Island Life by David Slack

25

Speaking boisterously to no-one in particular

I had my first encounter with drinking liberally when I was 15. In the 1970s, Flock House was the place for a young man to come and learn to be a farmer. It was a large farm near Bulls, with a grand homestead. It once belonged to my great great grandparents, the McKenzies.

There, in 1976, we had a family reunion, and there, in 1976, I had my first Bacardi and Coke, followed by another, and another, and then another, in gathering succession as I discerned that no-one would impede my progress to the bar.

Late in the evening, my parents led me, talking boisterously to no-one in particular, from the grand house to the car, where I stretched across the back seat and regaled them with an oration of which I could recall not one word the next morning. I did not feel queasy, nor did I have a headache. But I did feel mortified. Never again, I vowed and with only a thousand or two exceptions, I have kept my word.

"My name is David and I am a liberal drinker", I will say when the gathering is called to order this evening at the London Bar. I will speak of many doomed years grappling with the dreaded social lubricant. I will speak of my liver, my heart, and my lost lamented brain cells.

No I won’t.

The Drinking Liberally movement has arrived in Auckland, and I will be saying a few words. My topic is drawn from the 1975 Muldoon battle cry: New Zealand the Way You Want It. I will begin by reminiscing about that and the origin of of the slogan, as described by Barry Gustafson, and we’ll go from there. I expect to pass through the towns of Key, Clark, Crosby, Textor, SPARC’s operating budget and the shining city on a hill called a better tomorrow. I also expect to speak the name of the hell that no Liberal dare consider: a National landslide.

The London Bar is still my favourite place to drink in all of Auckland. I’ll be the one holding a scotch on the rocks and drinking slowly.

25 responses to this post

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.