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Monday, August 31, 2009

You know you're an SOB when ...

Funniest quote I've read in the Houston Chronicle in some time:

“It doesn't matter if you have a snowsuit on — if you're touching customers, they're touching you — they're a sexually oriented business,” Geffin told the judge. “You can call yourself a restaurant, you can call yourself an ice cream truck, but if your drawing card is topless dancers, you're an SOB, and you have to comply with the rules.”

Ice cream trucks actually do good business in Houston in August even without snowsuits or topless dancers. The tips may not quite match up, though.

Of course, this injunction hearing is all just another boring day at the office for State District Judge Randy Wilson. I'm reasonably sure he hasn't asked for the litigants to arrange a "premises view" on-site during business hours: The Harris County Civil District Courts' budget contains no money for dry-cleaning judicial robes to get the glitter and make-up off.

Assistant Harris County Attorney Geffin is probably right, of course. But trying to enforce these particular laws is like trying to bail the oceans using a tea-cup. (Or, perhaps, a DD-cup.) Although I've never been there, I'm told that this particular strip joint entertainment venue is outside the City of Houston, well away from churches, schools, or family neighborhoods, and indeed that it's quite literally out in the middle of the woods. One has to wonder whether the Sheriff and Harris County Attorneys don't have other, more (ahem) pressing matters to investigate and prosecute with their limited resources.

Posted by Beldar at 05:44 PM in Current Affairs, Law (2009), Mainstream Media | Permalink

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Comments

(1) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Sep 1, 2009 4:57:17 PM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: I admit, that is a strong competitor for a funny quote, liberally spiced with imbecility. I almost tripped on the legal profession's jargon, like this:

"You can call yourself a restaurant, you can call yourself an ice cream truck, but if your drawing card is topless dancers, you're an SOB, and you have to comply with the rules.”

Why would having topless dancers make you a son of a bitch? But then my math skills saved me:

SOB = Sexually Oriented Business

OK, got around that imbecility. I would still disagree with you, claiming the lead is the funniest part:

"Several managers of a gentleman's club that Harris County attorneys..."

Call the proprietor an SOB if you like, but never a gentleman. Nor are the customers in that category. Louts, second class, with a generous sprinkling of oafs, lazy slobs from out of town and the lonely are D.B. Cooper's customers. It gets funnier: the proprietors claim they make the bulk of their dough by selling booze and bad food, which is why they built their club way to hell and gone out of Houston, so the traffic would be great...The Harris County law gang riposte that the Yellow Pages classify the joint as a gent's club, not a beanery. Cooper's raise with this gem:

"Merely having attractive women, scantily clad, isn't against the law ... We don't derive any revenue from it,” Frye said.

On and on. It's good to have even unintentional humor these days. But beware: the unfortunately named judge Randy Wilson may someday read British naval history, and find this anecdote concerning Lord John Fisher, one of Britain's more distinguished admirals:

For years before Fisher became First Naval Lord (the head of the Navy Brass, as the Chief of Naval Operations in the US) the Admiralty and the War Office had been squabbling about who would pay the cost of cleaning uniforms that had been soiled in a training exercise. The file had gone round and round Whitehall, getting fatter by the day, but never being resolved. When it finally got to Fisher, he threw it into his office fire. That settled that, orderly procedure be damned.

Harris County attorneys, take note.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(2) DRJ made the following comment | Sep 2, 2009 12:34:11 AM | Permalink

Wow. I always wondered where D.B. Cooper ended up.

(3) nk made the following comment | Sep 2, 2009 6:42:15 AM | Permalink

Two thoughts. It sounds like 99% of the State's allegations would not pass First Amendment scrutiny. Chicago went the 21st Amendment route. You can have nudity but then you may not have liquor. It works.

Ok, one more thought, and please do not take this as a slur against your great state, Beldar and DRJ, but I am always startled at stories like this from Texas. Dry counties, too. I would not expect such Puritanism from a state which prides itself on its pioneer and frontier heritage. Or are these obscure ordinances that are observed more in their breach and it's only occasionally that some hot dog tries to resurrect them?

(4) Scott Jacobs made the following comment | Sep 2, 2009 2:21:33 PM | Permalink

"The Harris County Civil District Courts' budget contains no money for dry-cleaning judicial robes to get the glitter and make-up off."

I would totally pay that cost out of pocket...

No pun intended...

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