from what I've seen coming out of the legislature and the School Board, Kansans could really benefit from a few drinks to loosen up the old sphincter. Got a bunch of real tight-asses running the show over there.

    I think Phil Kline in particular would benefit immensely from about a 3 day drunk. Have some unsafe sex, maybe get his ass-kicked in a barfight over some fat chick with big tits. Maybe even drunk-dial the Governor at 3:30 in the morning and call her a "fucking WHORE!"

    I'm tellin' ya, it could turn his life around! Have a drink Phil, we're all pullin' for ya!

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