Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jiggers of Ridiculousness

Who else has heard about this sweat-ban bullshit?
"New alcohol laws preventing sweaty people from entering special events will be imposed from June 3rd across central Sydney. 
This follows an emerging trend among young event-goers who are reportedly drinking to excess a day prior to an event, then "sweating out the alcohol into plastic cups" and drinking it to intoxication during the event, says NSW Premier Mike Baird. 
Under the new laws, anybody appearing to be perspiring on entry will be refused. Anybody seen engaging in any physical activity, such as running or exercising, will also be removed. 
Head of the Australian Event Association, Garry Sonnet, is outraged, claiming that ticket sales will suffer as a result.”
New South Wales, I swear to God, what a state!

I'd be lying if I said that I was surprised though.

For years now Sydney have been crawling toward increasingly draconian guidelines that not just affect drinkers but everybody as a collective population. It's gotten to the point where it's becoming a crime just to be near the service of alcohol, even if you're one hundred percent, praise Mohamed, sober. This brings me back to my visit to the annual noodle market held in Hyde Park earlier this year.
I'd been to the Hyde Park noodle market once five years ago and it was the cat's pyjamas. This year, not so much. When we first arrived, the park was gated up like a prison. Getting in was no Thai Beef Salad either. I thought that with that level of security, maybe there was a plane behind those gates and we had to actually fly to the noodle markets this year. There were thorough lay your shit out on the table bag checks. I even had to blow the guard like I'd normally do on a trip, so you can imagine my dismay when we got in and there was no plane! We looked around a little and the moment I see it, it fucking hits me like a bus! There's a bar this time! I thought to myself, 'How ridiculous! A bar at a noodle market!' And then I didn't think about it anymore.

That is until I wanted a bottle of water.

You see, I was only carrying two dollars on me like an idiot, so we had to go to the cash machine a few minutes away on the street, but I needed some water first. Problem is, none of the stalls were selling liquids like they did the first time I went, only the grease in their food; they just kept directing me to the bar. So I wait in line behind all of the alcoholics and the staff check my ID for water; not a big deal. The big deal is when I tried to leave the park with it in my hand and the guard wouldn't let us. He kept pointing to a sign that read ''Alcohol prohibited passed this point" (the area is normally an alcohol free zone). Of course, we told him that it was just water, as it was a transparent, labelled bottle. But his argument was "How do I know that? You could've put alcohol in there?" And I realised, 'Fuck! He has us there. Silly old me! How could he possibly know that I didn't just put vodka into a Mount Franklin bottle? How could he know that I didn't pour Jack Daniels into a condom and now it's sitting in my large intestine?' My answer to those questions is: WHY THE FUCK SHOULD IT MATTER? I'm at a food festival, not a mosque! I'd been there for no more than fifteen minutes and we'd already had our bags checked, had our IDs checked for water and had a clash with a bouncer. A bouncer at a fucking noodle market! Can you believe it? And why? Because there was alcohol being served nearby? I didn't go there to drink! No body goes to a noodle market to drink! I went there to have a nice night in the park and eat noodles with my girlfriend, instead we had to spend the night dealing with the michigoss that is now a New South Wales licensed event.

When I went the first time a few years ago, on the other hand, it was purely a harmonic experience. We could just walk in and out of the park without interrogation. We weren't imprisoned. We didn't have to explain shit to anyone, except for what meat I wanted with my noodles. Why? Because simply, there was no alcohol around.

My point is that what was once a nice event was turned to shit with one little addition: alcohol, and that really goes for anything you add alcohol to now. That's why I just chuckle when these pub and club owners get so worked up when they're patrons start punching and slicing each other up. The owners always act like they're confused about why people are doing it, like they’re in the frozen yogurt business or something! Maybe it has something to do with the fact that their bars are wallpapered with advertising for alcoholic-beverages and are being constantly lined with shots by their own staff. I'm no doctor, but maybe that has something to do with it. To put it simply, if you're going to get huffy when drunk people are going to behave like drunk people, then stop serving alcohol. To add to that, if you can't add alcohol to something without interrogating people and making things harder for whatever reason, then might I suggest the same thing – not to serve it.
Here's another question: does alcohol really need to be everywhere now?

I love drinking as much as the next guy, and it would be nice to be able to have a few drinks everywhere that I go, but I never asked for it to be that way. I never asked for it to be at the movies, I never asked for it to be at the noodle markets, or at the shopping centre, or at dinner, especially if it means having to be ID'd, bag checked and constantly scrutinised for sobriety. Why didn't I ask for that? Because I'm fine with going somewhere else for my poison. I fully appreciate that some places are for food and some places are for gettin’ stupid. I'm happy to see a film and then visit a bar afterwards. That's why having a bar at the noodle market was so ridiculous to me. What's more, Hyde Park is literally in the middle of a city that has so many nightclubs, pubs and bars, it looks like the maps of our city have fuckin' chicken pox. To put it simply, we like drinking. But couldn't people have just drank after their noodles, not during? Is that so bad?

So, if I had to chock what I'm trying to get across into one sentence, it would be: If you can't handle the obvious repercussions of serving alcohol or you can't serve it without your business or event being run like the aim is a paradise utopia, then why serve alcohol?

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