By Jack Strauss
Roger operated a restaurant where his customers could eat dirt cheap, but it wasn’t dirt that his customers were interested in eating.
What they were interested in was watching his topless waitresses parade back and forth from table to table.
And, while his waitresses attracted a great number of diners, they ultimately attracted the attention of a straight-laced gendarme who gave Roger a ticket for operating a restaurant, that provided entertainment, without a license.
“Somebody has made an obvious mistake,” protested Roger in court. “I provide neither entertainers nor entertainment in my restaurant. All I provide are hard-working waitresses who neither sing, dance nor even do card tricks. All they do is dish out the food.”
“While he may not employ performers in the customary sense of the word,” smiled the prosecuting attorney, “when Roger’s shapely waitresses bounce around from table to table, they are as entertaining as any act in town. They constitute language in action. That’s why he needs an entertainment license.”
IF YOU WERE THE JUDGE, would you convict Roger of providing entertainment without a license?
This is how the judge ruled: YES! The judge held that entertainment is defined as a pleasant occupation of the senses.
And, concluded the judge, Roger’s bare-chested damsels occupied the senses of his customers with sufficient apparent pleasure so as to constitute entertainment without a license.
(Based upon a 1947 California App. Div. Superior Court Decision)
Jack Strauss, a retired New York City trial attorney who now resides in Berea, wrote a syndicated column for 36 years called, “What’s the Law?” It appeared in papers coast to coast, including the Pittsburgh Press, the Los Angeles Examiner, the Hartford Times, the Kansas City Star and the Philadelphia Daily News, among many others. It appears here with his permission.