From the outside, the Bucktail Lodge in Danville, Iowa looks like a regular bar. But on May 19th, Des Moines County Sheriff receives an anonymous phone call that made him glad he was sitting down.
Vile things were a happening at the Bucktail Lodge, illegal things, things that no conscientious American sheriff could allow to continue if he had even one decent moral fiber left within his soul.
Without wasting even a minute, the Sheriff was on his way; putting the pedal to the metal as hard as he could, knowing all too well that every second counts. The multitude of overheated Chevys with blinking lights and sirens screeched to a stop outside the family bar, and the sheriff could only hope he was not too late.
The sheriff and 16 deputies, all armed to the teeth and itching for action, reached the Bucktail Lodge. They could sense the acrid smell, the foul odor of criminals inside sweating while watching a spectacle so profane that no civilized society could ever issue a license to approve it.
The owners and proprietors of Bucktail Lounge, Jan and Scott Beach quickly admitted to the foul deed for which they may have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of attorney fees, fines and most likely will lose their business.
The husband and wife looked innocent enough but each Sunday, while a boisterous crowd gathered, intoxicated by the local cider and the smell of action, the Beaches lined up six little mice on a track running around the perimeter of the bar.
As the mice ran, the owners accepted money of sin, ill begotten gains earned of the laborers working at the local saw mill who were here instead of with their families.
Yes, the crowd was wagering the maximum $1.50 on the outcome of the race to determine which mouse will cross the finish line first. Such activity is explicitely prohibited under Iowa state law while perfectly legal under American gambling laws
“Mouse racing is entertainment, entertainment for family, friends and it’s something to do on a Sunday afternoon,” said Scott Beach, owner of Bucktail Lodge.
“We don’t consider it gambling at all, it’s just people having fun,” said Jan who went on to say, “The money goes back to them if you win, and if you lose you lose.” But the government does Jan, what you’ve done was allow your friends and neighbors to bet on sports in United States.
“We didn’t know we were committing a criminal act, what is the act,” asked Scott.
Ahh Scott, if only you knew how many people just like you uttered those same words. What is the Act that prohibits mice from running around the bar while local residents and friends enjoy their time off in a small mid-western town?