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Law and Orders


Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me”

By Comedian John Knight

The Democratic convention is going to take place in Pennsylvania this year. Not in the friendly confines of Pittsburgh but across the state in that hell-hole, Philadelphia. Sleazy lobbyists and low-life politicians will gather together for four days of partying and debauchery as they decide who gets screwed for the next four years. Guess what middle-class? It’s you again.

Apparently, our governor, Tom Wolf, you know him, the guy that hasn’t been able to balance a budget for a year and a half. Anyway, our governor doesn’t think our arcane liquor laws should be enforced during the convention. You know, their good enough for us but not the special people.

Cleveland will be host to this year’s Republican convention. Ohio has much more sensible liquor laws. Of course they’re going to need something a lot stronger than alcohol when they have to hold their noses and hand the nomination to Donald Trump.

One of the laws Governor Wolf wants to roll back for the convention is Two Am, last call. Looks like slimy lobbyists can’t get enough alcohol into a member of congress in the allotted time. It takes longer than that to buy these guys.

The Governor is also going to allow the shipment of special liquor into the state, just for the convention. If you’re unaware of our laws, here’s how it works. The state runs the wine and liquor business. They have the stores, decide on the selection and pricing and have no competition.

Now if you want a special wine that they don’t’ carry, you can probably find it on line. Chances are the price to have it shipped is very reasonable. Problem is, that’s against the law. Oh, you can still possibly get the wine. All you have to do is go to the state run liquor store. Ask them if they can order it for you. Once they receive it, they will jack up the price, add on a bunch of taxes and gladly sell it to you for three times what you would have payed online.

You can’t get beer in the state run liquor stores. You have to go elsewhere for that. In the last few years, a few grocery stores have been allowed to start selling beer on a very limited basis. Before that it was only at distributors. Also bars could sell six packs but they had to buy them from the distributor and…see how the wine thing works above.

The argument has always been that these laws keep people from developing an alcohol problem. Let’s look at how that works. When I lived in California, if I wanted a beer, I could go to any convenience, grocery, or drug store and buy one beer. When I first moved back, the law was that distributors had to sell at least a case.

“Hello, I’d like to buy one beer.”

“I can’t sell you one beer.”

“But, that’s all I want.”

“I’m sorry, you have to buy twenty-four.”

Thanks for keeping me from having alcohol problems.

If you’re from out of state, it can be very confusing. Two years ago on Thanksgiving, we stopped at The Market District to grab some craft beer. There was a guy in front of me with two twelve-packs and a loaf of bread. The female cashier looked at him.

“You can only buy twelve beers at a time.”

“Why is that?”

“It’s the law.”

I stepped in.

“Buy one, take it out to your car and then come back in and buy the other.”

He looked dumfounded.

“I can do that?”

The girl nodded her head.

He put the one twelve pack and the bread on the counter.

“I’m sorry, you can’t pay for the bread here.”

“But, it’s only one loaf.”

“You have to pay for it over there.”

He grabbed the beer and bread and began to walk away.

“You can’t pay for the beer over there.”

He was beginning to get agitated.

“So, I have to pay for the beer here, the bread there, take this beer out to the car and then come back here to buy the rest of the beer?”

“That’s right.”

“So, I can actually buy twenty-four beers?”

“You can buy all you want. Just only twelve at a time.”

“So I can go in and out all day buying twelve pack after twelve pack but I can’t buy two at once?”

“That’s right and you can’t pay for your bread here.”

I noticed that I was eating his bread when they put him into the straight-jacket and led him away. He just kept uttering the same thing over and over,

“But it makes no sense. It makes no sense.”

I guess it’s a lot easier to grow up surrounded by insanity than to have it suddenly thrown in your face. We’re used to the laws that make no sense. I don’t know about you, but I could go for a beer right now. If there was only a place where I could buy just one.

Follow John on Twitter @jknight841

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