Six-day sinner

Jan 142002

A month is a long time.

In fact, I have never been as unproductive as I was during winter break, at least not since I’ve had to pay rent. But for as much as I lacked in financial or academic growth during the break, I was able to finally have time to contemplate some major issues: What is my purpose here at college? Where am I going with my life? Why are liquor stores closed on Sundays?

And by pondering the latter, I was able to gain introspect about society and develop a stance on an often overlooked misappropriation.

It all started in Mesa, Ariz. I had gone to the Phoenix suburb with two of my friends from Boulder and met a third from Los Angeles to watch the Fiesta Bowl. (Disclaimer: I did not go as a Buff fan; in fact, I got laughed at and almost beat up several times for chanting “Go Beavers” – as in Oregon State University – and “Van Pelt for Heisman 2003.”)

Anyway, it was New Years Eve’s Eve, and we had just pulled into Mesa around midnight after the 13-hour drive through the moonlit high desert. Red eyed, sleep deprived and straight funktified, we decided to patronize the local liquor store with the hope that Arizona – the ultra-conservative state that until the 1990s didn’t recognized Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – didn’t share the same “no liquor on the day of the Sabbath” law as Colorado.

Exceeding our humble expectations, we quickly noticed that many of the Circle K convenience stores that occupy every corner of Mesa did not only vend sunflower seeds and Funyons, but also liquor, wine and beer – even on Sunday.

As my group of old friends began to cheers the night, early morning and dawn away in the comfortably cool Arizona air, I couldn’t help but think about the religious implications of selling spirits on God’s day.

I wondered if this was the reason for Arizona’s barren landscape and yearly threat of water shortages. I wondered if this was the reason that the average temperature in the Valley of the Sun in July exceeds 100 degrees. Could the rattlesnakes that roam rampant in this place be damnation from above? And, if not, the Arizona Cardinals certainly must be.

On the other hand, I thought about Colorado: No liquor on Sundays, and no obvious similarities to hell. Clear, cool and crisp mountain stream water trickles from the taps. The climate on the Front Range is as favorable as any in the United States – that include the change of seasons. Instead of serpents, Colorado is home to the Big Horn Sheep (although its horns could be interpreted as devilish). And finally, Colorado politicians do not include John McCain.

But while God has obviously displayed her biases about selling retail liquor on Sundays, I disagree. This law is prejudice and unfair.

In 2002, fewer and fewer people are working Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.

And while people who have Monday as their only day off can go to the bar to drink, a guy who spent his only day off making pasta and bread for his date can’t even buy a bottle of Chianti to cover the taste of his bland sauce.

Sure many may argue that if people can’t go without alcohol for one day of the week they have a problem. But this is not an issue of substance abuse (cigarettes are sold on Sunday) – it’s an issue of freedom of choice and principles. Principles of strong moral fiber, principles that America radiates /_” principles that say religion is separate from state.

Zeb is a senior journalism major who drinks on the third Sunday of every odd month just to rebel. If you would like to join him or make comments, e-mail him.

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