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There's a bumper sticker that cleverly reminds us how the Labor movement is partly responsible for our expectation of having a couple of days off. But lately I've been thinking, we could give credit to an earlier innovator, and say "Jews: the people who brought you the weekend."

harry near indy

there won't be any blue laws in the future if there's a buck to be made.


Going to a major league ball game was always a treat when I was a kid, but going to a double header was something extra special. There are a number of reasons why we just don't have them anymore, club owners losing an extra day's gate not least among them, but I can't help but wonder if there's just not much of an appetite for them among fans, too. So many people are so busy, with so many things they just "have" to do, that I wonder how many are willing and able to devote six or seven hours to just sitting there in a ball park watching baseball. Thirty five or forty years ago I couldn't have imagined what would have been better or more important.


Just about an hour south of you, Bergen County NJ still has Blue Laws -- maybe the last county-wide Blue Laws remaining in existence in the US. Essentially, all "non-essential" stores are shuttered, the exceptions being food stores, gas stations, etc., plus the Borders Books in Ramsey (exempted for a dubious "eduational" reason). The individual towns have some say in the matter, which is why the citizens of Paramus will extend these laws unto eternity. And if you've ever tried to drive through Paramus on a Saturday, you'll know why...

Ian Welsh

I'd like Sundays to have stores and business closed by law, with only a few exceptions, actually. Not because I'm religious, but because I liked it when people could have one bloody day a week off, no matter how much of an ass thier boss was.


Well, I don't exactly want to speak up for blue laws, but let me just suggest that there is a silver lining in that cloud...

When I lived in Germany recently, I had to get used to everything being closed on Sundays -- heck, I had to get used to everything closing down on Saturday afternoons. And the thing I discovered was that it was really nice, once you got accustomed to it. The wife and I would invariably be out on Saturday trying to run various errands, and would inevitably start getting snippy with each other when it got around to 2 or 3 in the afternoon and we realized that we wouldn't be able to get everything done by 4, which was when all the stores closed.

Thing was, by 3:30 we would calm down, relax, and realize that we had the rest of the weekend to luxuriate. It didn't matter if our apartment still wasn't furnished or we couldn't buy cleaning supplies, we just had to suck it up and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Ok, these aren't the same as blue laws -- restaurants and bars were still open Saturday and Sunday, so plenty of people still had to work, but for many of us, the pace of life slowed, and we had no other option but to relax and enjoy it. Once it dawns on you how nice this is, one is loathe to give it up.

Later, the law was changed so that shops could stay open until eight, although few went past six. So while many a Saturday evening meal was saved by the local grocery chain staying open until 8, I still missed the forced serenity of not being able to run out for a missing item and just living without it.


I grew up in Connecticut, where you can't purchase alcohol (outside of a restaurant or bar) after 8 or on Sundays. A friend of mine went on vacation there recently and called berating me for not having warned her, so I guess the blue laws are still in force there.

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