Monday, October 25, 2004
On this day:

Cullman's Wet-Dry War Gets Dirty

A law passed by the Alabama legislature earlier this year allowed the sale of alcohol in "community development districts," primarily golf courses, located in dry counties. As a result, earlier this month, alcohol was sold legally in Cullman County for the first time in 61 years. Now, residents of the city of Cullman will vote for the sixth time in 20 years on whether to allow alcohol sales in stores and restaurants.

The main opposition comes from the "Keeping Cullman Special for All of Us Committee." Its main concern is that alcohol sales could disrupt tranquility in the tight-knit community. The group points to the chaos and confusion that has ensued in nearby towns as Southern Baptists have encountered each other in liquor stores with increasing frequency. Their full-page ad in the local newspaper leads with, "Vote No to the Sale...Or You're Going to Hell."

Support for the referendum is led by the "Coalition for a Better Cullman." They have sponsored several billboards across town with the message, "Vote Yes So Cullman Sucks Less." Supporters include used car salesmen, Yankee transplants, and City Councilpersons, who are convinced that the measure will result in an improved local economy, additional tax revenues, and an influx of drunk tourists. An unexpected show of support came this week, when the monks at Ave Maria Grotto unveiled a replica of downtown Cullman constructed from miniature bottles of Benedictine liqueur.

It's hard to tell how the election will turn out, but extensive research on the internet indicates that the sentiment of the younger generation, at least, is with the "wets." One young Cullmanian says: "Yeah Cullman really does suck. I live in Cullman and it's a gay place to live. Im 17 years old and when I wanna look for girls I go to the Local Wal Mart Super Center to have a good time. It's really not that bad though you get use to it, and there is always parties somewhere to get wasted. (Even though we don't sell alcohol.) "

Another remarks: "Cullman really isn't that bad. We got beer stores about 30 miles away and there is roughly 60,000 people in Cullman and 20% stays drunk and every teenager has a porno. So the dry county thing doesn't really work."

However, the opposition is well-financed. The makers of OktoberZest, the Official Beverage of Cullman's Octoberfest are worried that the only market for their spiced apple cider will disappear if the only "dry" Octoberfest in the world becomes "wet." They are going all-out to defeat the referendum. Word has it that they have mounted a campaign of disinformation and voter suppression that would put Broward County, Florida to shame. Abamablog has confirmed a few of the vile tactics they are employing:

  1. Posting rainbow-colored fliers outside local pawn shops and the Wal-Mart Supercenter that say, "Wanna know the difference between a gay man and a straight man? Six beers - Vote YES to Alcohol in Cullman - Paid for by the Alabama Queer-Straight Alliance"
  2. Renting out a bar in nearby Decatur and advertising that on election day, citizens of Cullman get the first drink on the house and a free Confederate flag with every succeeding drink. The 1984 movie "The Bear" starring Gary Busey as Paul "Bear" Bryant will be repeated all day long.
  3. Using covert operatives to lace food at the Baptist church's covered-dish supper with Ex-Lax on the Monday evening before the election.
Things are getting ugly in Cullman, folks. Stay tuned.