so recently i was forced into taking a class to get certified to sell alcohol legally in Maryland, and so we’re going to talk about that this week. actually, to be fully anal-retentive, it was to fulfill a function necessary in Maryland for a business or event to sell alcohol legally, but you see how much less fun that sounds? exactly. actually, the class was okay — any time the instructor is some perpetually-amused old dude, it can’t be all THAT bad — but as always, i spent some of my time taking notes about things to make fun of later. so here we go!
actually found this picture while searching for “really disappointing fellow attendees”; the internet is totally in on the jokes tonight
basic failure to follow instructions running rampant
now, a lot of this is going to come under the heading of “really disappointing fellow attendees,” so let’s start on the most basic level. the average attendee was a guy who owned or worked for a business, so you’d think they’d be able to follow directions, right? not exactly.
–class attendees were requirement to have valid photo ID… so of course a couple of people forgot theirs, either completely or in a circumstance where one showed something random, was told “i have no idea what this is and there’s basically no way i could ever accept it” and then seemed to have a shitty/cocky attitude about it. sir, you were too fucking stupid (or criminal or whatever) to have real idea; you are not allowed to have an attitude about it.
–class attendees were told NOT to turn off their cell phones, just to put them on vibrate and step out to take calls. this, frankly, seemed like a generous attitude from an older instructor, as the older generation (you know, people aged 32+) tends to hate furiously on cell phones interrupting them in any way. so of course the guy sitting directly in front of me, and also directly in front of the instructor, has his phone loudly go off… twice. sir, there were TWO times you should have fucking set your phone on vibrate. step it the fuck up.
–when we finally wrapped up the class and took our test (lessons learned: don’t sell alcohol to intoxicated people or minors), my test had answers written all over it by the previous user. instructor notes “this brings me to my next topic: do not write on this test.” two minutes later, a student in the back has a question, and the instructor goes to answer him… and then i hear it: “(sigh) sir, as i stated, do not write on the test.”
but these are merely the minor, momentary chuckle notes of stupidity. there were some larger ones.
for the record, all this wine counts as alcohol. this will be important to remember later
basic failure to use critical thinking running rampant
–so at one point, we’re talking about ways in which we have cut people off from alcohol service; this is not something i typically do (given that i, you know, don’t work in the alcohol-selling industry), but most everyone else has a reasonable tale or general explanation of how they handle it. some are nice (“i explain to them what i’m prohibited from doing while i remove the alcohol), some are gruff (“i jerk the beer off the counter and say ‘next customer'”), but all seem to understand the concept… except for this one lady, who says “oh, i’ve never done that, i’ve seen people quite intoxicated not get cut off even when they should have been. wait, maybe i shouldn’t be saying this.” yes, ma’am, that is correct, you should not be telling us this in class. did i mention she somehow managed to do very, very poorly on the easy test? yeah.
–now, people in the class are from different areas, so there’s discussion as to the nuances of various liquor laws; something i completely understand. until one guy and the instructor have a conversation that goes roughly like this:
student: “okay, i have question. in Prince George’s County, we cannot sell alcohol on Sundays, right?”
instructor: “yes, that sounds right, you can’t sell alcohol in PG County on Sundays. sure.”
student: “so, can i maybe sell a small amount of alcohol? like, a small amount of rum, vodka?”
instructor: “wait… are you talking about non-alcoholic products? O’Doul’s or something like that, if it’s considered non-alcoholic, that you can sell. it’s not regulated the same way.”
student: “okay, okay… so wine, it has less alcohol than alcohol? can i maybe sell wine on Sundays?”
instructor: “no… no… that-”
student: “oh, oh… so beer, it has still less alcohol than wine? so i could sell beer on Sundays?”
instructor: “class, what you’re going to want to do in situations like this is to contact your local liquor board to clarify what you cannot sell and when you cannot sell.”
EXACTLY. WHAT THE HELL, MAN.
this dude: spotted in a video for this class; try your best to care
–so at one point, we’re watching a video on recognizing signs of intoxication (or lack thereof) in customers. now, this isn’t to say the video was good or bad, but all i mainly took from it was spotting the appearance of Richard Pelzman, who you may remember as “Little Big Roy” from season two of the Wire (and once in season five, but mainly season two). i don’t know if this means i love the Wire THIS MUCH or just didn’t pay 100% attention to the video or what, but it sure means something, right? any connection to the greatest show ever can only make this class better, right?
so our hero janklow passed and that’s that. some Guinness (and tangentially related beers) will be surely sold in the near future. onward and upward!
he’s really going to be upset when he hears about the next part of this update…
this has nothing to do with the previous topic
in case you found all that boring (possible) and not interesting or funny in the slightest (even more possible), here is a ridiculous news story i read during the past week that might bring laughter and/or disgust to your face:
you might initially assume that this is simply an article about Washington Mutual and its semi-recent “largest bank failure in American history” event and presume there aren’t many laughs there… but hold on, because that’s not what this article is about at all. because if you keep reading:
“But a 2006 WaMu retreat produced one of the more cringe-worthy moments of the mortgage meltdown: Lenders, on the eve of their industryâ€™s collapse, singing “I Like Big Bucks” to the tune of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 1992 hip-hop hit “Baby Got Back.” The details were unveiled Tuesday in a hearing of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has conducted an 18-month look into the failure of WaMu and the lessons it holds for the financial system.”
excuse me? i don’t know what’s more ridiculous: the fact that a bunch of old-ass white guys were rhyming awkwardly about economics to the tune of “Baby Got Back,” or the fact that these details were “unveiled Tuesday in a hearing of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.” somehow, the latter is worse.
“The Karaoke-style ode to greed â€“ complete with faux WaMu rappers tossing play money into the crowd â€” took place in a room full of mortgage lenders who at the time were still churning out billions of dollars in high-risk mortgages.”
fucking white people.
“I like big bucks and I cannot lie/You mortgage brothers can’t deny,” sang the WaMu rappers.
The presentation, which included cheerleaders moving in time to the music, and choreographed moves by the singers, continued:
“That when the dough roles in like you’re printinâ€™ your own cash/
And you gotta make a splash/
You just spends/
Like it never ends/
Cuz you gotta have that big new Benz/
All of that bling you’re wearin’/
Shining so bright peoples starin’/
It’s crazy, I gotta ski Aspen/
That’s all I’m askin'”
note that this is taken verbatim from copies of what the WaMu personnel sang from. now ask yourself what’s worse: what you just read, or the fact that they misspelled “rolls.”
and people wonder why i say i don’t know if i believe in America anymore.