Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - Brian Chisholm, Queen­stown

What an in­ter­est­ing read your Mir­ror is this week (De­cem­ber 7) re­gard­ing al­co­hol.

It had to hap­pen, didn’t it? Sooner or later the gen­eral pub­lic were go­ing to say ‘enough’. But has any­one given this any se­ri­ous thought rather than just emo­tive re­ac­tions to in­di­vid­ual cir­cum­stances?

When we look at the ef­fects of al­co­hol, they’re wide rang­ing, ev­ery­thing from harm­less placid­ness to down­right vi­o­lent rag­ing beasts.

It can turn the most tem­per­ate per­son into an in­sane an­i­mal and ev­ery al­co­hol user (in­clud­ing my­self) has to un­der­stand and ac­cept that.

Per­son­ally, gen­er­ally, I don’t en­joy be­ing in the com­pany of an ine­bri­ated per­son and I haven’t been in this con­di­tion for many years.

I en­joy a few drinks, but stop well be­fore this point and I also recog­nise per­sonal be­hav­iour changes.

I waited for a re­ac­tion to crate day. I knew it was com­ing and par­tic­i­pants have to ac­cept that they are col­lec­tively re­spon­si­ble for any bans etc that may be im­posed.

But users aren’t the only ones at fault here.

Bar own­ers and other liquor li­cence holders also have to take a swift self up­per­cut.

The prac­tice of scalp­ing their clien­tele leads peo­ple into smug­gling al­co­hol into var­i­ous venues and con­certs.

At a con­cert a cou­ple of years ago, I paid $72 for 12 cans of beer.

It’s un­likely that I’ll go to an­other, but if I do,I’ll be do­ing my very best to smug­gle al­co­hol through the gate and have no con­science about do­ing it.

The other prac­tice in some bars is to wa­ter down the spir­its. They’ll deny it, but it’s a fact. My spirit of choice is bour­bon and I’m par­tic­u­lar and sen­si­tive to the mix. I can tell the dif­fer­ence when diet ginger ale is used in­stead of stan­dard ginger ale.

So when I’m served a glass of weasel wa­ter at the bar, I know, and to add in­sult, you have to pay premium prices for it. Hence why a lot of peo­ple get tanked up be­fore they go to town.

It is truly of­fen­sive be­hav­iour. One other as­pect to bar man­age­ment is the stan­dard of some of the lo­cal bounc­ers.

I’ve per­son­ally wit­nessed many dis­gust­ing in­ci­dents that have been de­lib­er­ately pro­voked by them and I be­lieve they should al­ways be un­der CCTV sur­veil­lance.

How I would love the town to re­turn to those great days of sup­ping a mull wine while walk­ing the streets dur­ing Mardi Gras and like­wise sim­i­lar be­hav­iour at New Years, but sadly we know, it just ain’t ever gunna hap­pen again, sigh.

These days sadly, I would actu- ally wel­come an al­co­hol ban in town. I think it is of­ten out of con­trol and some­times dan­ger­ous, as ev­i­denced by the death of a good friend from a one punch king hit.

This of course would be un­likely to hap­pen, given the losses to lo­cal busi­ness own­ers, and we will al­ways be known as a ‘party town’.

Al­co­hol re­stric­tions or not... Queen­stown is al­ways go­ing to be known as a party town.

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