Ouch! Yes, seems the City Council has passed yet another feel good ordinance that was all bark - and no bite. This particular ordinance was designed to clean up a mess that elected officials were instrumental in creating. According to a ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals, this city ordinance is preempted by a 1972 state law that prohibits local laws from criminalizing public intoxication. Yup- the devil is always in the details. This ordinance was a band aid of sorts designed to promote the myth that the city was addressing the concerns of neighbors located in close proximity to all this - entertainment. Seems those negative neighbors don't find this district too - entertaining. They grow weary of inebriated individuals stumbling into their neighborhoods and leaving behind calling cards. Excuse me for being somewhat indelicate but calling cards may include taking a dump on the front lawn, vomiting in the shrubs, passing out in the drive way or leaving a trail of beer bottles or other toxic debris behind for someone else to clean up. Pardon me but the only one who should be permitted to take a dump on your front lawn is your dog. Fido informs me that until dogs are allowed to patronize these establishments, the canine community would appreciate it if area drunks would refrain from using their toilets - AKA the front yard.
Don't despair. There is a positive side to this, a silver lining if you will. For all those disgruntled, endlessly negative folks otherwise known as residents , who wring their hands after every step elected officials take to " improve " our fair city , you now have a reason to celebrate. You can drown your civic sorrows in the downtown entertainment district and right out in the open too. Yup, public intoxication is all the rage. You now have permission to get all liquored up and vomit on the front lawn - your own of course. Just don't commit any crimes while under the influence because apparently you can still be arrested for that. Not to worry. An abundance of alcohol seldom contributes to poor judgement or criminal behavior so lets PARTA. Grab your stilettos ( females only ) , a barf bag, your favorite designated driver and lets - get our drink on.
Here's another positive side effect of this ruling. Think of the economic perks for retailers in this area. Let's take those lemons and maybe a little vodka and make adult lemonade. By extending business hours till the wee hours of the morning, area retailers may reap some monetary benefits.to go along with all the less desirable behavior that results from a downtown awash in over priced cocktails. Savy retailers could certainly benefit from the hordes of openly intoxicated bar patrons who might be easily persuaded to part with a little more cash and purchase things they have absolutely no use for. Yes, release your inhibitions and free your credit card from the confines of that overpriced leather wallet. You have a real need for a pair of pink cowboy boots or perhaps a T shirt that proudly proclaims - I got plastered in Scottsdale. After enjoying a few high octane beverages, margaritas I believe , I once wandered into a Trader Joes and purchased a variety of items I had no use for. Upon regaining consciousness the next morning, I was dismayed to find that I had purchased a case of peanut butter dog biscuits. Only one problem. I had no dog. I kept them rather than face the humiliation involved in explaining to some perky, 18 year old sales clerk why I wished to return a case of unopened dog biscuits. I knew I would never be able to get the my dog died last night excuse out with a straight face. Actually , they were almost palatable when washed down with a shot of tequilla or paired with a wine of appropriate vintage. The cat expressed total disgust however.
Scottsdale's visionary leaders need to do a better job of marketing the positives of an entertainment district where the primary source of entertainment is - alcohol. After all, what's more amusing than watching those who have enjoyed a tad too much liquid refreshment stumble and stagger down the urine stained yellow brick road of shame and into the welcoming arms of - a squad car. Good times. We should install bleachers for the viewing public- all those over the hill folks who want to relive their frivolous youth. We could charge admission. Hey - there has to be a way to recoup that police overtime short fall. Or how about this. A free shuttle service for drunks. Possibly the city can contribute one of those old worn out trolleys and reserve the new ones they just purchased for residents who actually use transit. Drunks are often oblivious to their surroundings so they won't care if the air conditioning doesn't work and heck a little vomit won't hurt those wooden seats. A free route serving the party crowd would be another accomplishment for city leaders to boast about. They never seem to tire of tooting Scottsdale's horn and love to dwell on all those things they believe set Scottsdale apart from cities like - Mesa. Well, actually an alcohol infused downtown distinguishes Scottsdale from - Mesa. Yup. You could sleep it off on the trolley instead of behind the wheel or on the neighbors front lawn. City leaders are ready to turn their attention to south Scottsdale. Maybe they should clean up one mess before they create - another. Just - a thought. Here is another point to ponder. Opponents of light rail often complain that it attracts criminal activity and other undesirable behavior. Well, so does the entertainment district from time to time. One could make the argument that at least light rail provides a service for the terminally downtrodden guy- also known as the average resident.
It is interesting to note that a bill recently signed into law will give Scottsdale and other municipalities the authority to control taxicabs in certain areas. Hmmm- we can control cabs but not drunks. These are the folks who create the need for all those cabs in the downtown area. Can't remember the last time a cab vomited on my lawn either.
Perhaps we could install stands that would dispense bags to dispose of the toxic waste left behind by revelers. After all , we do it for dogs and they are often far more civilized than those who frequent the entertainment district.
Here's another suggestion. I'm full of - suggestions. City officials are opposed to sign walkers . Scottsdale prides itself on a strict sign ordinance that serves to prevent - visual clutter. Instead of allowing these folks to roam city sidewalks disguised as the Statue of Liberty ( An insult to Ms Liberty ) while hawking the services of tax preparation companies and pawn shops, let's utilize their talents in the entertainment district. They can add to the carnival like atmosphere created by an abundance of pedicabs, horse and carriages, loud music and other distractions and annoyances. Yes, the downtown simply reeks of sophistication in keeping with Scottsdale's image as a premier arts community. There are many positive benefits associated with using sign walkers in the downtown entertainment district. First, it would get them out of south Scottsdale. It would keep them employed while keeping the Goldwater Institute off our back. Instead of cluttering up city sidewalks they can add to the clutter in the entertainment district. Who doesn't want to meet the Statue of Liberty after a few cocktails? I might suggest a costume change more in keeping with the downtown atmosphere however. How about dressing as the cocktail of your choice - a paper umbrella hat garnished with a lime wedge perhaps? Picture it. Signs adorned with flashing lights that read-Drink here- get a free ride home. It's a win win. We can simultaneously promote responsible behavior on the part of both bars and patrons and bring those cash strapped bar owners some more business.Whew. I'm worn out. Solving all these problems ( for free no less) leaves one a little parched. I need - a cocktail.
So - let's get ready to rumble I mean stumble downtown. In the words of that famous 60s Petula Clark song appropriately entitled Downtown , " Forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go downtown. Things will be great when you're downtown ". Well, until you wake up face down in some ones front yard with your briefs hanging from a tree branch , wearing only a pair of pink cowboy boots and gazing into the eyes of - Fido. who has only one request. Ok - I know you couldn't help it . He seemed to appreciate the dog biscuits though.