Friday, January 23, 2009

Booze-Free Beach - Sort Of

Pensacola Beach ought to be included in Roget's Thesaurus as a synonym for irony. Last night, Escambia County commissioners voted to designate nearly two acres immediately west of the fishing pier at Casino Beach as "an alcohol-free zone."

To celebrate, tonight the rock band "Rehab" is playing at Capt'n Fun on the beach. The band, we read, is "known for the current hit 'Sittin' at a Bar.'"

Why set aside the west side of the fishing pier for teetotallers, and not a portion of the far more popular east side? The official line is that it will enhance Pensacola Beach's reputation as a "family friendly" beach.

We think the real reason is the same one that leads you to stick smelly ol' grandma and her wheelchair in a back room when you're having a party. Party-poopers are a real downer.

However that may be, as of today beach-goers who don't want to risk having contact with someone who might be drinking will have a corner of the beach all their own. Except, of course, they won't.

They'll have to share it with the surfing crowd. A few years ago, the Island Authority also confined surfers to the west side of the pier. The idea, then, was to protect sunbathers and swimmers from being unexpectedly impaled by a surf board.

Now, presumably, only stone-sober swimmers will be at risk from a runaway surfboard. That must be what we mean by "family friendly."

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