Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I was wrong.

Lately, I have found myself out and about in Napa with some unusual items in my handbag, items that I wouldn't normally carry around with me.  Stuff like, a pound of minced beef, a glass and bronze fruit bowl, a woollen jumper, a baguette (I felt so Parisian) and a rather snazzy, reflective flea collar (not for me, obviously).  I wasn't carrying all of these items at once - my everyday handbag is big, but not that big.  No, each item represented a single trip to a store on a day when I had forgotten to take a reusable bag with me.
As of January 1st 2015, single use plastic bags have been banned in the city of Napa.  There are a few exceptions to the new ordinance e.g., bags for prescription drugs and take-out food are exempt, for now.  But if one happens to need to transport groceries home, and have forgotten to bring a bag, the store is required by law to charge the customer at least 10 cents for a paper bag.
I thought that alcoholic beverages were something that had to be bagged.  I buy quite a bit of wine at wineries and they will not let you leave the premises without bagging the bottle first, so when I recently bought a bottle of wine at Vallerga's Market in Napa I patiently waited for my purchase to be bagged.  And I waited. Then I asked for a bag. Well, to cut a long story short the cashier and I had a bit of a barney, in fact he was still shouting at me as I left the store. Great customer service, eh?  I won't be shopping at that store any time soon.
I did a bit of research and apparently I was wrong, I have to admit it. Neither the city nor the county (where most wineries are located) of Napa require alcohol to be bagged: the same goes for the entire state of California.  Whilst California does enforce a strict "no open container" law, that prevents any alcoholic beverage being unsealed in public, or in a car, the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (as of November 2011) does indeed allow folks to walk down the street with a naked bottle of hooch in their hand - as long as it is unopened.  This is a difficult concept for me to get my head around.
In puritanical America - the only country in the world that has been able to enact a law such as the Volstead Act, and even in this day and age does not legally allow an adult to consume an alcoholic beverage until they are 21 years old - am I right in assuming that I would be able to walk down a busy street in broad daylight with a screwcap-bottle of wine, albeit unopened, in my hand?  Call me old fashioned, but I don't think the local constabulary is going to endorse that sort of behaviour any time soon.

8 comments:

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: Can you smoke a joint in public?

Thud said...

Fightinf with staff...a family hobby.
Dennis...Vinogirl and I are so anti drugs we belong in a museum.

Vinogirl said...

NHW: I'd personally throw a bucket of water over someone who was doing that in front of me.

Thud: I'm a traditionalist, I like to keep things going even on this side of the Atlantic.

Thomas said...

Constabulary? What country are you in???

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Ha! This may come as a shock to the average Amerocentrist out there, but sometimes Americans aren't my target audience.

Thomas said...

Well then, VG, you have more readers than Vinofictions managed to snare...

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: You understand I was contrasting with absurdity?
Keep in mind that a PC incorrect assault might get you in trouble, but hyperbole works for me!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: PC, as in police constable? Hee, hee.