Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The happiness of lowered expectations

The police and medical officers of health seem to be trying to block alcohol licence applications, not because of any fault or deficiency of the licensee, but because they just don't like the idea of anybody selling alcohol.

And so in a victory measured against lowered expectations, the police only managed to reduce the hours of the new Countdown supermarket's alcohol sales. They can only sell beer and wine from 7am to 8pm.

We usually do our grocery shopping after the kids are to bed, so around 9pm. I'm very glad that Khandallah's New World grocery isn't under similar restrictions.

There can be real nuisance caused by drunken students. Sprawling suburban campuses can internalise that by having halls of residence away from the university's borders, with ample on-campus drinking venues so the students don't stray too far. That's harder for urban campuses.

If Kiwi students are anything like we were in Manitoba 20 years ago, well, an 8pm closing time for beer and wine won't make a whit of difference.

The campus bar was connected by underground tunnels to the residence hall where I lived for my first two years at the University of Manitoba; it was rather convenient when it was otherwise -40 outside. The closest place to buy beer was about a 20 minute walk up to Pembina Highway, and who wants to carry a couple of 24s that far? You pretty much had to drive if you wanted to find liquor. But whenever a big weekend was coming up, somebody would drive over to the liquor store in the afternoon and buy a ton of booze. And a guy on our floor did home wine-making in one of the closets; he had a five gallon bucket of fermenting fruit. Occasionally, somebody would do a run down to North Dakota to come back with Everclear, which made absolutely no sense but seemed like a good idea at the time.

I think a lot of people are engaging in a lot of wishful thinking about how an 8pm closing time for one beer and wine outlet will prevent students' drinking. Do people forget that quickly what being a student is like?

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