The Bar Buster

MUSIC: Dragnet Theme

ANNOUNCER: For the next 30 minutes, in cooperation with the East Lansing Police department, you will travel step by step on the side of the law through an actual case, transcribed from official police files.


JOE: It was Monday, May 18th. It was cloudy in East Lansing. I was working the beer watch out of headquarters; making sure bar owners were selling as much food as booze. My name's Friday. I was on my way back from lunch.

CAPTAIN: How's the rape case coming?

JOE: Sorry sir. I'm working the beer beat. More money there. I think we have a violation. I'm checking it out later today. Then I'll write some speeding tickets.

CAPTAIN: I understand. Tough times. Budget problems. Ticket revenue helps your pension.


JOE; Afternoon, sir. Our records indicate you're selling too much booze. You're under the 50/50 ratio.

OWNER: This is a bar, officer.

JOE: It's an East Lansing bar, buster. And in this town we east as much as we drink; 50/50.

OWNER: I think I might have some information on the rapist.

JOE: Don't change the subject; we talking 50/50.

OWNER: Sergeant, most of my customers are young college kids. They want to drink a lot more than they want to eat. What do the other bar owners do?

JOE: Most of them don't have to comply with 50/50, they're grandfathered under an old law. Too bad you weren't in business earlier; you could have been grandfathered. Guess you don't know how this town works. Now it's the law…sell as much food as booze. It's a great ideal. East Lansing is a city of ideals. Perceptions are very important here; we believe in 50/50; we feel good about it; it gives me goose bumps.

OWNER: How can I get the kids to eat more?

JOE: I've heard Triplett can help.

OWNER: Councilman Nate Triplett? What can he do?

JOE: I've heard that he likes to eat. Let's say you're at 48.5% and that you need $500 more in food sales to get to 50/50. I've heard he'll eat it--providing you make a cooresponding $500 contribution to his campaign fund. All the other bar owners contribute.

OWNER: What about weight gain? He looks pretty slim to be eating that much.

JOE: Most of the other bar owners are grandfathered, remember--no problem for them.

OWNER: Then why have the law?

JOE: Look, I'm just a cop, an honest, hard working cop. I don't make the laws. I enforce them...and write tickets to bring in money to help fund my city pension. Understand?

OWNER: I still can't understand why the 50/50 law exists.

JOE: Look, drunk kids cost a lot of money in police protection. So 50/50 is really a tax on the bar owners to help pay for guys like me and my pension.

OWNER: But it doesn't cover all of the bars.

JOE: The drunks from the grandfathered bars don't get into trouble; they don't cost as much in police protection as your drunks.

OWNER: Sergeant, how can you possibly know that.

JOE: Ever heard of the NSA? How about the IRS? The East Lansing Police Department is state of the art--we're tied right into the President's spying operation. Hope you're a democrat.

ANNOUNCER: The story you have just heard is true. The names were changed to protect the innocent. On June 25th trial was held in the East Lansing City Council Chambers, In a moment, the results of that trial.


ANNOUNCER: The Landshark bar owner was found guilty of selling too much booze and not enough food….city council ordered him to work with Strathmore Development to fashion an arrangement under which he could remain in business. Councilman Triplett indicated he would start eating there.




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