VATupdate

VATupdate Newsletter Week 47 2021

We don’t know about you, but we find these Covid-19 measures sometimes pretty confusing. Luckily, confusing rules and many restrictions on how companies can do business, also can result in creative solutions.

Recently, I read a story about the Raines Sandwich. This was invented in the 1900s in the USA, when bars tried to find a way to legally serve beer to customers. This was not illegal as such at that time, but due to a special law (the ‘Raines Law’), bar owners were obliged to serve a ‘substantial meal’ with each drink. The background of this was that the US government tried to combat public drunkenness.

Obliged to serve a sandwich with each drink, the bartender duly served a sandwich with each drink. That is to say, the bartender served the same sandwich with each drink. Every drink order was accompanied by a sandwich, and as soon as that sandwich touched the table beside your beer or whiskey, it was whipped away and served up with the next drink order, and the next, and the next. Sometimes the same sandwich would be recycled for a week or more.

It was known as the Raines Sandwich, named after the Law. Sometimes the sandwich was made of rubber, and sometimes the joke became so absurd that bartenders presented a brick sandwiched between slices of bread.

Back to 2021: we can’t even go into a bar anymore because of a lockdown, or we have to test for Covid-19 first, or we have to show a QR code. Are companies finding ways around that? Probably yes, or, more likely, the visitors are. Not with fake sandwiches, but with fake QR codes for example. Which is stupid of course.

We are not against drinking beer. And we are not pro or con vaccinations or QR codes perse. But we do believe that endangering yourselves, but more importantly the people around you, by purposely avoiding or disobeying rules and thus taking the risk to infect yourselves or others, is a very stupid thing to do.

Moral of this week: stay safe, respect each other, but don’t go around with the Raines Sandwich.

Oh, and of course there’s lot’s of VAT news as well this week. Check it out on our website www.vatupdate.com. It’s very nice.

If you have any comments or ideas that you want to share with us, please send us an email at [email protected] or leave a comment under the posts of this newsletter on LinkedIn.


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