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Sugar low: Nanny state absurdity

A state law from 1971 bans restaurants from serving sugar in open containers. The law even specifies the size hole sugar can be poured from — “not more than 3/8 of an inch in diameter.” A bill to repeal that regulation is being opposed by state representatives who use this argument: terrorists might poison sugar bowls.

With that, the nanny state has jumped the shark.

Sugar is the only condiment New Hampshire forbids by law from being served in containers with holes larger than the magically safe size of 3/8 of an inch. Restaurants can serve you a bowl of tartar sauce, ketchup, or mustard, but not a side bowl of sugar for your tea or coffee. Bars can set out bowls of peanuts, popcorn or pretzels, but fine restaurants may not set small ramekins of sugar on their tables. They have to serve it in packets or pourers, just as diners and pizza joints do.

Why? Because ... terrorists have dirty hands, or something. Thank goodness for our wise legislators who have learned to thwart both disease and terrorism with little round sugar container lids.

Eric Church
Saturday, 8 p.m.

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