Get it Down Your Nek

Once a upon a time there was a man from Christchurch who performed a kegstand for 43 seconds and died shortly afterwards. I know it starts like a fairy tale but it is in fact a true story. While this was a long time ago in dog years, it wasn’t that long ago at all. But if I was to trawl the newspapers for drinking related deaths I could find some similar stories from Victorian times. People have always drunk alcohol irresponsibly and young people even more so. So what is it about this #Neknomination craze that has people swearing blind that this is the beginning and end of anti-social drinking? I have a feeling that some of these people who are ready to blame the worlds alcohol problems on a hashtag  do not even remember last weekend let alone the things they did when they were teenagers.

Before I continue though, I should elaborate. #Neknomination – involves posting a video of someone downing drinks in an extreme manner and then nominating others to do the same within 24 hours’ . OK sounds extreme but I once went to a party where the guy next to me had to take a drink and I had to drink one less than two minutes later. The 24 hour window seems quite generous in comparison. I understand there have been tragic deaths recently that seem directly linked to #Neknomination and for the parents I’m sure the natural inclination is to lash out at the cyber geek down-under who started the hashtag rather than point the finger at themselves or the peer pressure (Beer Pressure) that is created when a bunch of teenagers or young adults get together. However this hastag is temporary and if there are drinking ills in our society, they appeared a long time before ‘#Neknomination’ came along and will be here long after the word has been erased from our search engines. I was no different from these irresponsible kids.

Dandelion Coffee is not for the faint of heart.

Dandelion Coffee is not for the faint of heart.

When I was in my early teens I went camping with a bunch of mates. We were overnight and away from the folks. We lit a fire and watched the sun go down over Rocky Bay while listening to Guns ‘n’ Roses. Now each of us had brought something to this expedition. One of us brought beer. One of us brought rum. One of us brought Weed (known to botanists as cannabis sativa) and one of us who shall remain nameless brought a mystery item. Now there were only a few beers and they went with the setting of the sun. The rum was literally the last inch or so likely taken from the liquor cabinet. The weed was passed round and the odd cigarette too and then it came to to the final item. A small clear glass bottle with a white label written with biro that read: ‘Lens Cleaning Fluid (100% Alcohol)’. Now this label also had a skull and cross bones drawn on it in biro. Can you imagine if pirates in the Caribbean had seen a ship with a biro skull and crossbones? They would have ‘sunk’ it on sight. And that is what we did. We mixed it with coke and it tasted like vodka. The scary thing is not one of us hesitated after seeing the label. And that is the essence of teen drinking culture. There is no real education and there is massive spectrum in terms of body’s reaction to alcohol. Part of the problem is the black and white law. You are old enough to drink or you are not old enough to drink. But in truth some people will never be old enough and so these tragic stories will perpetuate whether #Neknomination exists or not.

I like the idea that some non-drinkers have taken to this craze to perhaps show that as my definition states above, it doesn’t have to be about alcohol. Take this lady who rode a horse into Tesco and took a Pepsi Max from the soft drink stand. I know what you’re thinking… ‘Was that my Tesco?’ …but perhaps she was onto something. Why not change the hashtag and nominate people to drink something they have never drunk before? No not lens cleaning fluid or any alcohol for that matter. In this new improved hashtag not even stock standard tea or coffee will be allowed. No, in my hashtag we shall call #Mugnomination, you must consume a hot drink of one of the herbal tea varieties. There are millions to choose from…Red Bush, Chamomile, Lemon Zinger, Rose Hip and for those who must have a coffee substitution why not try dandelion coffee? Now that’s what real men drink.

Don’t Hesitate,  #Mugnominate.

{Disclaimer: Hot drinks must never be skulled, if you intend to drink fast please allow drink to cool first. Videos not necessary unless the facial expressions are truly worthy, as someone sipping from a hot drink is not quite the viewing experience you hoped it would be. And no, Milo is not allowed you pack of softies}

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