Condition White. I’d started a batch of pumpkin ale just after All Hallows Eve with the intent of shipping it to family and friends across the Fruited Plain that is this Land of The Free and Home of The Brave. It took six weeks of doting over this ale– a recipe with a lot more than the usual four ingredients (water, barley, hops and yeast) that I’ve used before and it didn’t behave the same, so it took more fooling around. It was well worth it because I ended up with what I regard to be a fine and unique product, perfect for a little Christmas indulgence and cheer with family and friends.
I didn’t know you were supposed to lie, so when the guy at UPS asked me if there was alcohol in the packages I went ahead told him the truth.
It turns out you can’t ship alcoholic beverages unless you’re an “authorized shipper”. Apparently someone is afraid that someone else, somewhere, might enjoy themselves. For years I thought (correctly) that people were shipping booze right and left all over the place, but now I know they have to lie to do it. It’s a free country, sure, so all you have to do is lie here, or break the law there, and you can do anything a reasonable person would want to do. So Prohibition is still very much with us, which I knew. I knew for example that you couldn’t make a legal business out selling alcohol without The Mob getting its piece of the action. I just didn’t know it was still quite so much in effect until tonight. I probably broke the law just by trying to ship this wonderful home brew to loved ones to enrich their Christmas experience, so come and get me. “Attempting to ship alcohol in violation of federal law such and such, sub section such and such, sub, sub section such and such, apendices B through W49z”. Add to that “Attempting to ship alcohoil while armed”. I’ll have the evidence all consumed before you get here, and besides; you’ll never take me alive, coppers!
So to those of you I’d promised pumpkin ale; You’re more than welcome, but you’d better get over here quick if you want some.
Prohibition is actually in full force (more than full if you compare now to the 1920s) when it comes to certain other drugs, and naturally there is a lot of money and power to be had as a result if you happen to be in organized crime (either free-lance or official).
On a similar note; I spent several hours talking with my teenaged daughter yesterday and the subject of Mary Jane (pot – that’s what the cool kids called it in the ’60s) came up. I had to kick myself because I got side-tracked talking about the relative dangers of this or that chemical indulgence, but it turned out even better that way– “But none of this is on point” I tolder her. “The point is that in a free society the government has no authority to tell an emancipated adult what to put in his body and what not to put in his body. I’ve I allowed myself to be side-tracked here by the ‘relative dangers’ arguments. Those are entirely bedside the point.” She understood perfectly and she appreciated the rare and wonderful experience of finally being exposed to clarity on what was previously a matter of cloudiness confusion.