Boston Officials Threaten to Ban Glassware Over Bar Fights...Really


Archeological records indicate that glass was first invented in ancient Egypt by a bored 25th Century time traveler named Bob Swizzle, who had nothing better to do on his lunch breaks than to create strange paradoxes in human history. Bob’s invention was, of course, welcomed, for glassware allowed for lighter, more decorative, and more aesthetically appealing booze containers than were previously available to Egyptian barkeeps during the reign of Cheops the 82nd.

Fast forward a couple decades to prehistoric Boston, and it appears that the mighty Philosopher Kings who rule over the city’s bar scene have decided it might be wise to reverse the progress Bob brought to Egypt.

On Feb. 22, reporter Dan Atkinson observed in the Boston Herald that the Boston Liquor Licensing Board (a really necessary gang of bureaucrats) is ready to ban the use of glass cups and beverage bottles in “establishments where patrons have suffered injuries related to glasses holding drinks.”

No. Someone hasn’t slipped you a Mickey. This is, as they say in Roxbury, “fo-real.”

Of course, the members of the mighty licensing board know that it’s not people who hurt people, it’s inanimate objects, and these objects can be regulated and taxed and “banned” out of existence one by one until all we have left are our hands to cup drinks out of troughs. Because this will leave society much safer and better off, people like Chairwoman Christine Puglini have decreed:

“It’s concerning to the board that all these assaults are happening with glasses. It’s something the board is going to discuss and perhaps put a plan in place in the near future… The board’s not going to tolerate it — if this is happening, the board won’t allow glasses.”

Of course not.

Now, some observers speculate that prior to a ban, the board is considering a series of “common sense” glass regulations to keep glasses out of the hands of thugs and people who shouldn’t have glasses. High capacity glasses, of course, are out of the question. Glasses which can be easily reloaded – no way.

It’s possible that a common sense background check might be due, whereby, before you'd be permitted pick up a glass, you would need to have your identity run through the all-inclusive National Glass User Database, where your fingerprints will be cross-checked against those of small children who have dropped sippy-cups in the past. Waiting periods might be instituted, and, in fact, the board is considering mandating expensive Glass User Classes, and a trial period using sippy-cups themselves as ways to stop this problem.

If just one life is saved, it's all worth it.

The board is also considering mandating bubble-wrap for all bar patrons, because, of course, if just one life is saved – well, you know the drill.

It is rumored that the board, in a closed door session, watched footage of Bonanza bar brawls, and is also considering banning knives, forks, and spoons as well as replacing wooden or metal bar stools with chairs made out of Nerf.

What is rather astounding about this is that regal and refined Boston, so full of professors from the various universities peppered along the banks of the Charles River, isn’t echoing with cries that these board members resign and that the board itself be eliminated so people can operate free from this vestige of feudal gangsterism.

The threat by the board comes in response to two incidents at high-end, expensive Boston bars. In the Bond Lounge, (where, rumor has it, all martinis are shaken and not stirred), a man smashed a beer bottle over the head of another man on New Year’s Day.

In the second incident, a man at the establishment called Minibar threw a glass at and punched another man who groped his girlfriend.

So Ms. Puglini’s gang wants to solve the problem by mandating that glassware be removed, and that all drinks – including champagne – be served in those big plastic cups people usually grab for barbecues and frat parties. (These, of course, are what ancient Egyptians used to use before they were cursed with the terror of melted and formed sand to form glass.)

Ms. Puglini has heard the cries of the business owners, and, evidently, does not care that she didn’t start these establishments, didn’t risk her own capital, time, and energy to organize them and keep them going, and is not the one footing the bill for insurance. She is a government official, and as such, believes she can tell other people how to run their lives. To the owners of Bond and Minibar, she said:

“If we see a pattern of glass as a weapon it will no longer be allowed… You may be high-end, but you’re not acting high-end.”

Perhaps it hasn’t dawned on political bureaucrats like Ms. Puglini and her ilk what “high-end” means. It means having a semblance of class and style, treating people well and with the utmost respect.

So let’s raise a toast to these officials in Boston, clink our plastic cups, and thank them for showing us the distinction. It seems clear who takes the high road and who takes the low in Boston.

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