Somebody, somewhere, once said ‘Alcohol is the Devil’s Piss’. Slightly comical, this simple phrase holds truths that many of us cannot oppose. Picture for a second, half a glass of golden brown Hennessy. One small glass, containing the liquid courage to take away all the stress and pains that accompanied you to the bar. The contents of this glass has been known to subdue the worst kinds of problems in as little as a few sips. But, just as the devil gives you ‘good’ and snatches it back in multiple folds, this content if indulged in for just a little longer, would leave you naked in a gutter, broke, damaged, depressed, or even dead.
Different people have come up with different assessments on the trend of alcohol consumption during a recession. Different countries have created different hypotheses as to the exact correlation between booze and the economy. So, in order not to generalize, I’ll just focus on my very own country, Nigeria. Basic inference would tell you that the income derived from alcohol and its general consumption, would plunge with an economic downturn. Beyond being basic, it is logical. We are burdened with rising inflation rates, so even alcohol is more expensive; more people lose their jobs, and people are just generally broke.
However, reality can be stranger than fiction. The fix of a recession that Nigerians endured last year, cost a lot of people their jobs, buying power weakened, and prices were so high for basic commodities that a lot of us started looking at not-so-good alternatives. The wealthy, the middleclass, and the lower-class were all affected proportionately. So, it is highly ironic that alcohol consumption in the same year, was impeccable – Alcohol producing companies recorded hundreds of billions of Naira worth of sales in the year. These guys made profits much more than the previous year. How? Nigerians barely had money to feed!
My dad told me some time ago that the bus drivers made more money than a lot of the corporate earners – that is, on a daily basis. They, however, choose to spend huge chunks of their money on beer, thereby positioning themselves at the epicentre of poverty.
All hail Booze; the king of the world and number one controller of the masses! How beautiful is the ‘highness’ that you provide to us, that we choose your liquid prowess over our lives, our wealth, our relationships, and our livers.
Popularly known as binge drinking, people have been known to use alcohol to drown their problems. In other words, just as religious fanatics bury their heads in their faith, conjuring as much hope as they need to move through life, Booze is a same-like god. It helps men get over their nagging wives and it helps those who have lost their jobs, get over it too…sort of. It carries so much joy that it crowns every celebration. But, don’t worry; even if you are sad and heavy laden, come anyway and you shall still be made happy – albeit temporarily.
Why buy Hennessy when you’re broke? Or sad? Or sick? It’s simple – because we all want to be deceived. It is part of the denial mechanism of humans and how we choose to replace sad thought and moments with happy ones. It creates the illusion of perfection that we all yearn for. However, unlike religion that pulls in more masses when the chips are down and turbulence is on deck, booze is that true friend that sticks with you all through the happy times and the sad ones. Slowly praising or comforting you, until your wallet is empty and the illusion (Yes, the highness) has cleared. Not only does it give you one heck of a hangover and bless you with a whole lot of health problems, the illusion encourages you to purge thyself of all thine limitations and do one or two things that you are bound to regret.
Less money, hangover, one or two embarrassing moments, accidents, and so on. Yet, while we stare at this beautiful, very beautiful glass of Henny in front of us, all we see is a temporary satisfaction that we would obtain no other way. Humans desperately need moments of escape, and since a virtual world like ‘Westworld’ hasn’t yet be created, booze would have to do.
Too bad it’s the devil’s piss eii?