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PROBE: Sept. 28, 2001

September 28, 2001

QUESTION: There is a sign at Waves in Brawley that warns if you get in a fight, you will be "86ed permanently." I know what that means. But why do bartenders say they "86ed" someone when they refuse service or throw him or her out? — Moderate Drinker, Brawley

Nobody seems to know. We called every bar in the yellow pages without getting an answer. Maybe that's because we called during "happy hour." As the hour wore on, the responses got happier as bartenders put customers on the phone.

It started with, "I really don't know" from the Sagebrush in Seeley to, "That's a good question" at the Desert Club in Seeley. At the Drifters in Imperial, when the bartender stumbled, a patron came to the rescue.

"It means," he said, "take Highway 86 and get out of Imperial." It could mean the same thing in Brawley, El Centro or Salton City.


At Toni's Place in Brawley, we had trouble presenting the question. Finally the bartender demanded, "What's the name of this guy causing problems?"

But when he got a handle on the question, he knew what to do. "It means if he's drunk, call a Yellow Cab. You don't want him driving home drunk."

At the Barbara Worth Golf Resort, owner Bill Adams confessed he didn't know. "I bet it referred to a liquor law. Why don't you call a police station or ABC?"

Good idea but it was after 5 p.m., too late to call the state Alcohol Beverage Control board. Time flies when you're having fun. But don't worry, somebody will tell us and we will tell you.

A BLEEDING HEART — Your response to the reader who inquired about the Border Patrol's pursuit policy was simplistic and in line with the standard bureaucratic excuse to fail to perform their sworn duty to enforce the laws of this country.

I agree that encountering any vehicle driving against the flow of traffic is a harrowing experience. However, committing such an act to evade the law is a felony. I expect any law enforcement agency to do its utmost to enforce to apprehend these miscreants. … Get off your bleeding heart pedestal. — Voice of Reason, Seeley

We are proud to wear the tag of bleeding heart. It's easy to take a tough stand when you're safely seated at your computer.

If an overloaded van carrying illegal aliens plows head-on into a family, the crumpled bodies strewn on the highway will be oozing or gushing real blood.

We agree there has to be a better way. We just haven't heard a solution yet that we like.

OUT OF MY MOUTH — Regarding "Not Pacified" and "Getting Prepared, thank you "Not Pacified." You took the words right out of my mouth.

Did either of those letters say anything about Imperial County? Some of us have family and friends who live outside this area. And, yes, we are concerned. So lighten up! — Also Not Pacified, E-Mail

The aim of "terrorists" is to terrify the population. All of us have to be concerned, but we don't have to wallow in terror. We could be wrong, but we feel comfortable drinking Holtville water and we don't expect a plane to plow into our house.

We keep a little water stored in case of an earthquake or other disaster. We fry hamburger well-done because it could be contaminated with E-coli but we still like our steak medium rare. We're not going to lie awake nights stewing about things over which we have no control.

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