Intoxication Is UnstoppableAs Sydney prepares for the noose to tighten around its liquor licensing laws, I grip my bottle of Hendricks even tighter with the morbid and (somewhat) irrational fear that my God-given right to consume a top shelf gin on the rocks is about to be torn from my hands. Barry O’Farrell, you can call it what you like, but I recognise prohibition when I see it.
Granted, the one-punch thing has gotten out of hand. I have worked in bars in Coogee and Kings Cross where I did more first aid than in any other job. I have picked up a boyfriend off the hard slate on Darlinghurst Road. I have also put that same boyfriend on the hard slate on Darlinghurst Road. Yes, I was drunk. Beyond drunk, actually. I had been having tequila shots all afternoon and the poor guy was trying to put me in a cab. His mistake was telling me I was being an embarrassment. It went something along the lines of, “I may not be able to focus with both eyes open, honey, but I can still accurately aim at your nose with my heel!”
And so it went that I spent a night in lock-up trying to look dignified while I sat barefoot in a room that smelled like urine. Lesson learnt! My point is, I have been on all sides of the drunk and violent scenario and whilst it is never pretty, sometimes you can’t stop a high kick from a crazy woman. Also, don’t ever give me tequila.
What I know for sure is that locking people out of every venue in Kings Cross at 1.30am will be like the eleventh second in World War Z when the zombies stumble and then sprint towards each other in a violent outburst of rage, although instead of seeking brains they will be seeking barbiturates. This might be a touch melodramatic, but can we all stop to imagine groups of mildly intoxicated, frustrated, bored, individuals wandering around outside of these venues waiting for something to do?
Perhaps the majority of consumers will be cluey enough to stay inside so they aren’t on the streets. Then they only have another hour and a half to get a drink before the bar stops serving alcohol, and for those who have frequented some of the more popular bars in Kings Cross, that’s about as long as you are likely wait in line to be served a drink.
We can always go back home and keep drinking though, right? Well you better hope you stocked that fridge with plenty of beer before 10pm the previous night because all bottle shops will be closed. If you are anything like me you keep your house stocked with plenty of wine and gin, then it’s only the neighbours that you have to worry about.
The people who will really suffer from Barry’s new laws are the business owners, the publicans and hoteliers, and the dancers who depend upon the flowing money of the inebriated in the wee hours. What happens when you can’t turn up at a strip club in the Cross at four in the morning for a nightcap and some saucy entertainment?
Prohibition throughout history has shown us that people will find a way to get f**ked up. And guess what they will turn to when the rum is all gone?
Your friendly neighbourhood drug supplier is and always has been restricted by law. Lucky for you, he doesn’t give a f**k. His lock out is when he stops answering your phone calls. He only stops service when you run out of money.
So rest assured, Barry O’Farrell, me and my fellow imbibers of all things alcoholic will not be left stranded in sobriety. Your police state rules will be no match for our addictive personalities.
Intoxication is unstoppable.