Doug Clark: Free speech shields bar; customers may not
When I heard that a Spokane bar was serving “Date Grape Koolaid,” I knew the morons running this joint would eventually need my help.
And sure enough, the Daiquiri Factory, 121 N. Wall St., is now in trouble up to its highballs.
I’m not talking about the blowback from the many good people who are rightfully aghast that a business would be so callous and cavalier as to sell an alcoholic drink that makes sport of sexual assault.
No, the real threat to the Daiquiri Factory comes from Kraft Foods representatives. Seems the corporation takes a dim view of having their iconic Kool-Aid brand associated with a sick play on the words “date rape.”
“This blatant misuse of the Kool-Aid trademark is offensive to so many, including us,” said a Kraft spokeswoman in a prepared statement.
Count me among the shocked and appalled masses. I also support the anti-Date Grape petition that is going around.
That said, I have a higher allegiance to the right of fools to speak freely. This is America, after all.
Say some tavern-owning boob puts a Hitler Hefeweizen on tap.
So be it.
My hope is that the forces of the marketplace would take over and the joint would soon close from a lack of beer-loving Nazis.
The same should go with the Daiquiri Factory. Trouble is, I might be giving the young drinking public too much credit to do the right thing.
According to our news accounts, the place sold 10 gallons of the stuff last Saturday and wasn’t backing down “to protesters who gathered outside the bar.”
And get this: The New York Daily News reported on its website that the Daiquiri Factory “lamented that few reporters searched for Date Grape on Urban Dictionary, an online reference for user-submitted definitions which defines Date Grape as follows: ‘When you and your loved one get drunk off of wine and end up hooking up.’ ”
Maybe we really are living in the End Times.
But allow me to make a prediction. Should the Daiquiri Factory’s stubborn insensitivity continue, I foresee a lawyerly legion from Kraft persuading the bar to 86 that potentially litigious “Kool-Aid” reference.
Which would leave the Daiquiri dolts in need of another brand name to smear.
And that, my friends, is where my sage advice comes in.
See, I’ve been around long enough to have what is sometimes referred to as “institutional memory.”
I have used that institutional memory to come up with the perfect replacement trademark that I will give to the Daiquiri Factory free of charge.
From now on they won’t have to hide behind any ridiculous Urban Dictionary definitions. All they have to do is rename their offensive drink …
Date Grape Jordin.
Heck, the DF can stop all the silly semantics and call it Grape Rape Jordin if they want.
Arlin Jordin won’t cause the Daiquiri Factory any legal headaches for the following simple reason: Arlin Jordin doesn’t have any reputation to lose.
Back in the mid-2000s, Jordin was Spokane’s club-prowling poster boy for the real-life evils of date rape.
He was arrested on rape charges in 2004 after “more than 50 women came forward to Spokane police,” wrote my good pal and then-S-R reporter Karen Dorn Steele in a 2008 story.
“They identified eight other women who reported being raped and drugged by Jordin and seven others who believed he gave them drug-laced drinks.”
Jordin was eventually convicted for raping and taking indecent liberties with a woman who said she blacked out after he gave her a margarita, a shot of whiskey and a bowl of soup.
Jordin appealed his 2006 conviction. The appeal was blessedly denied in 2008, and back to the can went this disgusting piece of, well, you know.
Today, inmate 894488 is ensconced in the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, where he is serving a sentence of eight years.
Date Grape Jordin.
When you look at it that way, it’s not so Daiquiri Factory funny anymore, is it?
Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 firstname.lastname@example.org.