Archived Story

When you have water, who needs booze

Published 9:56pm Tuesday, December 4, 2012

To the editor:

Well my friend, it’s been a quiet autumn here in the Tiny Kingdom.

“Morris the Horse” was beginning to show some age, so many of the kingdom’s minions kicked in some coin and had the icon rebuilt. The final invoice totaled $12,000! No doubt the original Tryon Toy Makers are turning over in their graves. Well, you know, a thousand here and a thousand there and soon you’re talking about real money.

The kingdom’s citizen legislators (the council of wise men) are wringing their collective hands since the most recent audit showed about $3,000 worth of inventory went missing from the little shop that sells liquor. The store really has not been profitable since voters in a neighboring little kingdom heard about the repeal of prohibition and opened a competing liquor store.

This is one of those situations where the Tiny Kingdom has  responsibility and no authority. All the authority comes down from a hooch czar in the state kingdom at Raleigh.

In N.C. the local store must buy its product from the state and pay the price the state demands, and then retail the product for a price the state tells them to charge. People who work in the “state stores” are employees of the state (with benefits of course), and it’s believed some actually make more than teachers! Now I ask you, does this sound like a business plan developed by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin?

Oh, of course there’s also a volunteer “local ABC board of directors” made up of three or five or some number of good citizens who meet once-in-while, adjourn, then go home and have a cocktail. The distribution, wholesaling and retailing of liquor is carefully controlled and taxed by each state, but in most other states the “free enterprise system” is aloud to work beyond the taxing and distribution phases. By the way, the citizens of the neighboring tiny kingdom who voted to go into the liquor store business also learned how they can charge more for drinking water to those citizens living outside the walls of their kingdom. Only in this case these citizens are on fixed incomes living in government subsidized housing. (How do you like that for bringing the kingdom’s hammer down on the heads of those who already have a big headache?)

The Occupy Tryon group from the coffee house sidewalk, sometimes called the 1 percent or the 47 percent depending on who you are talking with, has discussed this problem and they say, who needs Mr. Booze when the Tiny Kingdom has liquid gold running through its water pipes.

My friend, next time I’ll explain why the kingdom really doesn’t need an emergency water ration plan (it’s pricing policy already has everyone rationing water). I’ll also try to find out if the kingdom is really planning to ask the SEC to register it’s water on the Chicago Commodities Market, you know like winter corn and spring wheat.

If we can get Wall Street speculating on the price of our water next spring we might be able to afford to mix a little bourbon into the water lines.

- John Calure, Landrum

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