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April 22, 2014

Rose Simpson: The Beer Store protects kids (Yeah, right)

Rose Simpson's column appears every Tuesday morning on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs at Rose's Cantina. You can read her previous columns here.

If you live in Ontario, by now, you will have seen a commercial warning parents to lock up their kids because the government is loosening the monopoly held by The Beer Store on the sale of ales and lagers.

Should this go forward, the commercial warns, kids will surely turn into angry mobs, all liquored up.

In a dramatization, the commercial shows a shifty-eyed fat f**ktard behind the counter chortling as youngsters, obviously too young to purchase hooch, slam down a two-fer and a big bottle of liquor, in anticipation of a night of mayhem, hurling and date rape.

The clerk sells to the kids anyway. No I.D. is checked.

It's a scene straight out of Superbad.

I live next to a convenience store and near a park. I should be afraid for my life and my windows as these hooligans, according to the commercial, will roam the neighborhood, like slobbering zombies, drunk out of their blasted mines.

We don't see that now, right?

Nope, mostly all we see, to be fair to The Beer Store, are slobbering middle aged assholes sliding into The Beer Store parking lot in their Neighborhood Shaking SUVs, already three sheets to the wind, piling cases of beer into their trunks for a night of hockey and pizza. I once saw a guy weaving into The Beer Store where he was refused service only to weave into the LCBO next door.

Eventually, the cops were called and luckily the guy didn't hit anybody.

There's nothing more fun for Ontarians than to get in their cars and lurch to The Beer Store mid-drunken stupor.

I've seen it. You've seen it.

Sure, maybe The Beer Store doesn't serve them, but perhaps they could not have been served at a convenience store they could walked to.

Back to the issue at hand, namely, the serving of liver damaging. head exploding products to minors.

Does The Beer Store really think that we believe they are protecting the interests of Ontarians and their children? We all know that the mostly foreign owned Beer Store is merely protecting its monopoly and the cool profit it reaps by keeping down the competition. Read this if you think The Beer Store gives a rat's ass about you or me.

Unlike the LCBO, The Beer Store is owned by a conglomerate of companies who, for generations, kept us from enjoying beverages that were not produced in Ontario plants. It's only been 20 years since the Olands, one of the great Canadian beer-making familes, were allowed to ply Moosehead in Ontario.

I have an insider view of the cut-throat beer business having had the great fortune to be married to a beer executive for a time. The company heads can barely be in the same room together, and heads at the vice-president's level roll if one of them loses even a fraction of a percent of sales to a competitor.

So you can imagine how much Imodium is being passed around at the thought that retailers will finally be able to choose what brands to sell in convenience stores. It's hard enough for beer companies to keep up with the graft associated with bars, let alone have to spread themselves around to every little corner store with a wall full of suds.

Suddenly, the profits will have to be spread around. Holy Mother of Jesus, pass the tequila Sheila, lay down and love me again!

In the meantime, these stewards of our children are making bloody fools of themselves with this campaign.

The commercials are being derided online by a host of youngins who remind us that The Beer Store has a proud history of serving anyone who has fake I.D.

I really hope the government of Ontario continues with its plan to put beer and wine in stores that are walkable rather than driveable distances. People are gonna get liquored up no matter what. I'd rather see them winding their way along the sidewalks than weaving in traffic.

Besides, convenience stores have been selling tobacco forever, so why not booze?

Any owner would be an idiot not to take seriously the sale of booze to those who are intoxicated or under-age. It's not a morality play. If they get caught, they'll lose their licence (something that would never, ever happen to The Beer Store).

Convenience store owners aren't rubes. They understand they'll make more money selling booze responsibly than not selling it at all.

Why not give Ontarians more convenience and end the monopoly once and for all?

Send those beer-peddling European conglomerates back where they came from and keep the money in Canada where it belongs.

God knows we could all do with some substance abuse even closer to home.

-- Rose Simpson

See also: Ottawa Beer and Wine Guide
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