I heard on the radio this morning that supermarkets are calling for new laws to prevent the sale of cut-price alcohol as a method of curbing the “booze epidemic”.
Personally I feel that demonising drink has the effect of increasing focus on it. Making it more expensive will just mean that people will spend more of their hard-earned in order to get to the same drunken stupor.
The point of 24 hour opening for bars was to prevent the binge drinking where people buy 5 pints and a half dozen shots at last orders and then attempt to neck them all in the last half-hour before they get thrown out into the street.
If there’s no “time please, gentlemen” moment, then no-one should need to binge drink like that. It’s not going to happen overnight as we have decades of “get a last one in” culture to rid ourselves of. It’s going to be a generational change.
My first encounter with alcohol was on a school trip when I was eleven (it was 1983). One of the other kids, whom I shared a room with, had stolen a bottle of wine from his parents and hidden it in his luggage. Even at that early age, Damien and James (my two room-mates) were drinking illicitly. I didn’t drink it.
When I was at University, one of my friends complained that his ulcer was playing up – an ulcer caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Starting a night meant guzzling a few pints bought cheap from the off license and then heading out to a bar to get plastered. Being a non-drinker in a group of drinking friends has good points and bad points. Everyone gets home safe but you also have to put up with some people who are arseholes when they drink (but otherwise okay to know).
Her Indoors has expressed regret that I’m not a drinker. I think she’s embarrassed by it. The assumption seems to be that if you’re my age and you don’t drink then you must have had a “problem” with it when you were younger. Oddly it seems more socially acceptable than just being a non-drinker.
I don’t want to drink – though I do feel like I miss out somewhat. Not in the experience of being drunk, but in the cornucopia of different tastes and in the appreciation of “fine” beverages. I don’t really have the nose for wine though so I’m unlikely to become a connoisseur even if I did start drinking.
I feel pressure at the moment. More than I ever did as a teen.