This afternoon, Lifting Fog breaks up our usual rotation of soap opera recaps and iPhone fan fiction to soberly quietly reflect on an important day in American history. Today, the 5th of December 2008, marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition in the United States. Mormon? National prohibition, as mandated by the 18th Amendment, rendered the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol (even wine spritzers) totally illegal for 13 years. Part of that during the Great Depression. Arguably the least Spring Break-hospitable time in our nation’s history, Prohibition also gave rise to Chicago gangsters like Al Capone and most of singer-songwriter Usher’s wardrobe. Truly awful years.
75 years later man, woman and bear can all enjoy the alcoholic beverage of their choice. I sit today in the airport with a beer or the library with a beer and can’t imagine the frustration of living under the dry fist of Prohibition. Sure, there were Speakeasies. Blind pigs. Gin mills. Fliggleflams. I don’t doubt that some of my ancestors, tough and cartoonishly ethnic as I imagine them to be, frequented these kinds of places and gave the middle finger (or another hand gesture popular at the time) to Johnny Law every time they enjoyed a drink. Prohibition didn’t stop Cornelius O. “Whistles” Fog from imbibing at the bar. But what about EVERYWHERE ELSE?
It’s common knowledge amongst those over the age of 14 that drinking makes everything better. From blind dates to sporting events to funerals, there’s hardly any activity that can’t be improved with some liquid help.
- Your sister-in-law’s baby shower? UNBEARABLE. Uncle Jack joining you? BEARABLE.
- Your son’s middle school production of Our Town? Nothing a little Maker’s Mark can’t fix.
- Monday? Try Harpoon’s Winter Warmer for a fun, spicy kick!
Like any country, the United States has endured its share of difficult times. The Civil War. Watergate. New Doug. With pain in our hearts we’ve waited these out, cautiously hopeful that the worst has passed and the end can’t be long now. We’re Americans; we persevere. But we pause, too, to reflect on those dark eras that so stymied our nation. A moment of silence, please, for the lost years.
NOW WHO WANTS JELLO SHOTS?!?