When in the course of human events …

June 19, 2001 No Comments

Peter Rowe. The San Diego Union – Tribune. San Diego, Calif.: Jun 19, 2001. pg. E.1

YE OLDE EDITOR’S NOTE: San Diego patriots are battling Tyrants who wouldst ban GROG from our beaches. Committees of Correspondence are petitioning to recall Byron Wear, a Burgess who plot’d to crush our RIGHT to swill in the surf.

Now that this Oppressive measure is destin’d for the voting booth, our REVOLUTION needs its Paine or its Jefferson. Fortunately, we have Patrick Henry Hangover.

At a recent rally, Hangover staggered to his feet, popped two Tylenol and delivered this BOLD oration:

Our chains are being forged! Cans’t you hear them clanking across the SANDS of Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach? Then again, mayhaps not. I shouldst imagine, now that I ponder anew, ’tis precious difficult to hear METAL clanking on SAND. Methinks wouldst make more of a thud. Or a soft, hissing sound. Or …

No matter! The conflict is inevitable. Let it come!

And when it does, let us not be distract’d by ceremony or coherence. The issue before us is one of awful moment for this CITY. For my own part I consider it as no less a vital question than freedom or slavery; bottles or cans; paper or plastic.

Burgess Wear and his cunning allies in despotism entreat us to heed the sweet voice of REASON. My friends, REASON — that sultry temptress! — must be ignored. For REASON tells us that, on our beaches, LIBERTY is scarce as snow drifts.

Are we at LIBERTY to to drive our CARS on the beach? (Loud shouts of “No! No!”)

Are we at LIBERTY to build not merely sandcastles, but sand condos, sand apartments, sand office buildings & ye grit-encrusted LIKE, without meddling from ye COASTAL COMMISSION? (“No!”)

Are we at LIBERTY to scatter our garbage on the sand, to flush our foul waste into the sea? (“No!” “Yes!” “Trick question!”)

Again, I say, REASON — that pox’d hussy! — must be spurned. For REASON wouldst tell us that 40 percent of all drinking violations in the city occur in our beach communities.

REASON wouldst tell us that, in the last two years, Mission Beach witness’d 10,374 grog-related violations, more than any other San Diego community.

REASON wouldst tell us that Ocean Beach did not lag far behind, with 7,019.

REASON wouldst tell us that, even shouldst the “beach booze ban” survive, the momentarily alcohol-deprived can find one or two beachfront taverns. Per block.

REASON wouldst tell us that, among the imperiled citizens plucked from the surf by lifeguards, a goodly percentage had been imbibing with obvious gusto.

REASON might heed the counsel of Peter Bryant of Burgess Wear’s entourage. “San Diego,” Bryant sayest, “is the only city in Southern California that allows alcohol on the beach, with the exception of Del Mar.”

REASON, that chatterbox, wouldst tell us this. So REASON must be ignored.

Sir and madam, our conflict with REASON is inevitable. Let it come! And when it does, let us swaddle ourselves in the robes of patriotism. To quote from the Letters to the Editor, the beach booze ban is “an outrageous infringement on our personal liberties. … ”

Why stand we here idle? Is a lower crime rate so dear; a reduction of intoxicat’d buffoons so sweet; a diminishment of drunken drivers so desirable; a less trash-plagu’d beach so worthy; as to purchased by a tiny drop in six-pack sales? Forbid it, Almighty 7- Eleven!

I know not what course other beachgoers may take; but as for me, give me lager or give me ale!

Unless you’ve got frozen Margaritas.

Peter Rowe welcomes calls at (619) 293-1227 or e-mail at peter.rowe@uniontrib.com.

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