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Punch Drunk

This Week: Selling Out, Drinking Up



The pipe dream of a privately owned Virginia alcohol-sales system looks to be more realistic with the inauguration of Bob McDonnell as governor. Facing an absurd deficit, roads that resemble the pre-Eisenhower era and traffic congestion that would make L.A. blush, the state desperately needs an influx of cash — or in other words, a quick fix.

McDonnell's plan claims that selling the state-run liquor stores and distribution system would bring in more than $500 million immediately, which we need. You also end up losing the annual revenue that the state receives from alcohol sales, which is said to reach $400 million to $500 million, a lot of which goes into the general fund and schools. But seriously, who ever believed that children were our future? I, for one, did not.

First, it should be noted that Virginia still would make very large sums of money long after a sale took place. Spirits still would be taxed out the yin yang. Would your bottle of Jim Beam be cheaper? Most likely. Would the government still get its share? Of course.

And by eliminating the current system you do away with the state's alcohol overhead such as paying employees and their benefits, and maintaining stores. Privatizing would also create a larger tax base. Because Style Weekly doesn't give me much room to be an ass I'll keep the boring technical aspects to a minimum. Basically the plan involves a lot of money now and a lot of money later. Thanks bureaucracy, you're awesome. Now on to what matters. ... Me, I mean, us.

After the sale the state's liquor stores probably would be snapped up by a variety of business entities. Competition would ensue. Suppliers would sell to different stores at different rates. You'd actually be able to buy that bottle of Jim Beam for less. You could then spend that extra $5 to buy your newborn some McDonald's. There you have it: Greed works, Communism blows and we even get to do something for the children.

Whatever happens, the fat needs to be cut somewhere and the state needs money now. Jobs may need to be cut. Something must happen soon.

Example: I owed my bookie $200 last week. I knew that I had to pay him or risk catching a beat down, so I came up with the money from various sources and my girlfriend's purse.

You're in the same boat, Virginia. Pay your bookie or Javier will come to the bar con las pistolas! Don't think it can't happen.

Let's stop the state's meddling in our alcoholism. Privatize the ABC now.

Papa Don't Preach

By now I'm sure you've heard of the infamous Rozlyn Papa. She's a Richmond native, model and contestant on the ABC reality series “The Bachelor.” If you haven't heard about the controversy surrounding her, congratulations.

I met the Roz about a year ago, before her reality television career took off. She was attempting to learn the bartending trade. While I did enjoy staring at her, the personality left a lot to be desired. Still, it must be said: Had she not hopped on that producer, Rozlyn had a very solid chance of winning the ultra-dreamy pilot and bachelor Jake Pavelka based on her beauty alone.

You let me down, Rozlyn. More importantly, you let Richmond down. Somewhere, Elliott Yamin is laughing at you.

Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback consumes and slings drinks at a number of local establishments. He also writes a surly blog at Find him on Twitter @jackgoesforth. Have a question or comment for the bartender? E-mail:

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