Of Anal Clefts and Alcohol in Alabama

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Summary: Some of our alcohol-centric laws in this state are backwards. One is, well, kind of funny when you picture men in suits and ties debating the wording.

BLOT: (09 Sep 2014 - 08:59:08 PM)

Of Anal Clefts and Alcohol in Alabama

This past Saturday we were in Earth Fare, getting some food, and then Sarah spotted some pumpkin ale and that's a big deal for her so she got her first six-pack of the season. We had a 70% full wicker basket, with stuff on the bottom, so we had the six-pack out on its own. While checking out, the cashier seemed at first confused about putting groceries into the basket, and then she really wanted to make sure the beer fit inside. It probably would have, but would have made some of the other things fit oddly, and so I said that she could leave that out. She immediately snatched it up and shoved it into a paper bag.

"It has to be bagged! It's a state law!"...and then I wondered if it was.

Because that is exactly the sort of thing that someone will claim, vehemently, is a law for a long period of time without being able to cite the actual law itself. In this case, though, it is a law about booze in Alabama and so it might be on the books. Does anyone know which law it would be? I looked through the Alabama Code and found a mention that alcohol has to say in its container, and it include words like "bag", but I think they meant more that if alcohol was sold in a bag (like bagged wine or some such) then that would count. Maybe not. Or maybe its not in the alcohol laws at all but in something about being grocers, I'm not sure.

What I found in the midst of that search, though, made the mild annoyance all worth it:

It shall be unlawful and no person shall expose to public view his or her genitals, pubic area, vulva, anus, anal cleft, or cleavage or any simulation thereof within an establishment dealing in or permitting the consumption of alcoholic beverages or within 500 feet of an establishment dealing in or permitting the consumption of alcoholic beverages. [45-35-20.04 (a)]

Heh, anal cleft. Try and think about some dude in a suit arguing with some other dude in a suit, both having law degrees, and debating this in the state capital, with some strip-club lobbyist dropping campaign funds to have someone try and imply that nothing is wrong with a little dime slot.

It's the gift that keeps on giving, Alabama law is, and thank goodness for it.

Now, note that it also says that it can't be simulated, so no fake anal clefts.

There are other bits of the law that continue to induce the giggles:

[People who sell booze, etc etc...] shall [not] allow or permit any nudity, partial nudity, erotic bikini dancing, erotic conduct while partially nude, simulated nudity, topless dancing, or any other type of similar live entertainment including, but not limited to, erotic bikini dancing, or other entertainment where the entertainers, employees, dancers, or waiters appear nude or semi-nude or in the simulation thereof. [45-35-20.04 (d)]

They said erotic bikini dancing twice. They must really like it.

And then there is the strange redundancy of not allowing cleavage to be shown in bars [look out, Sammy T's!] but then specifying, in (c), that it's not lawful in a bar to "allow or permit any female person to expose to public view any portion of her breasts below the top of the areola or any simulation thereof." So...are they not talking about breasts? Is there some sort of special kind of cleavage that my mama never told me about?

Kind of disturbing is this line:

[I]t shall be unlawful...to intentionally cause... [nudity, etc, anything where they are] not completely covered with anything other than a full and opaque covering. [45-35-20.04 (e)]

The "cause" wording, like forcing someone to expose themselves is crossing a line when you do it in a bar. From that same bit, though, comes perhaps the funniest line of them all...

Attire which is insufficient to comply with these requirements includes but is not limited to, those items known as G-strings, T-backs, dental floss, and thongs. Body paint, body dye, tattoos, latex, pasties tape, or any similar substance applied to the skin surface...is not full and opaque covering as required by this part. [ibid]

Damned dental floss1 is not good enough. Game over, man, GAME OVER!

Again, though, it's best to picture two men in suits, red faced, one backed by strip-club cash, arguing this out in an official setting.

1: Yes, I Urban Dictionary, so I know what it means, but you need to stop letting the truth get in the way of a good joke, fella.

Alabama at Large


Written by Doug Bolden

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