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Stupidest regulation or law


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I thought Texas laws were bizarre. I am beginning to feel better about the whole thing. Still confused, yes. But better because we aren't any weirder than other places.

Having spent a good bit of time in New Orleans and surrounding areas it is always culture shock to move from the land of drive-through daquiri shops, open drinking in the streets, and all kinds of alcohol in grocery stores at all times (from what I remember) to the bizarre land that is Texas. You would appreciate my surprise many years ago when the Schwegmann's grocery carts had a cup holder for the highball you could order to enjoy while you were shopping.  :blink:

Somewhere around here, at some point, I discussed the civilized feeling that I used to get when walking into the Schwegg's on Airline and heading for the deli so that I could get a cold draft to keep me from getting parched while making groceries. It was, truly, a wonderful, only in New Orleans thing.

Also, for all of you that have closing laws, those things are really weird to me.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I don't drink alcohol...never have. Just can't find anything I can sneak past my tastebuds. Besides, two sips of celebratory champagne and I can't find the kitchen.

However, I do have a well-honed sense of silly, and all the above register high on the "Hunh?" scale. Like the law in some benighted state that says if two trains come to a crossing, neither may move til the other has gone.

But I do love all your recountings and head-shaking amazement at the idiocy. We just have to remember that all laws are passed by committee.

And Grub, your tale of Nordic idiosyncrasy is priceless!!! I especially like the toasts. We have an esoteric one of our own, coined when we lived in our first apartment amongst lively flocks of Canada geese. They were loud and had the most raucous parties on the lake, on the lawn, on our patios, etc. A guest would start at the onslaught of sound, and we'd just say "That's just the geese cavorting." That got morphed into, "That's goose cavorts" and we decided it would make a lovely toast.

Many a guest or fellow diner/partygoer has joined right in, thinking we're using some exotic language. We raise our glasses and exclaim, "Goose Cavorts!!"

Everyone bows to our vast worldliness and chimes in.

Do try it sometime.

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I agree wholeheartedly with those opposing stupid liquor laws. For crying out loud, you can drive a car, be forced to sacrifice your life in a foreign country, be "qualified" to select a leader of the free world, and have a child, but you're not to be trusted having a drink on Sunday!

Even more stupid is the "law" that you can't buy a bottle of wine on election day until the polls have closed... do they really think that will keep drunks from voting?

I love California for being reasonable. Being able to do all of your shopping in one trip is a joy.

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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. . . . .

Many a guest or fellow diner/partygoer has joined right in, thinking we're using some exotic language.  We raise our glasses and exclaim, "Goose Cavorts!!"

Everyone bows to our vast worldliness and chimes in.

Do try it sometime.

And . . . There it is! My eGulley laugh for the day. That is priceless. I shall probably steal it with no taint of shame in my heart.

Brooks . . . Are you a wimp? I used to shop with a gin & tonic. Got to keep the malaria at bay, you know. :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I like your "toast" racheld, but it seems to have evolved another step inside my head: "Goose cavortin'," said loudly and in a faux Scandinavian accent? That's some funny stuff!

Like so many other states, Georgia has some truly Byzantine liquor laws, all controlled on the local level. Yup, each of Georgia's 159 counties has it's own little quirks. Some counties are totally "dry;" some are "dry," except that the local veteran's organizations are allowed to sell beer or wine to their own membership, on their own property; other counties are a combo of "semi-dry," with beer and wine sales allowed by the package, or by the drink, or both; and so forth. Probably the commonest alcohol-related blue law throughout the state is that it's illegal in most counties to sell on Sundays. (Except in a few larger counties, where one can at least buy at a restaurant.) (Oh, yeah: and I think that each city within each county is allowed to make its own regulations within its county's rules. I could be mistaken about that, though. The basic gist is that each time one travels two hundred feet in Georgia, one should probably check for changes in the local regulations.)

Here in my own little rural outpost, the alcohol laws have been liberalized HUGELY through the years: Beer, wine, and liquor are available by the package (but liquor can only be sold at the package store, while beer and wine are available at groceries or c-stores;) and even liquor by the drink can now be sold at restaurants. (Well, actually at "restaurant." There's only one in town that sells, but at least I can have a mixed drink with my steak!) The funny thing is, that I remember some other permutations of this county's alcohol laws through the years. Back in the 1970's, in between two periods of being a totally "dry" county - forcing poor Daddy to drive across the river for a six-pack or a fifth of Scotch - there was one legal, county-run beer and wine store. The most memorable feature of that store? They sold draft beer in paper take-away cartons... at the drive-through window! :wacko:

Of course, I've recently moved back here from Savannah, where "go-cups" are still legal: It's perfectly kosher to stroll through the Historic District with an open container of beer, wine, or spirits. The only regulation is that the container must be of plastic, and no larger than 16 ounces. (Not that anyone ever checks whether one's Thermos contains refills of cold water or gin and tonics... :wink: ) Oh, and a few days per year? The city allows a River Street merchant association to charge St. Pat's day partiers a fee for the privilege of open air drinking on that particular publicly-maintained street. Even though the practice is both free and legal on the other city streets. (I'm just waiting for the legal challenge. Heck, I'd brave the crowds and drink a contraband beer there in order to challenge the practice, except that I can't justify using that money on lawyers instead of on my children!)

And I agree: the "no alcohol sales on election day" is just plain dumb. Some ballots, I need a drink to brace me for making the best of really lousy choices!

"Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress."

Charles Pierre Monselet, Letters to Emily

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These laws have long since gone the way of the passenger pigeon, but in Wisconsin:

It was illegal to add yellow coloring to margarine; they wanted to prevent it from looking like butter.

It was manditory to serve butter with berry pies in restaurants.

Thankfully, the cheesehead state is much more enlightened than many other states when it comes to alcohol. Reading about some other states' regulations is eye-opening. Luckily you can buy any kind of booze just about anywhere (groceries, gas stations, liquor stores, delis, etc.) on any day of the week. And it's legal to drink in public parks and such (unless prohibited by city ordinance).

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. . . . .

Many a guest or fellow diner/partygoer has joined right in, thinking we're using some exotic language.   We raise our glasses and exclaim, "Goose Cavorts!!"

Everyone bows to our vast worldliness and chimes in.

Do try it sometime.

And . . . There it is! My eGulley laugh for the day. That is priceless. I shall probably steal it with no taint of shame in my heart.

fifi beat me to it. :laugh::laugh:

Here's a hearty "Goose Cavorts" to all! :biggrin: :snicker: :chortle:

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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. . . . .

Many a guest or fellow diner/partygoer has joined right in, thinking we're using some exotic language.   We raise our glasses and exclaim, "Goose Cavorts!!"

Everyone bows to our vast worldliness and chimes in.

Do try it sometime.

And . . . There it is! My eGulley laugh for the day. That is priceless. I shall probably steal it with no taint of shame in my heart.

fifi beat me to it. :laugh::laugh:

Here's a hearty "Goose Cavorts" to all! :biggrin: :snicker: :chortle:

Brilliant! I, too will look forward to shamelessly appropriating this. And I will look forward to the day when it comes full circle and people all around the world are doing this without knowing why. :biggrin:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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And let's not forget Louisiana's (in)famous "Drive thru daquiris", where you can buy a frozen or mixed drink from the comfort of your driver's seat.

It's legal to transport said items, as long as the small bit of tape used to "seal" the container is not disturbed, or you have not put a straw through the hole. Then, it's still legal if the passenger is drinking up.

Edited to add a needed not.

Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)
Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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The marketing board quota systems. They can be annoying. My poultry supplier can ship poultry to the US and charge them much less than I pay because of the boards.

As an individual (not a business) I am limited to the amount of dairy/meat that I bring in from the US when returning from a trip. Most grocery items are tax and duty free when I return home - but any dairy I buy over $20 or 20 lbs. I will be charged duty - the rates vary but it can be more than 100%.

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Alabama has some goofy liquor laws. My county is dry, but the county seat went wet two years ago. Up until a couple months ago the only place allowed to sell liquor was the state ABC store. We now have a private liquor store - in the same building as the state store. All private liquor stores must buy their stock from the state, so the private stores have to charge more. This private store opens earlier than the ABC store, so he gets the hard core business from 9am to noon. After noon, all he sells is beer.

Years ago in Indianapolis, I went to a grocery store to get some beer. The check-out girl was not 21, so I had to scan the beer and put it in the cart. She was not allowed to even touch it. Also in Indiana, supermarkets cannot sell cold beer and a person can only buy two cases at a time. Stocking up for a party? You need to buy two cases, leave, and then come back to get more. Either that or bring a bunch of friends with you to the store so each can buy two cases. It was also strange that the supermarket could sell liquor, but only at the pharmacy. The liquor store was actually in the pharmacy and you had to pay for it there. Something about liquor being "medicine" from the old days, I guess.

Dave

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Another wierdness in Oklahoma is that you have to go to a liquor store to get hard stuff or any beer over 3.2%. Also, not only could they not sell food, but no mixers either! That instantly meant to stops for a mixed drink. Most liquor stores had a pop machine just outside the door, but that was only good if rum and coke was on the menu.

One favorite store in Tulsa got creative. You went into the liquor store, bought your poison of choice, walked out the door, went one door down and entered a convenience store where of course you could buy food and mixers. The funny thing is that the stores were connected by a door for staff, so usually the same person who rang up your liquor purchase also checked you out in the convenience store!

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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Years ago in Indianapolis, I went to a grocery store to get some beer.  The check-out girl was not 21, so I had to scan the beer and put it in the cart.  She was not allowed to even touch it.

Still applies, at least in the grocery stores we frequent.

Even SILLIER, our favorite Chinese restaurant lets all the younger members of the family who are old enough to set or bus a table help out on occasion. They cannot pick up cocktail or beer glasses or the empty beer or wine bottles when they clear the tables. They take all the plates and other litter, and another old-enough-to-qualify person makes a trip for the sinful stuff.

I hadn't noticed this anywhere else, mainly because all the staff of other places is of actual working age. These are the children of the several owners, staying at the restaurant and doing their homework, etc., while Mom and Dad work.

ETA "the" in front of empty. It read as though the kids weren't allowed to upend the bottles for a nip.

Edited by racheld (log)
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I'll probably catch some flak for this, but my vote is for Michigan's (and other states') law that restaurant menus must state something like "Consuming undercooked meats (eggs, seafood, etc.) may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions."  :unsure:  Which medical conditions? Osteoporosis? Bursitis? Hypoglycemia?

People have been eating "undercooked" food since forever; this warning is just another example of the U.S.'s pervasive culture of fear.

It's mostly dangerous for people with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV or those who are undergoing chemotherapy. I think much of it is not only the fear culture but also the lawsuit culture.

Silly laws - I remember when growing up in Iowa that grocery stores could only sell beer, not wine or hard liquor, and no alcohol on Sundays. They had to put a ribbon over the beer with a sign that said "Sorry, no beer on Sunday."

Here you can't serve any alcohol within 100 meters of a mosque. This becomes an issue when trying to get a liquor license for a restaurant. I don't know what happens when a mosque opens within 100 meters of a restaurant that serves alcohol!

To non-alcohol-related laws, kokoretsi/kokoreç (liver, kidneys etc. put on a spit and then wrapped in intestines, and grilled) was outlawed in Greece after it entered the EU. But it still gets made "underground" they say. Several years ago in Seattle, a friend wanted to do a Greek easter feast and wanted to get a whole lamb. But it was illegal for the locker to sell a whole lamb with its head on and all the organ meats. You had to get the lamb headless, but you could then buy a pack of 6 heads. Lamb intestines were not available as the FDA has ruled them "inedible." (Someone should inform the Greeks and Turks that they have been eating inedible food! Oh...forgot, Brussels has informed them, at least the Greeks. I hate to think of the kokoreç mafias that will spring up if Turkey gets into the EU!)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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It looks like the majority of stupid laws fall in to the "blue law" category. Currently we have the mayor of St. Petersburg Florida wanting to veto a proposed change in the law where liquor can be sold in a package store up to 2:00 AM. Right now it is limited to midnight but you can buy liquor in a bar till 3:00 AM. I don't see the logic. Is it better for people to drive to a bar, drink and drive home then drive to a package store, buy a bottle, go home and consume? All these laws are stupid IMO

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It looks like the majority of stupid laws fall in to the "blue law" category.  Currently we have the mayor of St. Petersburg Florida wanting to veto a proposed change in the law where liquor can  be sold in a package store up to 2:00 AM.  Right now it is limited to midnight but you can buy liquor in a bar till 3:00 AM.  I don't see the logic.  Is it better for people to drive to a bar, drink and drive home then drive to a package store, buy a bottle, go home and consume?  All these laws are stupid IMO

Well, I do know that some of the concern over changing the blue laws in New York (by allowing liquor to be sold on Sundays) was that smaller businesses would not be able to afford to stay open seven days a week, and would therefore be steamrolled by larger establishments. Hence the provision that the stores still have to be closed for at least one day out of seven. A lot of stores have picked Monday, or are still closedon Sundays.

Might be the same kind of thinking...though it seems kind of silly when we're talking about an hour.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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