I'm currently in a semi-wet county. It's a very scary place to be. Semi-wet, in this county, means that there are no bars. I'll repeat that for those of you who have, like me, been shocked into a state of disbelief. There Are No Bars In Anderson County, Texas. This should not be the way of things in a civilised place. But then again this is Texas...
Instead of bars there are private member clubs in which members are allowed to purchase alcohol for drinking on premises. In fact, I am one of the newest members of the Iron Horse Lounge, Palestine. The Iron Horse Lounge would be, in any halfway reasonable town, a dive bar at a cheap hotel, instead it's a private members club. When I went in there on Wednesday night I was one of three people, including the bar maid, and I was told Thursday night would be good it's karaoke night. For the record I wasn't there on Thursday night.
I only discovered there were no bars in Palestine, Texas, after I'd been here a couple of days and hadn't seen any bars. So, like any good scientist, I Googled the problem for a while. One of the sites I stumbled across was for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (serving Texas since 1935). Where I found a list of all the alcohol permits, all 66 of them, in Anderson county. After filtering through the list, which was mainly distributors and retailers, I discovered that this county contains 4 restaurants with alcohol licenses, 8 private member clubs (at least 2 of which I think are really restaurants) and 2 veterans clubs. Sadly, I couldn't find out how many churches there are here to do my favourite ratio test, more than 8 I imagine.
How I love The South, well Texas any rate.