In 2008, Indiana’s primary election takes place on May 6, and Kentucky’s follows two Tuesdays later on May 20.
In both states, Election Day brings with it roughly 11 hours of state-mandated prohibition against the sale of demon rum, and consequently the bars can’t open until the polls close. Of course, one might drink continuously until 3:30 or 4 a.m. election morning, and then nurse a carry-out six-pack or a bottle of single-malt scotch during the comparatively brief time it takes to watch an Adam Sandler DVD before crawling off in a stupor to vote when the polls open at 6.
Presumably, this unwelcome vestige of an otherwise discredited social policy serves as a bulwark against the horrific possibility that unscrupulous politicos or their conniving agents might swap half-pints of Kessler (or a similarly valued slopping spree at the community’s on-premise watering holes) in exchange for a poor wretch’s vote.
As there exists no commensurate prohibition against the sale of strong black coffee, chocolate-covered Krispy Kremes and hickory-smoked bacon, apparently the veiled but very real threat of breakfast-induced bribery is not worthy of the same scrutiny as that posed by the insidious grape and the grain.
If you’re hopelessly intoxicated after ingesting that half-pint of Kessler, are you really any more destructive to democracy than the perfectly sober voter who is following instructions provided by a fundamentalist preacher, who in turn has promised not temporal inebriation, but a favorable reference when the time comes to take up residence in heaven?
I think not, and hope you had the foresight to visit your favorite package store on Monday night. Otherwise, remember that the taps open at 6 p.m., and to quote Groucho Marx, then there’ll be “dancing in the streets, drinking in the saloons and necking in the parlor.”
Roger Baylor is co-owner of the New Albanian Brewing Co. in New Albany. Visit www.potablecurmudgeon.com
for more beer.