Christmas Cheers!!

‘Tis the day before Christmas  and so to go with my fondest wish for you to have a wonderful Festive Season with your family around you, I present these little gems about the “Christmas Cheer”. (If you are reading this in the western hemisphere, I’m a day ahead of you! Want to know what tomorrow’s going to be like?)

“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the wine I drink I feel shame. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the vineyards and all of their hopes and dreamsIf I didn’t drink this wine, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this wine and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.” 
~ Jack Handy 

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your bra and panties. (…or if you’re a female, whatever it is you wear next to your skin!!) 
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“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day. ” 

~Frank Sinatra 

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people. 
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“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.”
~ Henny Youngman 

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to
think people are laughing WITH you. 
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“24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case . Coincidence? I think not.” 

~ Stephen Wright 

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing. 
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“When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let’s all
get drunk and go to heaven!” 

~ Brian O’Rourke 

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy. 
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“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” 

~ Benjamin Franklin 

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like a monkey with no legs. 
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“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with fish and chips.” 

~ Dave Barry 

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them. 
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To some it’s a six-pack, to me it’s a Support Group. Salvation in a can! 

Dave Howell 

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting. 
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And saving the best for last, as explained by Cliff Clavin, of Cheers. One afternoon at Cheers, Cliff Clavin was explaining the Buffalo Theory to his buddy Norm.
Here’s how it went: 

“Well ya see, Narm, it’s like this- a herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo, and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

Have a Merry Christmas, and a very rewarding New Year.

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Liquor Sales Crackdown

Well ‘crackdown’ probably doesn’t really do it. To me ‘crackdown’ has quite strong inferences and what the government has come up with in their ‘Alcohol Reform Bill’ I suspect is not going to properly address problems that exist in New Zealand society today, particularly with the issue of ease of access to cheap booze. I believe the Law Commission came up short in their recommendations when they reviewed the sale of liquor in New Zealand. They made various suggestions regarding where alcohol may be sold but pretty much left Supermarkets alone other than putting restrictions and guidelines in place as to how and where liquor can be advertised, promoted, and displayed. It strikes me that the proper place for liquor to be sold is a establishment whose business is alcohol! The impact on these businesses of various steps in years gone by to deregulate liquor sales has meant few people (comparatively) actually buy from hotels and numbers who buy from liquor stores have dropped significantly. Unless you wish to buy other than beer and wine, why would you NOT shop for your alcohol at the local supermarket! They have scale on their side and are able to cut the prices of product to little more than cost because they make all of their profits from other essentials (especially dairy products? No! Don’t get me started!) To my mind it makes little difference to the issue of availability if supermarkets are simply told to change promotion and display. I don’t see a walk extended by probably little more than 50-100 metres is going to change buying habits. If people are going into a supermarket to buy their alcohol supplies it isn’t going to be any matter to them that there is no advertising or display stacks by the entrance. If they are buying on an  impulse while grocery shopping, it’s likely they are in the liquor aisles at the time, not convinced necessarily by any advertising they might walk past at the entrance.When current changes are found to be inadequate and the government amends a Sale Of Alcohol Act again they should pull the plug on supermarket sales and restrict sales of beer and wines to establishments licenced specifically for that purpose- wine retailers, hotel off licences and liquor stores. If it means that people are forced to pay slightly more for their beer or wine, so be it- at least the controls that are applied to liquor sales can be more easily policed, and penalties for infringement have a suitably penal effect and thus be a greater deterrant.

THEN when the changes are discovered to have been less than effective the government of the day can do some more navel gazing, commission another review and tinker a bit more. Babies will continue to be abused and/or killed, wives will continue to be beaten, teenagers will continue to have drunken public-place-parties,  young women will continue to disgrace themselves in public and alcohol-and-testosterone-amped young men will drive themselves and their mates into early graves.

DRINKING & DRIVING

Let’s clear the air immediately- alcohol and driving should not come together. And please believe me that this little anecdote isn’t intended as an endorsement of the practice. That being said I am prompted to write this we post having read the start of another’s blog that was titled “IT WAS LIKE DRIVING IN THE 1930s” and began…”Or so my son said, not quite understanding that neither his father nor I were even alive in the 1930s.” http://bloglily.com/2006/07/20/it-was-like-driving-in-the-1930s/

It reminded me of a wonderful trip my brother and I took years ago with a couple of our children. We were travelling over the road from Gisborne to Wairoa via Tiniroto, the same road we, as children travelled with our father when we holidayed at Lake Waikaremaona. Now we are not quite reaching back as far as the 1930s but the late 50s, but the differences between roads, cars and driving habits 50-odd years on are not insignificant.

Anyway, to the trip with our kids. We were quietly trundling along and started to reminisce. It went something like… “…our first stop was the Roseland (a pub not 10 minutes down the road from our starting point) where dad would have a jug while we waited in the car. We’d maybe miss the next couple of pubs but always stopped at the Wairanga a Kuri pub (“let the car cool down after the Gentle Annie Hill”) where Dad would have a jug and we would have a raspberry and lemonade and a bag of chippies. Back in the car and on to Tiniroto for lunch where Dad would have a jug or two and we would have a pie, raspberry and lemonade and talk to the cockatoo. We’d probably stop at Marumaru for another jug for Dad and then …” at which time one of the kids in the back said… “Shiiiit! Wasn’t it dangerous Grand-dad drinking so much?”. My brother stepped heavily on the brakes to bring the speed down to around 40/50kph (25/30mph) and muttered something about not much damage would be done at THIS speed regardless!!! It was a nice, funny moment but had a bit of truth about it. Our car was an old Vauxhall that was built of plate steel, it was driven by a man who seldom reached (let alone exceeded) the speed limit (which was 50mph [30kph] at the time), and every other car on the road was similarly built and driven (although not necessarily by a driver who drank!). Nobody wore seat belts. Few exceeded the speed limit (because they couldn’t in a society in which a large proportion owned older 4 cylinder ‘tanks’).

Our father frequently drove after having drunk a bit of beer but we never had an accident (in fact he had a fault free driving history of  some 75 years!). Coincidentally the only motor accident he was involved in was when a drunk walked in front of him while he was driving past one of the hotels he occasionally had a drink at.

Again, I do not intend this anecdote to endorse a drink-drive habit. Alcohol and driving DO NOT MIX.