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Welcome to Massachusetts: you WILL have a happy Thanksgiving -- or else

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The day when people traditionally spend time with their families and other loved ones, a brief respite from such concerns as work. Most businesses are closed, and those that do open usually only staff minimally, with healthy incentives.

Several years ago, I worked for a company that prided itself on being open 365 days a year. We were all told that we could all expect to work on at least one of the Big Four (4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's). I always volunteered to work the 4th and Thanksgiving. Not only would I collect 20 hours pay for 8 hours work (8 hours pay at mandatory time-and-a-half overtime, plus 8 hours holiday pay), but I'd be off the hook to take vacation during the Christmas rush. It was a great racket.

But that choice isn't open to people of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts law mandates that nearly all retailers close on Thanksgiving. The only exceptions are pharmacies, convenience stores, and gas stations. And Massachusetts' Attorney General, Tom Reilly (apparently resentful that his hopes that illegal aliens get in-state tuition rates at Massachusetts colleges), is cracking down on that law this year. He's sent out warning letters to Wal-Mart, the Whole Foods natural grocery store chain, Family Dollar, and Big Lots telling them that they WILL lock their doors and they WILL spend time with their families and they WILL enjoy the holiday, under penalty of law.

Ah, Massachusetts. The state where everything is either mandatory or forbidden. The perfect place to be if you don't want to think for yourself, and wish to be relieved of the tiresome burden of freedom.


Comments (9)

I tell you what; without th... (Below threshold)
harrison:

I tell you what; without the gummint, we wouldn't know what to do.
Helps me sleep at night.
Jeez, what arrogance.

If you don't have family in... (Below threshold)

If you don't have family in the area, or if you simply choose not to spend it with them, what then? Or, what if your family is one of those made entirely of people who don't cook who'd prefer to go out for a nice dinner at a restaurant that'd otherwise be open on Thanksgiving?

Bah.

Also, what about those grocery stores that've recently been adding gasoline to the things they sell? Do they also qualify as "gas stations"? What is a "convenience store"? I don't tend to care much for their customers, but I'm hard pressed to think of a store that's more convenient than Wal*Mart -- there's one on every corner, it seems, and they've got just about everything.

Ahhh, Taxachusetts. The Sa... (Below threshold)
bob jones:

Ahhh, Taxachusetts. The San Francisco of the East Coast. Your state almost sounds communist, plus you have Teddy the Schwimmer, John F'ning Kerry, and now subsidized heating oil from Hugo the commie for your scads of po folk.

Well doesn't Wal-Mart have ... (Below threshold)

Well doesn't Wal-Mart have a pharmacy inside? Can't they demand to stay open because of that? C'mon, people, where's the loopholes to jump through?

"... relieved of the tireso... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

"... relieved of the tiresome burden of Freedom." is a marvelous phrase... pertinent, inventive, and perfectly descriptive of the moral lethargy of the left. I congratulate you, Sir. And I will be sure to spell your name correctly every time I borrow it.

It's all about the unions a... (Below threshold)

It's all about the unions and WALMAHHHT, I tell ya!!!

Actually we used to have la... (Below threshold)

Actually we used to have laws like that in PA (Blue Laws, they were called). Ours were either repealed or struck down in the early-to-mid seventies.

I heard something about thi... (Below threshold)

I heard something about this on the radio yesterday, and thought that surely this can't be the whole story - in the year 2006, a law like this is still on the books, and worse, it's actually being ENFORCED?

Damn. Never underestimate the small-mindedness of petty authority.

Blue laws are perhaps the s... (Below threshold)

Blue laws are perhaps the stupidest subset of laws in existence, and the ones in Massachussets are stupider than most. Here in Texas, we still have one blue law on the books (car dealerships may not be open on both Sat and Sun), but we chucked the rest in the dustbin back in the 80's. But at least the Texas blue laws allowed restaurants to be open on Thanksgiving.

Some people are going to be unable to visit family during any given holiday. Around here those of us who can't make it to a family get together instead get together at the Furrs Cafeteria for Thanksgiving dinner. The whole Random Family went a few years ago (after an incident involving a cat, two dogs, a turkey, a large bowl of dressing, and a prosthetic hand)and we discovered a large community of strangers celebrating Thanksgiving together. Apparently, singles away from home, the elderly with family away from home, and families who have kitchen disasters are required to just live with it in Taxachussets.

How progressive!




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