Hey, I was just kidding! I didn't mean to create a climate!

In a post about the FDA's ban on caffeinated alcoholic beverages, I resorted to sarcastic ridicule by calling for a crackdown on old standby drinks like Irish Coffee and Rum and Coke.

....our culture has been asleep at the wheel as this dire threat has metastasized.

Does anyone remember Rum and Coke? Cuba Libre? Why there was even an Andrews Sisters song (obviously targeting naive young soldiers in World War II who didn't realize the danger they faced) deliberately encouraging and tempting them to try this risky form of speedball.

Videos exist showing them actually singing it in the 1940s, and while fortunately the children of today are protected by our copyright laws, apparently someone has discovered a loophole which makes it legal to shoot video of a Victrola playing the insidious song that helped pave the way for this cultural plague:

And if you think that's bad, the diabolical Irish invented an even more deadly combination -- deceptively named Irish coffee.

I was shocked to learn that the recipes are all over the Internet, there is a Wiki page devoted to the deadly concoction, and there are even videos like the following -- in which a young girl (barely above college age) demonstrates how to manufacture what really ought to be called dangerous combination drug.

We need legislation now! Write your congressman demanding something be done about the deadly plague, lest we go the way of Ireland -- and fall like Rome!

I also included YouTube videos featuring "Rum and Coca Cola" from 1946 and a lesson on making Irish coffee, and I thought I was being funny, in a reductio ad absurdum sort of way.

But now I'm thinking that maybe I should stop kidding around in these posts, lest my sarcasm be taken seriously by impressionable minds, with serious consequences as the result.

No. Seriously. Little could I have imagined when I wrote the post that what was obvious humor for me would be seen as deadly serious business for some politicians. 

"Iowa Legislator Seeks to Criminalize Cocktails"

The Food and Drug Administration can ban caffeinated alcoholic beverages such as Four Loko, but it cannot stop bartenders from mixing Red Bull with vodka, coffee with Irish whiskey, or cola with rum. Fortunately, Iowa state Sen. Brian Schoenjahn (D-Arlington) has proposed a bill that would close this dangerous gap by making it a misdemeanor for any business with a liquor license to "manufacture for sale, sell, offer or keep for sale, import, distribute, transport, or possess any caffeinated alcoholic beverage." The bill defines "caffeinated alcoholic beverage" as "any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume, including alcoholic liquor, wine, and beer, to which caffeine is added." Hence it apparently applies not only to drinks with a noticeable caffeine kick but also to coffee-flavored liqueurs with detectable amounts of the stimulant, such as Kahlua or Tia Maria, and any cocktails made with them, such as a Black Russian or a Mudslide. In addition to jail time and fines, violators would face revocation (not just suspension) of their liquor licenses, and therefore loss of their livelihoods--a pretty harsh penalty for following the instructions in a Mr. Boston book.

The bill even bans mere possession of the beverages, which would carry a fine and/or jail term.

Presumably, though, bartenders and people living in their homes would still be allowed to serve coffee under the bill, as long as they didn't mix it with alcohol. But what if the deadly mix were made to occur in the stomach of someone who has already been drinking? What would prevent a bar patron from ordering coffee after already consuming booze, thereby circumventing the law with still-legal precursors? 

Surely, such a legislative oversight would create a loophole that must be closed! 

See? There I went again, trying to be funny.

I should remember that there are a lot of impressionable people in the government, and they might not get my humor.

I'd hate to be creating a serious climate.

posted by Eric on 01.15.11 at 10:32 AM


Bars will have to stop serving coffee. Lest patrons "roll their own".

M. Simon   ·  January 15, 2011 11:11 AM

Just last night after dinner at (name redacted) I ordered a cup of coffee and a shot of dark rum. After sipping each (already I am committing the equivalent of owning a high capacity magazine) I dumped the rum into the coffee.

And drank it.

I have in the past done the same with coffee or cappuccino and bourbon, brandy, and B&B.

Bring it, wienies! Cold dead fingers, assholes!

Steve Skubinna   ·  January 15, 2011 12:47 PM

Felony caffeine?
I'm still rooting for 100% turnover in every elected office in the land, but I don't have high hopes for some areas. I'll just stay away from them.
Unfortunately, I have to go to NY drive through Mass once in a while. I get very antsy when I get into MD and it gets worse the farther north I go until I reach NH.
I worry a bullet fell out of my range bag or something and I'll be a felon because it might go on a killing spree in Mass.

Anonymous   ·  January 15, 2011 11:09 PM

I used to think living in an Orwellian world would be the worst possible outcome. I was wrong.

Living in an Onionian world is worse.

When no contemplated government action is too bizarrely outlandish for out-of-hand sarcastic mockery, what kind of hell have we built for ourselves? And how do we get out of it without creating a "climate of incivility?"

filbert   ·  January 15, 2011 11:59 PM

Umm. We don't. Or we create a nice little climate of...
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
Robert Heinlein

Kathy Kinsley   ·  January 16, 2011 7:38 PM

Umm, of course, I apologize for quoting violent rhetoric which might somehow inspire some schizophrenic who has never seen it to go on a rampage....

Kathy Kinsley   ·  January 16, 2011 7:40 PM

Police will follow you out of bars, not to see if you drive, but to make sure you don't stop at the Dunkin Donuts drive through.
"pull over buddy! we see you with that caffiene"
"but i'm just trying to sober up!"
"you're gonna have to drive home drunk like the rest of us. now give me that donut"

plutosdad   ·  February 16, 2011 4:03 PM

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