I heard a hideous rumor yesterday. I heard that the Forest Park Village Council recently voted to no longer allow package liquor sales before 11a.m. Sadly, I looked into it, and it turned out to be true.

The council cited “quality of life” complaints in deciding to vote to prevent places like USA Beverage – the surprisingly well-stocked liquor store at Harlem and Madison – from meeting the needs of customers before lunchtime. I don’t know how much preventing people from purchasing new alcohol before 11a.m. is going to improve things. In my experience, someone who is prepared to start the cocktail hour before 11a.m. is not going to be deterred from the goal by some mingy local statute.

Apparently there were also complaints about littering—”bottles and bags” in yards, and the like. I’m confused on how restricting liquor sales will improve this more than, say, banning Wendy’s and Starbucks and newspaper machines, but hey, I’m sure the council knows what they’re doing. This couldn’t be an overreaction catering to a couple of chronic whiners, right? That’s an Oak Park thing. Forest Park has some spine.

Ha ha ha!

I think we all know what really happened here. The lady across the street, the one who yells at you for even thinking about touching her lawn with your disgusting foot, called the school and involved the teachers, and now we’ve all got extra homework and less recess.

Good god but bossy-pants people irritate me.

“Quality of life.” Puh-lease. What about me? What about my quality of life? I refuse to believe the village council has never been at a Saturday night barbecue that ran out of beer at 6 a.m., or realized they’d forgotten to refill their flasks while walking to the Blue Line for a long commute to a desk job they hate, or needed to buy emergency whiskey on the way to meet a friend in crisis. I don’t want my town to be governed by people like that. I want adults, people who understand that sometimes a sunup sunrise is the only thing that’s going to get another adult through the day, and sees that need with sympathy, instead of curmudgeonly harrumphing.

I’m saddened. Such Puritanism from my beloved Forest Park, the sexy sleazy sister to Oak Park and River Forest’s stiff twin spinsters.

If I come home at 9 a.m. with good tequila and a bad smile, Oak Park goes to yoga, River Forest says it has to work, but Forest Park pulls the drapes and calls in sick.

Forest Park is not stiffness and rules. Forest Park is fun. Tell a native Chicagoan where you’re from. More than half will grin and say, “I got into some trouble on Madison Street, back in the day.”

Forest Park is better than this by being worse than this. Forest Park is the utterly beloved dirty flirty bad idea high school memory in Chicago’s collective psyche, and our village council is here to make sure your kids, and your kids’ kids, never know the joy of buying a 30-pack of cheap beer on the way to the beach at 7:15 a.m. on a day they should be in school.

Alan Brouilette is a freelance writer of magazine articles, comedy, and scripts. His career peak thus far are his inclusions in the “Best Food Writing” anthologies in 2011 and 2013. He prefers to writing about food and sports to writing news – which he used to do – and prefers Gonzo journalism to the responsible kind. You can find him, and some of his writing, at brouilette.com.

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