Oregon Tavern Age: Democracy

Oregon Tavern Age regulars were mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. There had been a long train of abuses and usurpations and something had to give way, quite possibly explode. They just couldn’t sit on their asses, drink Crown and Cokes and watch whales from the bar. Revolution was in the air! We the People were riled up!

I sat in a dark corner of The Crow’s Nest, sipped a local Pistol River ale, and listened to the straight dope.

The Gold Beach City Council had proposed a new ordinance that required The Crow’s Nest to install 24 surveillance cameras in and around the the bar. They currently had one and it was as antiquated as the notion that the Bill of Rights still exists in this country.

“It would shut us down,” said the bar owner. “I can’t afford it.”

As I said, revolution was in the air, hanging like smoke from a slash burn in a clearcut.

From what I gathered eavesdropping, the OLCC might have been behind the draconian regulation but the rubber definitely would meet the road at a Gold Beach City Council meeting scheduled for later that week. The word shot round the bar was that the OTAs had to pack that meeting and protest. And here they were, in a drinking joint, drinking, plotting how to do exactly that.

They plotted exactly the same way in Boston circa 1770 and look where that led. I might also add the Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in a tavern sauced on Madeira and John Adams drank hard cider for breakfast every morning.

The Founding Fathers were on my mind when the cook emerged from the kitchen wielding a cleaver, strode past the aquariums and slot machines, and went table to table recruiting customers to attend the meeting. They all promised they would and looked pretty damn giddy about the prospect of tanking up beforehand (naturally in the bar) and marching on city hall, which was conveniently across the street! Swinging a cleaver in support of the Bill of Rights is a pretty damn giddy sight to behold. I was getting giddy myself, watching this prep work in the the name of serving up some meaty democracy! I was so fired up I considered ordering a Crown and Coke and reaching out to the whales to join the party. I read somewhere whales practice true democracy. One day I hope to see it in action.

Energy was palpable in the room. It felt strange. You don’t see giddy all that often in OTA country. It doesn’t usually mix well with Oregon Tavern Age life. Rainier and giddiness are mutually exclusive. We like it slow in here. We like it underwater. We like hushed tones for embellishing stories.

But giddy was working well this afternoon in The Crow’s Nest, and perhaps would also work well at the meeting. If it did, the Gold Beach City Council wouldn’t know what hit them. Neither did the British.

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