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Make mine a double, Barry

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Sydney's Kings Cross.

Sydney's Kings Cross.

If I ever needed another reason not to go out in Sydney's "Golden Mile", Kings Cross, it came on Wednesday when the NSW government announced I, an adult, may soon not be allowed to drink after midnight in our most adult of entertainment precincts.

Sure, I can get a hand job, blow job, gram of hydro, coke, smack or meth, as well as watch a 19-year-old disappear a sex toy up herself on stage - but no booze - at least not my type of liquor.

The Sydney Morning Herald's State Political Editor, Sean Nicholls, reported that "the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, has announced the government will introduce a ban on shots, doubles, ready-to-drink beverages and glassware after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays for the area's 58 venues".

Now, I drink Scotch, neat.

If it's available, I'll take a double Lagavulin (16 years old), with a drop of water in a heavy glass tumbler and it'll often cost me lots of money (usually about as much as a hand job, for those who are paying attention).

It's a nice way to wind down the evening.

It feels very adult.

In fact, if you're to believe the liquor cabinets of the rich, powerful and evil, neat Scotch is just about the most adult beverage one can drink.

You don't see the heads of the CIA and MI5 clinking bourbon and cokes or mojitos in the movies when they discuss carving up the world; they drink Scotch, no?

Not surprisingly, I also know many other adults who like to drink Scotch this way, but if the NSW government has its druthers, we may soon not be able to do so in Kings Cross; we certainly won't be served a double, and even a single measure of fine, single malt will be considered a "shot".

I know this because it already happens across Sydney.

I, an adult, who's not glassed anyone in ... oh ... never ... can go to my local RSL and order a Scotch neat and am told by a bartender half my age that I "have to have ice" with it, because otherwise its considered a shot.

And don't even bother asking for a double because "they're illegal now".

Which simply means adults like myself will continue to give Kings Cross a massive swerve, because we're treated like juveniles, and thus juveniles will continue to dominate the precinct because adults are elsewhere.

Which is kind of a shame for the juveniles and the precinct because I know from long experience that old people - i.e drinkers over the age of 30 - can have a calming effect on youngsters.

You're much less likely to see a fight at a bar filled with people in their 20s, 30s and 40s than in one jammed with 20-year-olds alone.

Why? Because old heads intervene.

We're another set of eyes to watch for trouble. Wowsers that we are, old people often give the bartender or manager a heads up when we hear a bloke spewing in the toilets or slurring threats at the table next to us.

I understand why O'Farrell's government is doing this - because it has to be seen to be "taking action" about the "alcohol-fuelled violence" of Kings Cross and respond to the public outcry over the death of teenager Thomas Kelly last month.

But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, Barry.

There aren't that many Lagavulan drinkers at The Sugar Mill on a Saturday night. The bigger issue is 21-year-olds smashing 12 vodka Red Bulls, which has roughly the same effect on your heart rate and adrenal glands as two lines of rack.

I also understand we all have to wear the inconvenience for the greater good, however; on Thursday, we also discovered James Packer had managed to obtain an exemption to NSW's smoking bans for high-rollers at Sydney's Star casino.

So Baz, how about a break for us Scotch drinkers as well?

How's this?

If you drink single malt, you can have it without ice. If it's older than 10 years, you can even have a double. And, as part of the deal, we'll break up fights between teenagers and make sure they get home all right.

Sam de Brito's latest novel Hello Darkness is in bookstores now. You can follow him on Twitter here. His email address is here.

67 comments so far

  • this nanny, piss-ant, overbearing, knee-jerk, pussy-foot, soft, liberal pandering to interest groups approach shits me to no end.

    for pete sake's what next? a morning bowel inspection to make sure we've eaten the right amount of vegies?

    farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrk.

    Commenter
    CityChick
    Date and time
    August 16, 2012, 7:48PM
    • "Vell and vot" (German accent seems more appropriate) have we bin consuming during the kourse of dis evening liebling? I vill just examine der sthool, nein Kaiser Stulh , Ah vot hav we... Mien gott! der remnant von kebabs and der niggits! Hander hock!! You vill follow mien. Achtung baby!

      Commenter
      egg
      Location
      marrickville
      Date and time
      August 17, 2012, 7:37AM
    • Absolutely. We should go the other way - instead of trying to impose restrictions, let people do what they want, but impose severe penalties for alcohol-fuelled violence.

      After a few public executions, people will get the message, and you'll see binge drinking go down too! Fear is strangely efficient at quelling a populace.

      Commenter
      Bob
      Date and time
      August 17, 2012, 9:13AM
    • Sam, can you please stop talking about yourself as a pompous scotch drinker. Just because you are now a scotch drinker doesnt make you more sofistikated. I drink nice red wine but I am still just an average bloke

      Commenter
      Franky
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 17, 2012, 9:56AM
    • No. Your bowel problems are you own really.
      However, you remind me that breath testing NONdriving drinkers would be a very informative exercise both for the drinker and the government, health experts and others.
      How many drinkers truly know the volume of alcohol they're drinking, let alone the alcohol content and resulting blood alcohol level? I would suggest very few indeed. We concern ourselves with our food intake, worrying about every gram of fat etc but really are very uninformed, especially young drinkers, as to what they are actually consuming and the effect on their blood levels and, therefore, their behaviour.

      Commenter
      Tell It Like It Is
      Location
      Potts Point
      Date and time
      August 17, 2012, 11:08AM
    • Welcome to NSW, the original colony of thieves.

      Commenter
      Black Palm
      Date and time
      August 17, 2012, 1:19PM
  • Newcastle has had lock outs, a ban on shots, doubles and glassware for quite some time.

    It's easier for the elite to simply place more rules and restrictions on proles rather than admit that the last thirty or forty years of social engineering has been an abject failure and start making real changes for the better.

    Commenter
    Direct
    Date and time
    August 16, 2012, 8:10PM
    • Last time I went to the Baxter Inn they were happy to serve me a double. Don't know if that is still the case, it's been a couple of months since the idea of forking over $70 for two drinks seemed like a good idea. It doesn't strike me as the sort of place where a glassing would occur, however it does act as a magnet for suits trying to be trendy, drinking beverages that aren't even scotch, the uncivilised brutes.

      Regarding the Cross - let the young 'uns have it. The last time I was there, I managed to crash a trendily-sponsored do, where the corporate overlords were kind enough to finance an experiment I was conducting about the effects of double-fisting cocktails on my liver, equilibrium and self-respect. The results are still pending. In my opinion, the young and cool can have sole possession of that geographic area, as I am too old and completely uninterested in even trying to keep up with that scene. The proposed laws strike me as a tad on the absurd side though - methinks the state Liberals, after so long out of power, have lost any understanding as to how governing *should* occur.

      Regarding not being allowed to buy doubles - it confounds me. I've been refused such a purchase at least once recently, and just decided to go somewhere with a more liberal interpretation of RSA laws.

      Commenter
      hired goon
      Date and time
      August 16, 2012, 10:12PM
      • The people who drink for pleasure not as a means to an end don't drink in the Cross. We have tasting parties and each bring a bottle. That way you know you like the people you are surrounded by. The bonus is you get to avoid the foetuses who see power drinking as a sport for which they are aiming for gold.

        Commenter
        M
        Date and time
        August 16, 2012, 10:44PM
        • I really do think that this is insane. Has the Cross really got that bad in the 15 years since i left the Sydney.

          Commenter
          Michael in Dublin
          Date and time
          August 17, 2012, 12:16AM

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