A little nip

Politics and Other Mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  July 23, 2014

Allow me a selfish moment.

I’ve grown weary of advocating for causes that may be good for society as a whole, but don’t benefit me at all. When some issue I’ve supported in this column finally achieves its moment of victory, I’m often left with an empty feeling because I have no interest in taking advantage of whatever change I’ve helped effect.

For instance, marijuana. It was never my drug of choice back in the days when I was choosing among outlawed pharmaceuticals. Now that it’s on the verge of becoming legal—a move I strongly support—I still won’t be inhaling.

Likewise, same-sex marriage. I think everybody should be able to marry whomever they like. For me, that would be Meredith Vieira or Emmylou Harris. Or, possibly, Meredith Vieira and Emmylou Harris. Unfortunately, the new law has done nothing to facilitate my efforts.
I’m strongly in favor of the right of law-abiding citizens to buy and own guns. But I don’t possess any of my own. The same lifelong lack of eye-hand coordination that prevented me from hitting breaking balls renders me incapable of using a firearm to hit anything smaller than Godzilla.

When it comes to abortion, I’m firmly pro-choice. But for obvious reasons, I’ll never have to brave the gauntlet of rabid pro-lifers outside Planned Parenthood’s Portland office to get one. Nor will Meredith or Emmylou. Or my actual wife.
I’m resolute in my support of small farmers in their efforts to sell unpasteurized milk and other dairy products on their farms without unnecessary government regulation. But if they ever win this fight, it won’t affect me. It’s not that I’m lactose intolerant. It’s that I’m lactose indifferent. My annual consumption of moo juice wouldn’t keep one cow’s teat busy.

I’m happy that the courts are finally easing restrictions on political donations, because I think those rules stifle free speech. On the other hand, before I’d give any cash to a candidate, I’d sooner shred it to make litter boxes for wharf rats.

And I’ve already disparaged all three gubernatorial candidates, which means the best I can hope for after the November election is to be 33 percent disappointed.

So, just this once, I’d like to devote this space to a cause that, if successful, would have a positive impact on me. To that end, I’ve formed a group called the Freedom of Liquor Acquisition and Storage Koalition, also known as F.L.A.S.K. (yeah, I know: Worst. Acronym. Ever.).

You might not realize it, but while it’s legal to carry a gun in Maine (either openly or, with a permit, concealed), putting a flask containing an alcoholic beverage in your hip pocket is against the law. The cops consider it to be the same as walking around in public with an open bottle of booze. This ill-considered statute turns a sizable segment of the population into lawbreakers, even though there’s never been a study showing any correlation between flask ownership and criminal activity. There’s even some indication that the opposite may be true.

“Using a flask properly is about quiet sophistication and softening the edges of a tough world with stolen moments among friends and reminding yourself that you’re a man who drinks real booze,” wrote Michael A. Lubarsky on the website AskMen.com.

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