Tuesday, March 24

Is It True That...

So began a short conversation with a couple of women in town for a conference of some sort or other.

I was down at the nattily-appointed smoking area of the hotel where I'm staying. I thought to myself as soon as the question was asked that I would hear for the umpteenth time what the rest of the world thinks of Utah.

I'd heard enough of that in 2002 during the Olympics. It was, after all, in all the newscasts and publications from around the planet. "The World Is Welcome Here" was the slogan, with the tongue-in-cheek addendum "...as long as you don't want to smoke, or drink coffee or liquor."

The question was directed, of course, at Utah's drinking laws. Sure, the just-completed legislative session addressed several liquor and drinking related laws, and honestly, I don't recall any of them as being passed or defeated, since I don't frequent establishments that serve beverages of that sort. If only to impart wisdom on those who don't live here. I prefer to imbibe at home once I know I'm not going out for the duration of the evening.

Yes, it's true you have to get a membership at a bar - in Utah parlance, a "Private Club" - to drink at said establishment. I was all over myself with glee when I first moved to Utah 22 years ago when I told my relatives in California that I had indeed joined a Private Club - they were so proud of me.

I just laughed.

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