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Living with blue laws teaches preparedness

Lately there's been a lot of brew-ha-ha over beer.

Beer in Snellville. Beer at the stadium. Beer on Sundays.

In February, the Snellville City Council couldn't muster enough votes to call for a referendum allowing restaurants in the city to sell alcohol on Sundays.

Officials are still trying to brew a way to sell Sunday beer at the new Gwinnett Braves stadium.

And finally, our legislature said no to Sunday liquor sales at groceries, convenience stores and such.

So if it's Sunday and you're in Snellville, you'll need to find a restaurant outside the city to have a beer with your burger.

I'm not sure why the stadium issue has been so difficult. I've never been to a stadium that didn't sell beer on Sundays.

But in regard to our lawmakers again nixing Sunday grocery sales of beer and wine, I say fine by me. I've learned to live with it.

There are three states that won't let you walk into a grocery or convenience store on a Sunday and buy beer - Georgia, Indiana and Connecticut. I've spent my life in two of them.

Let me make this clear: I recognize the value of cold beer on a Sunday. There have been times when I've considered Sunday beer an essential - say for an important occasion like the Super Bowl, a wedding, any of my three children's christenings, our annual backyard horseshoe tournament, the birthday of a pet or the anniversary of the death of a pet, etc.

Sometimes, beer is the most appropriate beverage - even on Sunday.

Growing up in Indiana, I simply became accustomed to the blue laws. In fact, I remember my surprise when I learned the no-Sunday liquor sales law was not universal. Not only could you buy beer in Kentucky on a Sunday, you could buy it at the window of a drive-through convenience store!

Despite living in Georgia and Indiana, I've not only survived the ban on Sunday beer sales, I believe I'm a better person for it. It's instilled a level of resourcefulness, vigilance and preparedness I otherwise might not have achieved.

Since it looks as though we're going to live with this Sunday sales ban for at least another year, here's my advice on how to avoid running dry, culminated from a lifetime of experience:

1. Stay on your toes. Regardless of what you're doing late Saturday, take time to check your supply for Sunday.

2. Anticipate the possibility of unexpected guests. You never know who or how many might drop by for a Sunday visit or how thirsty they may be. Just to be safe, I always over-estimate my number of friends and multiply by two.

3. Be prepared. It's always a good idea to have an emergency case (or two) stashed behind the sofa, under the basement steps, out in the garage or up in the attic. By the time you get to this cache, it may be old and likely will be warm. Ignore the expiration date and be amazed at how quickly you can cool down beer with the kitchen fire extinguisher.

4. Phone a friend. In case you didn't follow Steps 1, 2 and 3, it's always nice to know someone who did. Call them and ask to borrow some beer. To preserve future interests, it might be well at this point to invite them to the party.

Follow these steps and you'll have no problem surviving the Sunday beer ban. Just remember where you hid that emergency six-pack.

It's embarrassing when the kids find it in the lawnmower shed while looking for Easter eggs. But that works, too. More beer on Sunday.

J.K. Murphy is publisher of the Gwinnett Daily Post. E-mail him at jk.murphy@gwinnettdailypost.com.