Drunken Sailor Gets the Heave Ho From History
LONDON—A government-funded agency in the UK has changed the title of the classic 19th century sea shanty “What to Do With a Drunken Sailor” to “What to Do With A Grumpy Pirate.” Libraries throughout the UK recently received the update in books for toddlers.
Other alcohol-related lines, such as “Keelhaul him and pass the bottle” and “Round with the rum and scotch and whiskey” were changed to “Do a little jig and make him smile” and “Tickle him till he starts to giggle.”
The agency, in its overweening political correctness, decided that rather than having a bit of fun with the hard-drinking seamen who defended England, they should instead encourage children to attempt to tickle a bloodthirsty outlaw who would undoubtedly run them through with his cutlass.
Parents protested the changes, rightfully deriding the agency for attempting to rewrite and sanitize England’s history and tradition.
Wine Stops the Insanity
SWEDEN—While many of us drink wine to go crazy, however temporarily, a new study concludes wine may protect against dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
The study by Gothenburg University in Sweden, started in 1968, followed the drinking habits of 1,458 women.
Eleven percent of the women in the study eventually developed dementia. Within the wine-drinking group, however, there was a significantly below-average rate of dementia. Beer and liquor drinkers broke even and non-drinkers were more likely to suffer the disease's effects.
Another study, by the Danish Institute of Preventive Medicine in Copenhagen, agreed with the study’s findings, concluding that people who regularly drank wine were more than two times less likely to develop dementia.
Booze Begets Better Kids
LONDON—An extremely controversial study has revealed that children may actually benefit from their mothers having a few drinks during pregnancy.
The latest study of three-year-olds has found the boys of mothers who drank lightly were 40% less likely to be badly behaved or hyperactive than those of abstainers. The boys also had a better vocabulary and ability to identify colors, shapes, letters and numbers. Girls born to light drinkers were 30% less likely to have emotional symptoms and peer problems compared with those born to mothers who did not have a tipple.
Light drinking was defined as one to two drinks a week or per occasion.
Lead author Dr. Yvonne Kelly of University College London said there is a well established link between heavy drinking in pregnancy and subsequent problems but there had been few studies of those who drank a little.
“It may be that light-drinking mums tend to be more relaxed themselves and this contributes to better behavioral and cognitive outcomes in their children,” she said.
Most Expensive Cocktail in the World Located
BELFAST—Before you balk at your next bar tab, feel fortunate you didn’t stumble into the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, Ireland.
The upscale hotel’s bar is the home of the $1400 Mai Tai, the most expensive cocktail in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
“It’s all about the rum,” swears manager Sean Muldoon, referring to the J. Wray & Nephew 17-year-old Jamaican rum used in the cocktail, the exact same liquor “Trader” Vic Bergeron used to create the original Mai Tai in 1944.
According to Muldoon, there are only six surviving bottles of the rum and the Merchant’s bottle is the only one available to the general public.
UK Nixes Scheme to Overcharge Drinkers
LONDON—One of the few good things to arise from the growing global financial meltdown is it’s putting the kibosh on ill-conceived Big Brother maneuvers attempting to use price as a weapon of oppression.
The UK government has backed off from a plan to impose a minimum price on beer, wine and liquor in supermarkets, according to a report in the Mirror.
Ministers rightfully feared a major outcry from the public if the move was implemented.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) welcomed the decision.
“Hard-pressed families do not deserve to have prices raised by politicians in the middle of the worst economic crisis in a generation,” said Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the WSTA.
Oregon Mulls Insane 1900% Tax Hike on Beer
PORTLAND—Oregon lawmakers are considering punishing one of state’s few successful industries—beer brewing—with a massive tax hike.
The proposed bill would raise the current tax on a barrel of beer by nearly 20 times.
This bill is, of course, a form of “stealth tax,” a way of squeezing an additional $315 million a year from average joes without directly removing dollars from their paychecks.
The state’s breweries predict the worst, saying it could effectively wipe out the state’s microbrewery industry and lay off thousands.
UK Government Manages to Out-Orwell Orwell
LONDON—The UK government can now force liquor stores and bars to mount surveillance cameras to keep track of anyone interested in purchasing alcohol.
The recently passed law gives local governments the power to order any business selling alcohol to install a surveillance camera, upon pain of forfeiting their liquor license.
The footage of citizens buying a bottle of wine in a shop or a pint of beer in a pub must be stored for at least 60 days and handed over to the authorities upon demand.
Critics say it will mean that the populace will now be tracked everywhere they go. The UK already has more than four million closed-circuit TV cameras covering the streets — the largest number in the world.
Government officials countered by suggesting that perhaps the government should know what its citizens are up to, and at all times.
In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 the citizens weren’t subjected to Big Brother monitoring their Victory Gin purchases. Orwell probably imagined such a concept would have been a bit too unbelievable.
Minnesota Mans Up
ST PAUL—State lawmakers in Minnesota are proposing a plan to lower the state drinking age from 21 to 18, and even allowing those 16 and 17 to drink in bars when accompanied by their parents.
At least four state representatives are backing the bold, and need I say, brilliant plan.
Tom Hackbarth, a Republican from District 48A said, “I think that bars and restaurants are having a difficult time right now with the smoking ban that went into place. I think with economic times the way they are, I’ve never opposed the drinking age being 18.”
This is not the first time that Minnesota has attempted to do the right thing. Last year a similar proposal was brought to the legislature, but never got a full hearing.