Ah . . . alcohol. The wondrous and all mighty social lubricant available at hundreds of inebriation stations in a town near you. Whether your poison be sprits, beer or wine, there is a beverage out there for everyone to enjoy. Responsibly, of course . . . or so it is recommended.
We all know that when the room begins to spin, sitting or laying down feels a lot “cuddlier” than usual. Long walks to McDonalds or other far-off rapid food producing facilities seem not as far. Sometimes men seem an awful lot like attractive women (long story) or typically undateable people seem highly dateable and excellent choices for relationship partners (even longer story).
Many of us are familiar with the current advertising campaigns for alcoholic beverages. Most of these slogans include the message “Please drink responsibly” or some take on the phrase. Personally I feel that they should read more like side mirrors on cars: “Please drink responsibly* Things may seem better and more awesome than they actually are.” But, we all make mistakes.
Ads these days are nowhere near as fun as they used to be. For example, advertisements for Guinness designed in the ’30s and ’40s had slogans and phrases like “Guinness for Strength” or “Guinness is Good For You.”
In the “good ol’ days” it was legal to promote the fun and pleasure that sometimes came with alcohol consumption. Ads were permitted to suggest that you might feel awesome, stronger, empowered or that you’d be cooler after consuming a company’s specific brew, ignoring the hangovers, embarrassment and health risks.
This caviler attitude towards alcohol marketing all changed very rapidly, both here and abroad, with almost every country having its own regulations for what can and can’t be said in an advert. Some of the most extreme regulations can be found in countries like the Ukraine, Kenya and France, where alcohol advertisement on television have been banned, with the intention being to cut down on underage drinking — a whole wormhole of a subject.
As an underage minor who drank, I learned the value of a dollar; many excellent evenings were spent surrounded by friends at King’s Park drinking Old English. When you were young and money was tight you knew that OE was a cost effective way to get drunk. For those of you who remember OE as well as I do, you’ll remember it tasted awful; but it got you where you wanted to be at a reasonable price.
On a related note, drinking at public events: be it sports or music events, has always been a popular activity for many a fan of inebriation. I never do it, mostly because I end up driving. But I have often noticed that the line for beer is directly proportion to the line for the bathroom.
But hey, maybe some people get their kicks out of paying $30-120 dollars for a concert and then doing their absolute best to match that dollar amount in beer. So much for listening to the music; couldn’t you have gotten wasted at home?
That being said, I recently attended the Arcade Fire concert, and was fascinated to find that this was not the case there. People were in there seats, and while I did see a lot of beer cups, it was, in my estimation, not the usual amount. I attribute this to them being wonderful musicians; and possibly the lack of PBR in this country.
Finally there is the problem of drinking and driving. If I was an officer of the law, I would think to set up a check-stop outside the exit of the football stadium parking lot. With out a doubt I’d be able catch the inebriated assholes filled with fermented barley, disappointed that the Bombers have managed to lose another game, and nab them before they get to kill someone.
Seriously, why hasn’t anyone thought of this?
Same thing applies to local watering holes. Just sit outside and stick the Breathalyzer tube in the mouth of the guy or girl with keys in his or her hands. I promise you we could cut back on alcohol related vehicular fatalities.
Miguel Yetman for police commissioner everybody!