Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Drinking and Dreaming: A Teetotaling Cop Warns State Lawmakers of the Dangers of Wine
by Matt Pulle
on Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 12:59 PM
“Alcohol is at the root of many ills in our society.”
So are stupid cops.
“The dangers of alcohol are even greater when a minor is involved.”
Because minors get drunk, lose their jobs and beat their wives?
“I want to remind the committee that the issue of underage drinking is a real one and one that will be a lot more severe if we allowed direct shipping of alcohol.”
A lot more severe? Really? Like there is some sort of hidden faction of sober teenagers just waiting for the day they can order chardonnay at costco.com?
“The life of one Tennessean is more important than the convenience of a couple hundred.”
Well, actually it's probably more than a couple hundred. How about hundreds of thousands? Besides, wouldn't it seem that if someone were ordering a merlot over the Internet, they'd be more likely to get buzzed at home and fall asleep on the couch after sending one too many drunken text messages to their ex-girlfriend? Oh, a little too much information? Awkward.
In a sad commentary of the times, state Sen. Doug Jackson was the voice of reason today—just breathe here for a sec and take that in—observing that the Tennesseans Against Teen Drinking Coalition
which is backed by the friggin' alcohol lobby
, could care less about teen drinking. They just want to stymie competition that could cut into their profit margins. Wallace, who acknowledges that the wine & spirits crowd enlisted her help, couldn't have been more of a dupe—and a hypocritical one at that—spouting her teetotaling rhetoric on behalf of people who peddle booze.
Finally, I should add that when Kim Wallace prepared to regale the committee with her vision of a Napa Valley apocalypse, our own state Sen. Thelma Harper said, apropos of nothing really, that she was glad that at long last a woman was set to speak to lawmakers about the issue. And that's all she had to say about that. Senator, we are in awe of your leadership.
Now we really need a drink.
We're obsessed over here. I just caught the end of the state Senate's committee hearings on legislation that would make it easier to purchase wine and learned that our teenage drinkers are incredibly sophisticated. At least that's according to Kim Wallace, the president of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, who painted the prospect of cabernet sales over the Internet as a dark and ominous threat to the health and safety of our youth. After the jump, a sample of some of her comments to state lawmakers, with my snarky retorts in italics: