Scott Brodfuehrer | Monday, April 19, 2004
I think that deep down it is the dream of every college student who has turned 21 to be in a bar when it gets busted. Not to see people get in trouble, of course, but just to see what exactly what goes down without fear of getting into trouble.Thursday night, I and many other students got to experience this as Finnegan’s (okay The Library) got busted for the second time in a year. The music stopped and people started saying they thought the bar was getting busted. I figured that it was impossible – I thought Excise would be more likely to bust a bar with more underage students (like a certain Finnegan’s neighbor on Wednesday nights).But as police officers began to swarm through the bar and there were numerous announcements that no one could hear, the reality of the evening began to set in. And it was cool. For about five minutes.But then there is everything else associated with the bar bust that has to be dealt with, like the excruciating process of getting out of a busted bar. This involved a 45-minute wait before an officer from the Indiana State Police reviewed my two forms of identification and asked me several questions to prove my identity. My roommate even got asked what his sign was. And then there was process of notifying my friends here at The Observer that the bar was being busted and that they needed to send a reporter and a photographer. Contrary to popular belief, The Observer is not tipped off before a bar is busted (and many staffers have the Boat Club citations to prove it). Instead, there is a network of carefully placed informants in bars across South Bend every night, waiting for a bar bust. After all, us retired top staff members still have an important role to play in this newsgathering organization.But the editor working Thursday night thought that my bust report was a test of his gullibility and didn’t believe me. It took repeated calls and getting another Observer staffer at the bar to call him before he agreed to send a reporter.But there are some benefits – or at least interesting things that happen when you are in a bar that busted. I ran into some familiar faces at Excise Police. One officer who busted the tailgate party I was attending at Purdue and busted the tailgate party I was at for the Florida State here at Notre Dame was in attendance at the Finnegan’s bust. Apparently he finds the busts in Gary more fun because they involve “dope.”So after this third encounter with Excise, I think I can pretty much pick out any member of the Michigan City division and forewarn minors of their presence. And I have a cool story to tell my kids some days down the road to warn them about the dangers of underage drinking. Wink, wink.