Guest Commentary

A response: If you want a beer, please bring the proper ID

Soon, the Longhorn Restaurant in Tombstone will be celebrating its 31st year in the food service and hospitality business. We would like to thank the hundreds of thousands of customers we have had from all around the world. We have always cherished every person who has visited and revisited us; many are not only customers, but have returned over the years as friends.

We would also like to thank our employees. We are very proud of all of you, from the newly hired all the way to one who is entering her 21st year.

Recently, a freelance writer sold an editorial to the Tucson Weekly ("If You're a Dark-Skinned African Wanting a Beer in Tombstone, Bring Your Passport," O'Sullivan, Nov. 16); the same story was later picked up (or bought?) by the Tombstone News. The article was obviously motivated by greed (the writer was paid for the sensationalizing of an event, and newspaper printed it as a grabber). It is unbelievable that a publisher would actually pay for such a defamatory editorial.

Who else but newspapers that are hurting for text would have picked up a story that in its first three sentences contained a word we would not repeat in front of our grandchild (not to mention the filthy language contained within the article)? To say that this was a disgusting display of ignorance is not to even address the defamatory portrayal of the Longhorn Restaurant as well as its wonderful employees.

To begin with, it is a shame that neither the writer, nor newspapers, researched the Arizona state liquor law, Section 4, regarding age, which clearly outlines the legal drinking age and acceptable forms of identification (as well as the recommendation that anyone who appears to be under the age of 30 be carded).

It is also unfortunate that once informed of the law, the writer and her guest could not accept Arizona law, by which we are all expected to adhere. It seems that the writer would have had our employees serve alcohol to a person not meeting the legal requirement, with no thought to the possible repercussions to the employee or business. It was, however, astute of the writer to relate the form of ID presented to a Chuck E. Cheese's card, as it has about the same amount of validity to purchase alcohol in the eyes of Arizona State Liquor Control.

The writer goes on to lash out at the server, who, by the way, is a quiet, pleasant, even-tempered Mexican of Indian descent, who was described as a "squinty-eyed broad with a too-tight ponytail"; there is no shame in being a Mexican or Indian or any other culture that may posses beautiful, unique physical features, not to mention that that the ponytail is one of the suggested hair styles of the Arizona Department of Health Services (2-402.11).

Next, the writer went on to describe the Western uniform shirt of an employee as "a shirt with snaps instead of buttons" as if it were a white robe with a hood. (Maybe we are out of touch; have the snaps of Western wear become some sort of underground signal for something dreadful?) As for the comment about the "pomade in his hair," the writer is lucky to have been able to interact with our manager since his section is usually full with people who request his services; the professionalism he lends to our business is invaluable.

The refusal of a beer should never have embarrassed anyone; we would hope that the writer's friend, who apparently earned a doctorate, would not approve of the writer having sunk so low as to describe decent, hard-working people in such a negative, prejudicial and defamatory manner. No apology is necessary except for the one that should be given to those who were vilified while trying to do an honest day's work.

And if you're still looking for answers, here are a couple: 1) we still honor our men in uniform by serving Freedom Fries, 2) we would suggest the pork ribs or Black Angus prime rib, and 3) if you want an alcoholic drink, please provide the proper ID.

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