Can white men sling the booze?

A bit of home drama today. My main computer died this morning and I had to leave for work before fiddling it back into working order. When I returned I found that it was actually the UPS (battery backup thingy in the buzzy box with the flashy lights) that had died. I switched that with the one on my backup computer because that’s rarely used, and bingo, computer fully operational again. The failed one probably needs new batteries, it’s been in use for many, many years. A new one is probably the cheaper option now.

But no internet. Huh? All I did was… oh wait.

The battery backup thingy on the second machine had the phone line running through it because it can. It apparently protects against voltage spikes on that line too. I had pulled out the plugs and plugged one of them into the modem. The wrong one. Well, it looks like an explosion in a spaghetti factory behind those computers – the second one has my video-editing attachments plugged in and can suck the info off any videotape (except Betamax. I don’t have a player for that, but I think I have all sizes of VHS covered), as well as the thing that lets me record my vinyl records onto CDs – and it’s been some time since I dusted back there so all the wires are now the same colour.

There were many bad words, but they worked as well as any magic spell and everything is now back to normal. Including the whisky (Grant’s ale cask reserve, £12 in Morrison’s but I bought the last one, ha ha).

Tomorrow is Friday. I think I’ll get another Ben Bracken in Lidl. It’s a nice whisky and at a penny or so under £18 for a single malt, it’s a good deal. There should be a smoky-drinky at the Booze Brothers’ house tomorrow but whether I go or not will depend on the iciness of the pavements. We are once again in a freeze-melt weather situation, there is snow but not much, it’s melting rapidly by day but refreezing into sheets of clear ice at night. I have no wish to spend another six weeks waiting for a rib to heal. If it’s icy, I’ll stay home. There will be other smoky-drinkies and they are more fun if your ribs don’t hurt.

I have reduced my drinking (I know, it can be hard to tell) because now that I have to go to work almost every day, polishing off a bottle in one evening is no longer a good idea. Not when some wild customer with a prehensile rectum has had an unfortunate rear-end episode in the toilets. It doesn’t happen often but you never know when it will. It’s really best not to be hung over. It’s probably largely my fault that figures show declining drink sales. Sorry about that, Big Booze, but if it’s any consolation, I can’t make my own whisky and even if I could, I don’t want to have to leave it in a barrel for twelve years until it’s ready. You guys are safe for now, unlike the tobacco mob.

Soon there will be minimum pricing on booze. it’s a stupid idea, it won’t work, nobody with any sense at all wants it, it will drive the criminal production of dodgy moonshine through the roof, booze trips will race the smokers to the continent, but the government will do it anyway. Wondering what they are thinking? Wrong question. Wonder ‘whether’. Hint: The answer is ‘no’.

It’s guaranteed not to work. It’s already proven not to work. How?

The anencephalics pushing this idiotic idea believe that if people drink less, then there will be less hospital admissions due to drink and it will save the NHS money. The NHS could save billions at a stroke if it wanted to and improve patient care in the process, by firing at least three layers of managers. They won’t do that. They prefer to stop people using the service they pay for so the managers can get paid and not have to do anything.

As VGIF and others have shown, more than once, the rate of booze consumption has been falling steadily for years. As a nation, we are drinking less every year. I know quite a few youngsters who rarely or never bother drinking, even students – which is unnatural and would, in my student days, have marked them as probably possessed by demons. More and more youngsters drink a beer now and then, fewer of them get to the stage of melting eyes and waking to the pounding of the drink-goblin’s skull-hammer.

A friend of mine had a theory. This is the same friend I went drinking with in Prestwick, many years ago. We visited every pub and one night, in the last one, we solved the riddle of the meaning of life but neither of us could remember what it was. Anyway, his theory was that you get one drink-goblin for every drink you have in a night and when you’re asleep, they smack you around the head, rub their thumbs in your eyes, coat your tongue and teeth with wallpaper paste and spray you all over with shit-smell. One or two can’t do much harm but ten or more of them…

Back to the point. Booze consumption in the UK is in a steady decline. Ransacking of town centres by the Living Drunk isn’t. Neither are hospital admissions of pissheads who have woken up to find they have been in a fight with someone much bigger and they quite clearly didn’t win. The current reduction in consumption is having no effect at all because those who are reducing their intake are not the ones whose brains float in a sea of beer every weekend. Those people will be violently and stupidly plastered every weekend no matter what it costs. If they can’t pre-load with cheap supermarket booze they will brew their own (it’s not hard) or they will buy unmarked bottles of dodgy hooch and go blind. Will that save the NHS money? I think not. I suspect it’s going to cost the NHS a lot more, while reducing the tax intake required to pay for it. But government, being composed of drips from the Idiot Tap, will do it anyway.

It will hit those who drink moderately. It will hit those of us who drink immoderately but don’t go out smashing things up or ending up in casualty. I’ve been in casualty twice but I was stone cold sober both times.

It will have no effect at all on those for whom getting blind drunk and being a git about it is the very essence of a good night out. It will boost all levels of criminality. It will increase costs to the NHS, not reduce them.

Does anyone imagine the government will ever realise this? I don’t think they will, not even after it has become reality. People just keep voting for morons.

(If the title of this post makes no sense, then your musical education is in a terrible state).

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35 thoughts on “Can white men sling the booze?

  1. The govt is _not stupid_ …it is bringing in minimum booze pricing on purpose, exact’y because it will cause all that stuff you correctly predict. It knows this.

    It will then be able to “put more police on the streets”, for one thing.

    • Then it makes sense for them to cut the police now (cue public outrage) and let the courts undermine those arrests the police make (cue public outrage). Eventually they will ‘give in to public demands’, fill the streets with armed police and impose harsh sentences for even minor crimes.

      And people will applaud it all, because they think it will never apply to them.

  2. UPS = Uninterruptible Power Supply

    Pull the plug out of the UPS and plug it in the socket. Just a thought! Didn’t realize anyone still used a UPS these days.

    If it’s a laptop you don’t need it anyway because the battery will cut in if the mans goes off.

    • It’s as old as the computer ;)

      This is a desktop, ancient and in desperate need of at least a clearout of the email followed by an all-night defrag session. I’ll get around to it one day.

      I have a laptop, another identical desktop machine, some of those ‘netbook’ things that are fun but don’t seem to achieve much and now the blasted phone is an internet machine too. So far I have developed no interest at all in those tablet things.

      In the attic are three BBCs and an Amstrad PC1512 and I think they all still work. There are others up there being gradually cannibalised for parts.

      Every year I have a spring clean. I dust all the junk and put it all back.

  3. Most probably the battery – they use “sealed” GEL cells, which have a habit of expiring after years of being kept continuously float charged. If it’s the very common 12v 6-7Ah type you can get them from most electrical wholesalers, since they are used in alarm panels. No doubt also available from Ebay etc, but the postage could be expensive due to the weight…

    • I’ll look into changing the batteries but if they’re expensive I probably won’t bother. Everything important is backed up and the machine is so old it’s worthless and certainly not worth spending money to protect.

  4. “But government, being composed of drips from the idiot tap…”

    Priceless, thank you for that.
    Home brewing and frequent trips to B & M ensure I have cheap beer & cider. Sadly, for whisky it’s maintaining a watchful eye on supermarket offers until that too is stopped by the righteous.

  5. There will never be a decrease in hospital admissions for alcohol related issues that will be big enough to decrease the demands for tax money for alcohol control.

    The definition standards will be fudged to keep up the apperance of an epidemic of such admissions.

    Soon they will probably count admissions due to exposure to second hand alcohol fumes.

  6. At some point here, as in Portugal and even the USA (bloody shock there) government-like entities will start relaxing drug controls, since even the biggest morons in the world can’t really carry on a ban if nobody really takes any notice of them. At this point, we can start doing a little bit of experimenting with drug mixtures.

    A lot of the teenage booze-zombies go out on the town to get utterly bombed out of their tiny minds of booze. Increasing the price merely alters the source of the booze, and given how childishly easy it is to make fairly potable alcohol at home, price increases aren’t going to work. Targetted punishment of offenders, such as by simply rounding up drunks, slinging them into a drunk-tank overnight then sentencing all to a day working the town clean-up crew may help a bit, but won’t do a great deal.

    No, the way to go here is in harm mitigation. If they want to get utterly blitzed, and will get utterly blitzed no matter what, then what you do is experiment with what they get blitzed on. A short-acting benzodiazeprene combined with a low dose of an empathogenic drug like MDMA, or something similar, plus a euphoriant, an oxytocin-mimic and a safe stimulant like caffeine would work fairly well.

    What you wouldn’t get is rowdy drunks on this sort of mixture; you’d get barely conscious zombies stumbling around the place declaring undying love for each other, random passers-by and even street furniture, police officers and trees. The likes of these wouldn’t be a public order problem in any sense of the word, though they might constitute a traffic hazard.

    Similarly doing selective extracts of cannabis plus some of the above would give another way for the feckless and stupid to make the world go away for a while, whilst heavily supressing any attitude and anger problems said fools might be harbouring. Once again, not so much living fury as shambling zombies.

    It deserves experimentation, I think.

    • Sounds fun, in a Mengele sort of way. Or maybe in Huxley sort of way. What you’re describing sounds like the precursor to Soma.

      Which is probably being developed , deep in the bowels of Glaxo.

      (For some reason, I can’t help reading that last line in the tune of ‘Deep in the heart of Texas’. Maybe there’s a song-corruption in there).

    • Fight the problem with constructive medication. Hmmm. I rather like that, it has a pleasing symmetry. BTW, how is it that you have a doctorate, but make sense? It’s unnatural I tells ye…

          • Oh yes. I am Doctor Drunkenbastard. PhD 1987 with a thesis on the metabolism of the rumen protozoa. Mostly on the holotrichs Dasytricha and Isotricha. Back when we did real science. Now I am a janitor in Local Shop – incidentally, we had a glowing report from the Food Standards Agency on shop cleanliness, but I stayed out of the guy’s way in case he recognised me. No need for him to know why the place is rapidly approaching pathogen lab standard ;)

  7. Just finished my last bottle of Grants Ale Cask, very nice too. Opened a bottle of single malt by the English whiskey co. Strong and interesting, probably an acquired taste but will know when the bottles empty :)

      • Somebody bought me a bottle of The Black Grouse for Chrimbo. If Islay is your thing, it’s for you. To me, it was Liquid Rubbish Fire. Smoky? Nah, not much…

        • I wasn’t impressed with Black Grouse nor with Snow Grouse. These days, at the cheaper end, I go for Grant’s, Teacher’s, Whyte and Mackay or Stewart’s Cream of the Barley. Clan MacGregor is okay too.

          Lidl seem to have all-exclusive whiskies. Queen Nargot 8-year old isn’t bad, the 3-year-old is toilet cleaner. Glen Orchy (tonight’s tipple) is a decent vatted malt. Monkey Shoulder is better but isn’t in Lidl and costs more. Ben Bracken seems to be aimed at confusing Ben Bromach fans but it’s a lot cheaper. Pretty good single malt for the price.

          For Islay, I’d go for Laphroaig or Ardbeg or Bruaichladdich. All very nice but all depend on current income levels and spare cash amounts. That’s real smoke-drinking!

  8. I get UPSs in to repair from time to time. It’s ALWAYS the batteries. They often seem okay, they hold the voltage and will deliver a current to a dummy load, but the UPS is a fussy beast. If a UPS won’t go, it IS the batteries. Replace them all. Buy them from CPC. Free postage over £45, if it hasn’t gone up again. Easy enough to change, too. Use the old batteries in less demanding applications, they probably still work well enough for most jobs.

    • Last time I did one Maplin (of all places) was the cheapest. Oddest thing is that exactly the same battery is used in my small ride on mower – I would have thought that a starter motor, even a small one, needed completely different characteristics.

      • I like going in to our reasonably local Maplin (it’s a half hour bus ride but here, that’s local) because I have a five-digit customer number. I used to order stuff from them when I was 16.

  9. When I started work in London in 2004, it was commonplace to have a jar or two over lunch. During the Ashes of 2005, the office had our Blackberry numbers to reach us in extremis – we were in meetings.

    We moved to our new building in 2006. A pub was across the road – relatively happy days, although far more subdued.

    That pub which had stood there for 60 years, has now been razed to the ground. A great pity as it had a smoking area (more busy than the Alzheimer’s candidtate’s).

    I have a Compaq R3600 UPS I think (it’s too heavy to lift up and read). It has to be left off most of the time because it makes the room too warm. But I am surprised that a UPS would not fail-safe and deliver any juice it was getting even if it was packing up itself.

    FYI I am drinking Slyrs, from Germany. Not the character of a Knockando, a Laphroig or Lagavulin, but a Teutonic attention to smoothness that I find disconcerting. It reminds me of Alice’s ‘Drink Me’ concoction, and I wish that I had the time to neck the entire bottle and see what happened. I probably would end up talking to rabbits – which is an improvement on most fornicating humans alive today.

    • Cardiff had (probably still has) a pleasant but not too strong beer called Brains Light. Two at lunchtime and you could still function. I used to meet a pal for lunch every day, even though we worked in entirely different companies. Pie and two pints. Lovely.

      Since the ban, I have been to pubs maybe once a year. We have a new Weatherspoons – well, it’s been here a few years so not all that new – that I have not been into at all. There seems no point.

      Mine is an APC CS500 (they both are) with software that powers the computer down when it all goes tits up. That part seems to have worked, the computer was undamaged.

      Heh, for a whisky that’s far too easy to drink, try the Singleton. You will feel no effects until you try to get out of your chair and find you can’t remember how…

      • The failsafe aspect of a UPS presumably lies in refusing to work with batteries if they’re not, say, 90% within spec. The “battery fault” light comes on, (and is ignored), and nags you to replace them before the next power cut. It’s not good finding out that your bats are dud when the power cut actually happens.
        Or some such excuse.
        I end up with more reasonable second-hand batteries than I know what to do with. Unless you float-charge them, they die anyway.

  10. I have an unopened 1 litre bottle of Singleton. I first sampled it at a whisky tasting evening.

    My booze stocktake tells me that I have 18 litres of single malt unopened. I had to stop buying duty free because I was running out of space. It has to be kept under lock and key because Mrs 20 is a notorious booze fiend and I have caught her at my whisky before.

    Thankfully, she’s pants with cars or she’d have been at the antifreeze by now. The total liquor stocktake stands at 69 litres, but it includes three bottles of wine and four of champagne.

    Because I am a foreigner, I have a stockpile back home too. It should be formidable as I inherited my uncle’s cellar in 2001 to top off my frenzy of duty free buying during the 90s.

    Prodigious consumption will ensure that every organ is bathed in pure, clean EtOH, my liver producing ADH like a six-year old in a Chinese electronics factory, phosphorylating that dreary ADP into ATP in a roundabout way with NADH I think (it has been thirty years).

    The booze will outlive me. The liver can be a complete bastard of an organ. Mine works like Usain Bolt and Mo Farah, but it looks like Diane Abbot – fat and lazy, falling asleep on the job. Not only that, thanks to its interference, I sober up, wasting my money and spoiling the fun.

    The UPS I have starts with a worrying growl. If you have anything drawing a load from it and remove the mains power, it goes into lioness mode and wakes everyone in the datacentre – our bedroom.

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