Planes and boats and trains

Today is Friday.

To Christians it is Good Friday, but to non-Christians it's just a plain ordinary Friday sitting in its usual place cozying up between a Thursday and a Saturday.

In Ireland it is different.

Just picture the scene –

A visitor to this blighted isle wanders into a supermarket and asks for a bottle of wine.

"I'm sorry sir, but I can't sell you that."

"Why not?"

"It's Good Friday."

"So?"

"We can't sell alcohol on Good Friday."

"Could I have bought one yesterday?"

"Yes.  Of course."

"Could I buy one tomorrow?"

"Of course you can."

"Then why not today?"

"Errr…..  You just can't."

You see, today is one of only two days in the year when pubs and off-licences are forced to close, the other day being Christmas Day.  Why Good Friday?  Don't ask because I don't know.  And to add to the confusion, you can have a drink if you are catching a plane or are on a boat or a train, or wish to have a glass of wine with a meal.

There was a case the other day where a pub was refused an exemption from this ludicrous law.  I read this with interest because a judge has to give a reason.  He can't say "just because" or "because I say so".  The reason he gave was because "it was against the spirit of the law".  What the fuck does that mean?  What is the spirit of the law?  Granting an exemption was "completely against the spirit of what was intended".  What the fuck was intended?

No one seems to be able to give a logical reason for this strange anomaly.  It harps back to the days when Ireland was ruled by the crosier but those days thankfully are past.  The Holy Joes these days say the law is good as it gives people a "rest from the drink".  Fuck that.  One day out of a year isn't going to make any difference, and anyway, everyone desperate enough will have stocked up yesterday.

It is a bad law.  It is a bad law purely because it serves no purpose.  It protects no one.  It just sits there on the statute books being irritating.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a train to catch. 

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Comments

Planes and boats and trains — 10 Comments

  1. One evening, many years ago when I lived in the West Coast of Scotland, My wife and I were making the Christmas Cake.   When I went to the cupboard I found it bare – of some Sherry.   I went to the nearby hotel with a little bottle and asked if I could buy a glass of Sherry for the cake.

    "Oh, no, sir", replied the Barman, " this is a day when the bar is closed.   It is a bye-law of the town."

    "But", says I, "There are several people drinking at the Bar".

    "Yes, Sir.  They are taking a meal, later.   You will have to come back tomorrow.   But if you drive to North Connel (about 3 or 4 miles away)  you can buy your Sherry there.   They do not come under the restrictions of the town of Oban"

     

    Bloody mad !

    • I have no problem with people abstaining from alcohol or anything else for religious reasons.  What they do is their own business.  But it really pisses me off when the rest of us are forced by some fucking law to obey someone else's beliefs.  Law and religion should be kept well apart.

  2. Here in Pennsylvania, on election day, the bars, beer distributors, liquor stores are all closed until the voting ends at 8pm.  Ha!

     

    • Good grief!!  Do you mean to say that people are actually sober when they vote for the likes of George Dubya and O'Bama?  I find that thought a little scary.

  3. Here in Greece it's the Friday before the Easter weekend, which in the Orthodox calendar falls on the 10th to 13th this year. There will be no restrictions on the sale or consumption of alcohol. At all. There never are. Thank god for the Greeks. They may not be too hot on government finances, but they know how to enjoy life.

    You may recollect, GD, that I was in Thailand earlier this year. In Thailand, you cannot buy alcohol anywhere between the hours of 2 pm and 5 pm. (In theory, anyway). This leads to some farcical situations, like when I was in a queue at the supermarket checkout shortly before 2 pm and had some wine and beer in the trolley. Long queue. Supervisor spots the alcohol, and panic ensues. They actuall opened anothe till so my alcohol could go through the till before the 2 pm deadline. WTF? What fucking difference does it make? 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm… Just…why?

    I went to a very upmarket liquor store in one of the fancy malls (wanna buy a new Maserati? Rolls Royce? McLaren? Ferrari? Dior? Armani? Louis Vuitton? Hermes? They're all in there) in central Bangkok because I'd been told they had a good selection of rolling tobacco. Now another thing about Thailand is that they've bought into the FCTC big time, so all tobacco products have to be behind shutters, not on display. Of course, this is another one of those laws which achieves nothing, but inconveniences everyone concerned. So I turn up at this shop not long before 2 pm (it wasn't deliberate. honest…) and according to law, I'm not allowed to browse the display, because if I do, all the cheeldren in the store buying liquor will suddenly be consumed by cravings for a fag and rush out and buy packets of Marlboro. So the staff behind the till had to extract the different packets one by one to show me. Meanwhile, behind me was building up an ever lengthening queue of punters, bottles of expensive Cognac in hand, getting increasingly agitated about the impending 2 pm deadline.

    WTF? What the fuckitty fuck? Who makes these moronic rules up, and why? It's like someone has sat down and thought: "Lets draft a law that will piss loads of people off and have zero benefits for anyone. Oh, I know! Lets stop people buying alcohol in the afternoon when they're at the supermarket doing the week's shop. That should piss off a goodly portion of the populace who want to get a few beers in for the weekend while they're there".

    We are ruled by brainless fuckwits, GD. Sometimes I despair.

    • We used to have "the holy hour" here where pubs had to close between two thirty and three thirty every day.  I think the idea was that it would force the plebs back to work after a liquid lunch break.  It was two hours on a Sunday [two to four].  They finally did away with those [or else publicans are now just ignoring them, but they were the greatest farce.

      Some supermarkets do online shopping where they deliver the goods you've ordered [extremely convenient] but even the deliveries are governed by licensing laws.  I have seen notices on sites saying that they cannot deliver alcohol before certain hours and probably won't deliver it on Good Friday.  And even if there is booze in the order I have to provide proof [by way of a passport or driving licence] that I am over 18, for fuck's sake.

  4. In the good old days, (in Cork), a return ticket to Cobh was the cheapest one you could buy, but armed with that you could go on the piss in Kent Station for the day without ever having to go near a filthy train. Then wandering home later, you could tap three times on the window of McCarthy's pub and join in the sing-song until midnight. 

    So I suspect that the Good Friday laws were brought in to teach the fucking tourists a lesson!

  5. I hope you enjoyed a hot toddy beside the turf fire (Wicklow turf of course) after your day's chores Grandad. And may the bunnies be prancing around the boreens before you wake on Sunday morning.

    • Cold toddy.  Can't tolerate hot alcohol in any form, from Irish Coffees to Hot Whiskeys.  They are an abomination in my book.

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