There's a show that recently debuted on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, called Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job. It defies easy explanation--the best I can come up with is: think "Mr. Show", but with less narrative coherence and possibly written by precocious but likely stoned 8-year-olds. And if that doesn't make any sense to you, you'll probably never want to watch it, anyway.
To tell the truth, I'm not even sure that I like it, but I find it interesting enough that when I noticed the guys who do the show are out on tour, and that tour is stopping in Chapel Hill tonight, and that tickets to said show in Chapel Hill are a mere $10 advance and $12 at the door, I figured why not check it out? It's bound to be more edifying than the equivalent amount of time in front of the TV. (These days, what isn't?)
Enter North Carolina's Notoriously Stupid Liquor Laws. The show is at Local 506, a club I didn't even bother looking up until today, because I'd passed it two weeks ago while M and I were out for Valentine's Day. I knew where it was on Franklin St. (everything in Chapel Hill is on Franklin St.) so all I needed to know was what time the show started and if tickets were still available.
If you've already followed the link above, you already know where this is heading. On the club's front page, I find:
IMPORTANT - Please Read
Advance Purchase of Membership is Required to Attend Shows at Local 506. Join online - click here
OK, no problem, these membership fees are usually nominal (in this case, $3) just enough to keep the great unwashed from wandering in off the street. I click on the link and find:
IMPORTANT: Advance Purchase of Membership is Required to Attend Shows at Local 506. Local 506 operates as a private club in order to serve liquor in addition to beer. In accordance with NC Law, membership is required to attend shows and must be purchased 3 days in advance. [emphasis added]
This is not a thorough and complete investigation of the relevant statute, but my understanding after poking around a bit is that for an establishment to serve liquor, it either has to serve food or be a private club, and part of being a private club means that you can't be issued a membership until at least 3 days after submission of your application for membership.
I suppose the "logic" at work here is that you can't go on an impulse bender in public unless there's at least the possibility of the place being able to offer you some soakage. Not that anything but the good judgment of a bartender prevents me from going into any number of places and getting tanked while ignoring their menu.
What's really funny to me is that you don't even have to be 21 to be a member at Local 506!!! You just have to pay an additional $3 to get in.
Just to recap, here is a non-exhaustive list of things I can do without a 3-day waiting period in NC:
--Buy any firearm that isn't a handgun
--Get a tattoo
--Have elective surgery
And the list of things I do have to wait 3 days for:
--Get into an 18-and-up comedy show at a place that serves liquor but not food.
Given the flux of population that occurs in this area, I cannot possibly be the first person to whom this has happened. It sucks for places like Local 506, and to their credit, they point this silliness out to you on their front page. But I really wish they would just sell some frozen pizzas or something.
All I can say is, I'm definitely driving to DC to buy my liquor now.
*Yes, I know that many--if not most--states have notoriously stupid liquor laws. But some states are definitely worse than others. In AZ, for example, any and all alcoholic beverages can be purchased at grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies, during most hours of the day. And to the extent that the hours are limited, they really aren't that obnoxious (so un-obnoxious in fact, that I can't even recall what the limits are, because I never ran afoul of them.) Also, there are bars that open at 6am, which is great not only if you are an alcoholic, but also if you are an overnight shift worker.
And I haven't even gotten into the socialist atrocity that is the NC ABC.