It's a Christmas miracle

Never underestimate the capacity of government to waste its time and your money.

A year ago, the state of Connecticut decided to slap a ban on sales of certain English beers marketed under such names as Bad Elf and Very Bad Elf. The ill-conceived move was predicated on the "logic" that the colorful bottle labels might attract underage drinkers.

Cooler heads eventually prevailed, under pressure of a lawsuit from Massachusetts importer/distributor Shelton Brothers, and the ban was rescinded -- although not in time to keep from harming sales.

This month, New York State virtually re-ran the whole Connecticut episode, banning the sales of the same product and using the same "logic." Another lawsuit was filed, and another overzealous state agency folded.

The State Liquor Authority yesterday informed all parties involved that sales of Very Bad Elf, Seriously Bad Elf, Santa's Butt and several other seasonal beers would be allowed.

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