How High School Was Like Prohibition

Prohibition was a ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol during the 1920’s and early 30’s in American history.  For some reason, the irony of this never hit me in high school, when I was actually studying it.  It probably had something to do with the brain cells I was destroying, living out my own anti-prohibition movement every weekend.  I mean, think of the excuses I could’ve used if I had only been paying attention- “You don’t understand officer, I’m doing a school project by reliving life during the Volstead Act!”  The police officer would’ve let me off on principal alone.  But no, I had to be an ignoramus.  Don’t be like me.  Read this and educate yourself.

1.  Anti-Saloon League – They were the leading organization campaigning for Prohibition, and one of the main reasons it passed. “Most” parents fall into this category.  And I don’t blame them.  Having to take care of a drunk person when you’re sober is a punishment worse than death.  Taking care of a drunk teenager is something I wouldn’t wish on a terrorist.  They don’t know their limits, or how to handle themselves.  They’re like the ebola virus.  But an ebola virus that you have to pick up at two in the morning, who won’t shut the fuck up, and barfs in your car.  So as an adult now, I get why my parents might have been a little mad from time to time.

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2.  Bootleggers –  Despite alcohol being illegal during Prohibition, it wasn’t hard to find.  You just had to know the right people.  There were many different avenues to buy alcohol from, at a variety of prices and quality.  High school was no different.  Fake IDs, older siblings, or homeless guys were always solid go-to sources.  To further bring the point home, there was even fellow classmates I knew that would steal alcohol for a price.  If that’s not bootlegging, then I don’t know what is.

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3.  Transport Of Goods –  During Prohibition, bootleggers found clever ways to smuggle in cases of liquor.  Whether it was using secret panels in their cars to conceal the booze, altering clothing, or driving caravans over dangerous frozen lakes.  These motivated individuals always found a way.  I’d like to think my friends and I carried on their adventurous spirit.  We had a graduation trip to Disneyland, which meant big risks sneaking in booze, with even bigger conquences.  But that did not deter us, for we had ingenuity on our side.  Pints of liquor fit great in cereal boxes, and can also be injected into oranges.  Teachers may know a lot, but apparently they didn’t know this. 

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4.  Speakeasies –  Were establishments that illegally sold alcoholic beverages during Prohibition.  A person could congregate with other drinkers, and enjoy the nightlife.  High school had these too.  They were made up by the homes of  kids with “cool parents.”  Which is code for parents who don’t care about them.  That, or they were just never around.  So we kids had free reign!  These were the places you would go to on a regular basis, and drink until someone barfed or got pregnant.  Usually both.  Eventually these safe havens were discovered, as the police received noise complaints or property damage became excessive.  Even cool parents don’t like their tables smashed in half from keg stand accidents.

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5.  Raids – Speakeasies weren’t invincible.  If they became too popular and the word got out, the police would come a-knocking.  If these cops couldn’t be bought, then you could guarantee they were going to come in and smash up the joint.  Speakeasy owners would need to hide the evidence, and patrons would need to disappear.  What do you think happens at a high school party?  I have seen an entire keg thrown through a fence on at least two occassions.  Of course the cops found it next to the keg sized hole in the fence, but at least we were being proactive.  And in terms of disappearing, that was never a problem.  A simple fence hop, or bush dive was sufficient.  Police officers, even bored ones, do not enjoy giving chase so they can call some drunk kid’s parents.

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15 thoughts on “How High School Was Like Prohibition

  1. Wow, that was like WAY too much history for this morning! Ugh, learning! Yuck!

    But seriously, great comparisons, but stop teaching, yo, left school ages ago.

    But no, really, good job.

  2. This sentence cracked me up, “Of course the cops found it next to the keg sized hole in the fence, but at least we were being proactive.”

    I grew up in a small town in East Texas. Once, at a keg party out in the country, the cops showed up. I ran as fast as I could into the dark woods and got stigmata from a barbed wire fence. Bwaahaha! What a dumb thing to do, but a funny memory.

  3. Brilliant! This line was the one that really drove it home for me, “They were made up by the homes of kids with “cool parents.” Which is code for parents who don’t care about them.” Mainly because I still remember so vividly this exact place. Any home that eight 16 year olds can drop acid in and the head of the household had no idea that we did that, probably doesn’t care too much about her kid haha! But that place was awesome in 96!!

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