Ya got trouble!

Pop quiz: You’re Professor Harold Hill and you’re making good time with this saucy little librarian named Mrs. Partr- uhhh I mean Marian. She REALLY wants a Zima, but you’re both in a dry town. WHAT DO YOU DO?

“And the next thing you know your son is playin’
For money in a pinchback suit.
And listenin’ to some big out-o’-town jasper
Hearin’ him tell about horserace gamblin'”

Yes, ya got trouble, my friends, but you don’t have to go to River City, Iowa, to find it. Trouble surrounds Lexington’s liquor stores, which draw heathen Georgetonians like moths to the hellfire of Hadestown.

That all could change Tuesday as, for the umpteenth time in Georgetown’s recent history, the city asks its residents whether they want to allow package liquor sales in the city limits. Georgetown already allows liquor sales by the drink at restaurants.

But, as I say, ya got trouble, my friends. And it’s a lot more complex than people realize. It’s trouble with a capital “T” and that rhymes with “C” and that stands for “convenience.”

The “trouble” with Lexington’s liquor stores is not the product they are selling (it’s legal and we’re all adults), but that they are surrounded by these pesky big box stores, gas stations and restaurants. So when I go to Liquor Barn near Hamburg Pavilion, I’m not just spending 20 bucks on a case of light beer. I’m spending money on non-booze items at Liquor Barn as well. I’m putting gas in my car at a nearby convenience store. I’m shelling out $1.27 for a movie from the Redbox machine outside Walgreen’s close to the Liquor Barn.

And I guarantee I’m not the only one who shops like this. Because if all you’re driving to Lexington for is booze, it’s just a wasted trip. And I’m just gullible enough to want the convenience of buying my booze and groceries in approximately the same place.

So, to review thus far, I, and a fair number of my fellow closeted boozehounds in Georgetown, regularly go to Lexington to purchase alcohol, which we cannot buy in Georgetown, and while we’re there, we also buy gas, toilet paper, saltine crackers, condoms and the latest issue of Tiger Beat, all of which are readily available in Georgetown. But we buy them in Lexington. Because, well, we’re there already.

We’re spending money in Lexington that we might otherwise spend in Georgetown. Can ya dig it?

I’d like to reverse that trend.

I’m voting “yes” on Tuesday. If you’re a “no” voter and feel compelled to pray for my soul, thank you, but please don’t bother. I’m an adult. So are the friends I’m asking to go to the polls. We don’t need to be saved from ourselves. We just want to be able to buy a legal product in our own community. By statute, a local Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agency will be set up within the police department, and a portion of the tax revenue goes toward that agency and the police department. This would free up the city’s general fund to do things like purchase a new fire truck to bolster an aging fleet and start a curbside recycling program, which gained a little momentum back in 2009 and early 2010, but failed to gain traction for a variety of reasons, including funding.

If, by some catastrophe, this measure fails (and the Georgetown News-Graphic poll seems to indicate that failure is not bloody likely), I will continue my weekly sojourns to Lexington for booze and other items, including the $1.27 Redbox movies.

As a concession, though, I’ll at least return the movies in Georgetown. That and a buck will get you a buck’s worth of Pepsi. But it won’t buy a new fire truck, put more cops on the street, or help fund a curbside recycling program.

But, hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.

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