Monday, July 02, 2007

The Bottle Bank

My name is Idiot and by the looks of this picture I am an alcoholic.

No this is not a picture taken at a bottle bank, but a picture taken in my back garden. My two house mates and I have been lazy feckers when it comes to recycling. Now in fairness we keep everything separated and all it will take is a quick trip to the recycling centre to get rid of this mess.

However it does bring up a question. Are we as a nation spending more time drinking at home than in the pub? Personally I believe we are and from talking to a few people I think my thoughts are mirrored.

One example is one I heard from a guy outside a pub during one of the smoke breaks I take on any given night out. His friend is a pub owner and at one time he had 4 dedicated full time staff in his pub and a couple of part-timers for the off license. Now he has one full timer in the pub and two full timers for his off license section.

So what does this mean?

Well it means we are drinking at home more, which in turn means we can drink till we drop instead of having time constraints put on us. We can buy more drink as it is cheaper in the off licenses so we drink more, we can smoke at home.

So the smoking ban has made us more unhealthy than we were in the first place.

Is there anything we could have done differently?? Well I believe that we could have created some smoking and some non smoking pubs and each would have done as well as the other. Proper air filtering systems in pubs?? hmmmm maybe not. I would like to praise a few pub owners on the efforts they have made to create smoking areas in their pubs that do not take you away from the pub environment. The best so far is Uncle Toms Cabin in Dundrum. They have a section out the back which is basically added to the pub, with lovely comfy seats, heating, a roof and table service. It is a place where you can go in a mixed group of smokers and non smokers and sit as you would have done before the ban, chatting, smoking drinking. No interruptions of leaving the table for a smoke etc.

Here's another question.. Why do we as a nation put so much emphasis on drinking? And we do you know. Conversations invariably end up about some session or other, if you are going to meet someone it is generally in a pub, if you are giving directions it is normally through the use of pubs as your location markers. We seem to have become so used to the expectation of being a drinking nation that we now really are.

I enjoy a drink as much as the next man but am a little worried about the way it is being used and abused in our society today. Its no wonder we have stag and hen parties galore every weekend in Dublin. It is what people expect when they come to Ireland. Our cultural centre in Dublin is a piss up haven called Temple Bar! There is an ambulance parked in the square there on a number of nights as they know they will get a call... That's kind off sad.


dolly said...

Thanks for that picture! Made me clean up my flat.

Ade said...

The photo looks kinda familiar!! Although I don't think we ever reached quite as many empties :-) Good to see that things don't change! Digged the blog by the way. And, concur... Uncle Tom's rocks!

Sandy said...

Yikes has been a long while, where have you been or should i say where are you?

Jim Dubh said...

I always get annoyed by people saying that we are a nation of drunks. At the same time, by the looks of that picture, you may need to consider going to the bottle bank more than once a week...