This week marks the anniversary of the ratification of the 18th amendment prohibiting the sale or consumption of alcohol in 1920. For most of us, this might not be a trip we want to make, but for historical reasons, we should. Take this list with you so that problems are kept to a minimum.
Top Ten Things Not to Do on the Day Prohibition Goes into Effect in 1920.
10 On that day, do not ask your server for a before-dinner martini. If you do, at best, they may remind you that alcohol is no longer allowed. At worst, you’ll get some variation of bathtub gin. (Along with the homemade gin, Jago, you’ll also get a visit from some guys that look like Elliot Ness. Yes, those are handcuffs. Enjoy your martini.)
9 On that day, do not ask Tiny the WWF champ if he can find you a pint of whiskey to ward off the cold. If you do, at best, Tiny will bring you some cough syrup. At worst, Tiny just finished the lawman’s course on the ramifications of the 18th amendment. (You are in luck, Jahmar. Tiny has decided not to arrest you but rather to give you his famous helicopter overhead spin and body slam. It is guaranteed to make you incapable of drinking anything, let alone illegal booze.)
8 On that day, do not knock on the green door. If you do, at best it will be a flower shop. At worst, it is a speakeasy run by Bugsy Malone. (So you don’t know the password, Jai. Just tell em Joe sent you. Hmmm, wrong Joe? Yes, that is a gun. I think it is time to leave now.)
7 On that day, do not ask a prohibitionist for a sip of Old Dr. Kaufmann’s Great Sulphur Bitters. If you do, at best, they will refuse. At worst, they’ll gladly give you a jolt. (Don’t be surprised if you feel funny, Jairo. That Elixer was made especially for prohibitionists and contains 22 percent alcohol. How do you suppose they continue to appear happy?)
6 On that day, do not discuss the Mayflower Pilgrim’s drinking habits with a prohibitionist. If you do, at best they will not know anything about the subject. At worst, the prohibitionist will think you are mocking the movement. (The Pilgrims brought more beer than water on their voyage to Plymouth rock in 1620, Jajaun. So you can see that since they were drinkers the prohibitionist might take offense.)
5 On the day, do not bring up the fact with prohibitionists that the participants in the Boston Tea party had fueled up with rum before the event. If you do, at best you’ll get polite smiles. At worst, you will have to sit through another lecture on the evils of demon rum. ( You see, Jakub. The prohibitionist will point to the rowdy nature of the Boston Tea party as the perfect example of the rightness of banning alcohol. Also, they are asking you to leave.)
4 On the day, do not bring up Benjamin Franklin’s ditty about drinking. If you do, at best they will think you are kidding. At worst, you might be engaged in a fistfight. (so here is the ditty, Jalil. That virtue and safety’s in wine-bibbing found. While all that drink water deserve to be drowned. No wonder they got so mad. So next time, understand what you are bringing up. Here take this steak and put it on your eye.)
3 On the day, do not talk with a guy named Capone about driving a boat. If you do, at best he’ll want to waterski. At worst, he’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. (How does it feel, Jameson. You. are now running hooch between Winsor Canada and Detroit. Sure, you want to quit. Turning in your two-week notice might get you a new pair of cement overshoes.)
2 On the day, do not start a joke by “a guy walks into a bar.” If you do, at best, the person will walk away. At worst, you’ll be telling the joke to Carrie Nation. (To say Carrie has no sense of humor about drinking jokes is to say a lion has no interest in meat. You’ll find the head of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union has about the same reaction to people telling drinking jokes as a lion to a gazelle. I know you think she missed you with that hatchet, Jamin. Just try to shake your head.)
1 On the day, do not grab your guitar and start singing “Whiskey River Don’t Run Dry.” If you do, at best, the room will empty. At worst, you and your guitar will hit the street. (Sad thing, Jamon your guitar hit the road first and you on top. I think that last note it made as you landed on it was an A-flat.)