With Beirut's municipal election day just around the corner, the Ministry of Interior has taken it upon itself to ensure that we all get up bright and early and go perform our civic duty.

According to a decree issued late last April, all night clubs are not allowed to open the night preceding elections. Cafes and restaurants are to shut their doors by 1 am at the latest.

Yes, the government wants to make sure that you do not spend your Saturday getting too drunk and too hungover the next day to go vote. Never mind the fact that certain officials were straight up jamming in Europe while peaceful protests were being shot at during summer.

"At least they are telling us about it this time," the owner of a popular Mar Mkhayel bar told Beirut.com. "Most of the time the police just show up and shut us down for no reason...at least this time it is for a national cause."

He was troubled by the fact that he was losing money yet seemed happy to trade a day of financial loss for a sense of nationalism. "Elections are important," he said. "Let the kids go vote…we’ll get drunk together next week."

The owner of a Badaro bar confessed that this is the first he hers of the decree. "This always happens...they never tell us in time," he said visibly fuming. "They never warn us about these things...you only find out when the cops are knocking at your door at 1:30 a.m. telling you that that part is over."

Yet a patron of an antique pub tucked away within one of Hamra's alleys did not seem too concerned. "It is true that the cops force the bars and restaurants shut," he said. "But you see my bar is not on the main street....they probably don't know this bar exists so they won't bother me."

As it stands, your best bet is to spend your Saturday night boozing in some low key bar that cops never heard off or try to get all your required alcohol intake before 1 a.m. Better yet, throw yourself a house party and show those bastards that they have no control over your alcoholism.

But if you intend to solve the reasons that drive you to indulge in alcohol fueled escapism every weekend, then do go and vote. And do make sure it is for the right people, like Beirut Madinati.


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