There are really very few things that get me ticked off. It takes even more to get me annoyed. A lot more still to make me filthy. But there is one thing guaranteed to fair dinkum boil my wort and pale my ale and it is the shite that do-gooders and know nothings spout at every available opportunity to bad mouth beer.
The thing that got me going this time round was a series of letters to the editor in the big national dailies. And, no, the topic wasn’t even beer. I can’t even remember what the specifics of the topic were but, in general it was drugs and druggies and rehab and gambling and poker machines and smoking. Not beer.
And here is a sample of the sort of thing I’m talking about. Letter writers whinge deluxe about the fact that ‘we poor smokers are being discriminated against’, ‘why pck on drug addicts when beer is more readily available?’, ‘smoking bans in pubs and restaurants are un-Australian’, ‘Cigarettes are a legal product ..’ Blah, Blah Effin’ Blah.
And here’s the bit that really gets my Mountain Goat – they invariably seem to tack on the now standard suffix to these whinges that goes like this; "Why don’t the Government do sumfink about beer drinking. This evil brew causes much more problems and stuff like that and kills people and they crash their cars and kill thereselfs and innocent people and why don’t you just go and ban that."
I know that I’m paraphrasing a little and probably shouldn’t have used the quotation marks, but you get the gist. Every day it seems that the same theme is repeated. These people seem to think that beer and smokes are one in the same. I appreciate that plenty of smokers are incapable of enjoying a beer without also filling their lungs with smoke and I also appreciate that some people only feel the need to have a smoke when they are drinking. But drinking beer is NOT the same as smoking.
First, and remember this comes from scientific fact and is repeated in anti smoking advertising – "Every cigarette is doing you harm." I completely agree that excessive beer drinking is not a good health choice but, please, don’t try to fool yourself into thinking that one beer is as bad as one smoke! You will not die from moderate, social or regular beer drinking. The same cannot be said of moderate, social or regular cigarette smoking. I know there are plenty of smokers out there who don’t subscribe to the lunatic theories of the above-berated letter loonies and this blast is not directed at you.
To those to whom this missive IS directed, beer is, was and always will be a safe form of drinking water, a prized food source and a valuable cultural lubricant. Smoking will always be an activity of choice for many and the cause of a premature death for many more. And don’t even get me started on smoking whilst driving a car, smoking around children and the elderly or the dropping of ciggie butts on the ground, you lazy pricks. You and the lazy pricks who leave shopping trolleys next to your car when the trolley bay is ten steps away are blight on society.
Anyway, enjoy a smoke if that’s what floats your boat, or a quiet ale or a noisy lager or whatever it is that you need to do to live, thrive and survive and remember the words of the twentieth century’s greatest thinkers – Bill & Ted; "Be Excellent to Each other!"
But stop picking on beer. It loves you anyway. And I love t.