Saturday, December 4, 2010

South Side Voters Asked to Ban Sale of Malt Liquor and Fortified Wines (With Weird Exceptions)

Chicago has always had more than its share of crazy electoral goings-on, but for voters on the South side's 3rd Ward, this looks to be an especially zany year.

In the February 22nd election voters in the 35th precinct of the 3rd Ward (Grand Central area)will be confronted with a ballot referendum that is likely the weirdest that I have ever seen anywhere.

Seems that some do-gooders in that area have gotten a burr in their britches over the activites at one "200 Cut Rate Liquors," located at 204 E. 47th St.

So these paragons of civic decency have drafted and gotten on the ballot a referendum question asking the city to ban the sale of all malt liquor and fortified wines there, except for Night Train, Wild Irish Rose, and Thunderbird.

I am not making this up.

Here is the precise ballot referendum question straight from the Chicago Board of Elections:

200 Cut Rate - Alcoholic Liquor - Ward 03 Pct. 35

Shall 200 Cut Rate Liquors, located at 204 E. 47th St., stop selling all malt liquor, high gravity alcohol and fortified wines (ex. Night Train, Wild Irish Rose, Thunderbird?)

I can only guess at the reasoning behind making exceptions for the sale of these 3 el-cheapo high-octane wines.

Perhaps the drafters of the referendum fancied themselves sophisticated oeniphiles and reasoned that fine rare vintages such as Night Train, Thunderbird and Wild Irish Rose were much too exquisite to be lumped in with the tawdry Mad Dog 20/20 and its ilk.

Or perhaps they did a cold-blooded analysis of the 3rd Ward electorate and decided that their proposition didn't have a chance of winning if it alienated the powerful voting bloc of regular Night Train, Thunderbird and Wild Irish Rose drinkers.

In any event, it will be on the ballot there in February.

So on the evening of February 22nd, I'll be sitting in front of my TV, nursing the contents of my paper-bag-ensconced bottle of Mad Dog 20/20, anxiously awaiting the voters' judgement on this critical issue.


  1. Ah…. Night Train, Wild Irish Rose… Bringing back fond memories of my youth, when I could afford the good things in life. When Irish eyes are smiling woo, wooo…….

  2. So, are the owners, manufacturers, whatever, of Night Train, Wild Irish Rose, and Thunderbird the ones behind this referendum? That's just weird.

  3. I think "ex." means "example", not "except" - Joe Reimers, Orange Texas

  4. I considered that possibility, but customarily among the literate, e.g. is the designation for example. If nothing else, the Chicago Board of Elections is -- not for the first time -- allowing confusion to reign. During the last election they misspelled Rich Whitney's name so that in the black Wards it appeared as "Rich Whitey" -- and where do they get off putting Trademarked names on a public ballot?

  5. I can only imagine that it's "ex" as in "example" rather than "except"...


Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.