Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bargain Boozing

I'm not an academic expert in the price elasticity of demand for over strength alcohol in those with alcohol related problems. I'm not publishing papers in the Lancet. I do however deal with a large number of people who have problems with alcohol and an even larger number of people who don't. In the course of my work I've encountered some people who's relationship with alcohol has led to their own death or those of others. I've seen folks slowly destroy their physical and mental health with drink. I've commented here before on the minimum alcohol price and my support for a sensible minimum. It's affect on me and my line of work would only be positive. The use of licenced front-line doorstaff is almost exclusively on licensed premises serving non-minimum price drinks to those with or without the money to pay for it.
What concerns me about the recent moves on minimum alcohol unit prices is two fold. The level it is set at is ridiculously low. The inability to retail at below the current taxation level doesn't set a sensible bar to problem drinkers. To be so low on funds, even benefit derived funds, to not be able to pickle yourself daily, is not stopped.
The second worry is that this will be brought in, then over time, once the general public has accepted the idea of a minimum, this minimum being the tax minimum, the tax will rise. The minimum price will go up, the problems with cheap drink will fall, the price will rise again. All the time the tax on all drinks will rise and the many punters, daily, weekly, monthly or occasional, will be paying with every drink. This will hurt hard the vast majority who drink without problem and the minimum unit pricing, will hurt everyone.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Quiet Time

With the elf filled fun of christmas and the frankly violently drunken new years out of the way we find ourselves in the cold, quiet nights of January. The tightness of wallets after the excesses of presents, food and festivities leaves very few having big nights out. The few we do get heading our way are often those on weekly pay or benefits and are not big fans of prudence. The nights are cold, wet and sometimes snowy, streets are quiet, venues are quiet. All in all not an inspiring mix for a mid-week night on the razz.
Early finishes seem to be the fashion of the season, some even before I start.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Food Review

At the end of a shift the hot fast food options are limited. I'm not gonna be bothered with a pot noodle at 5am and it's just a little too early for the greasy spoon by the bus depot to have the hot plate frying. This leaves me with a few select takeaways to indulge my hunger. Pizza's, chicken, kebabs and burgers. I have sampled all of their various delights and I feel I should relate a couple of my findings.
The cheap and cheery late night pizza places often don't use real cheese, more a cheese substitute involving some lovely fish protein. Not particularly noticeable when inebriated but very appreciable when sober and eating this in a brightly lit kitchen back at home. Cheesy chips often fall foul of this too.
Garlic sauce is not for every day. Savoury and enticing to even the most resilient pallets. The garlic carrier may vary between mayo, yogurt or some satanic middle ground between the two. There may be green stuff included, mint, coriander, anonymous green. The garlic can boost your immune system, reduce your attractiveness to women. Day in day out it does however seem to penetrate your blood stream, in a hot sweaty club this is not the way to go.
Too many carb's just before bedtime, even if it takes you to 7am to get your head down, sit around and give you a gut. Good to fuel you up early doors, bad to lay down on. For this I avoid the battered chicken, the garlic breads and the like.
The decision then lies between the burgers and the kebabs. The solution for me is the chef's special burger, the dirty hybrid of cheese burger and kebab. One or two beefburgers, by this time of the night reheated on the griddle, not typically cooked from fresh, processed cheese slices, bringing the cow derived content to about half the event. Then doner kebab meat, lamb based grilled fun with high fat, salt and taste content. Top it with salad, onion, chili, garlic, tommyK or otherwise and enjoy in a sesame seed bun. Highly calorific fuel to makeup for the hours spent sweating, dashing about a busy club and wrestling drunkards.