Friday, May 9

Thanks love, but I'd better head home

With Mother's Day looming, I head out to buy the appropriate flowers. And then, with two splendid bunches of chrysanthemums in my arms, surely it would be safe to detour into the Bayview. A couple of beers wouldn't hurt, and when I get home I could always push the flowers in through the door first to appease the missus.

One of those charming young ladies who dispense the beer in the Bayview asks: "Would you like me to stamp your card?"

What's this? The barmaid points to posters around the pub. Drink six schooners of Victoria Bitter on Friday night while you watch the football on satellite TV, and you can collect a free T-shirt.

Well, yes, just what I need – to stagger up the street, or worse, to drive home, with more than eight standard alcoholic drinks under the belt. And wearing a green T-shirt with a VB logo just to show how I got that way.

[If you don't live in New South Wales, you may not know that our schooner glass holds about 370ml of beer. With VB at 4.8 per cent alcohol, that's about 1.4 standard drinks per schooner.]

Let's not be hypocritical about this. As my caricature on the top post suggests, your grumpy old blogger has at times enjoyed the embrace of Vino and her friend John Barleycorn.

Still, I find something disturbing about a brewery promotion which rewards the drinker for downing over eight standard drinks in a couple of hours.

Last night's worry about the demon drink was all the worse for my reading the previous day's Sydney Morning Herald, which reported a Cancer Institute of NSW study showing an alarming increase in some cancers for people who sipped only one or two drinks a day.

Naturally, I prefer to remain sceptical about these findings. But then, I was sceptical about greenhouse gases and global warming – until I assessed the number and calibre of those scientists issuing the warnings, against those denying them. Let's see how the alcohol/cancer warnings stack up in disinterested analysis.

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