Wine Grocery Redux

Did everyone see that they're going to try to get wine in grocery stores again this year? I mean, the Minnesota Grocers Association is going to try to get the Legislature to change state law so wine, and only wine this time, not beer and wine, can be sold in giant grocery stores, and I do mean only giant grocery stores, specifically only ones over 10,000 square feet. As this is the fourth year running on this one, I suspect you are all well versed with the arguments, which pit us innocent wine drinkers against all those liquor store monopolists and sanctimonious churchy goons.

Now, the argument that the churchy goons seem to be hiding in back of most lately is the one that runs: What about teenagers who work in grocery stores, who will now steal wine? (They don't say steal, but that's what they mean, steal or sell to their underage friends.) Now, let us consider teenagers who work in grocery stores. Who are they? Well, clearly, they are nascent criminals, lawbreakers, and deviants. Each of these kids decided, a long time ago, to get in on the ground floor of the newest vice industry. True, they could be working as drug dealers, if they live in the city; meth manufacturers, if they live in the rural areas; or babysitters, if they have unfettered access to medicine cabinets and liquor cabinets. They could work in restaurants, where wine and beer and even (gasp!) Chambord liqueur are often entirely unsupervised. They could work in drug stores, or even just buy bottles of cough syrup from Walgreens. But no, they have sneakily infiltrated into the ground floor of our grocery stores, stealthily stocking shelves and carrying out our heavy bags for low wages, a veritable fifth column of would-be binge drinkers in our midst!

So, when I consider our fellow, under-21 Minnesotans--would-be criminals all--I am forced to conclude: Forget the grocery stores, I would like to petition the legislature to ban the possession of alcohol in all homes where people under the age of 21 live or enter. Or better yet, let's just gather every person from about the age of 13 to 21 and herd them into camps, camps patrolled by MADD ladies armed with submachine guns, and guard them against every opportunity for responsibility, choice, or, god forbid, mistake and failure. Because citizens raised in an infantilized ghetto are the only citizens we are.

Whoops. I mean, need. The only citizens we need. See what exposure to wine will do?

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