WHAT exactly is going on with alcohol?
As a brand new alcohol vaporisation bar establishes itself in Brisbane, our attitudes to alcohol have been questioned with each inhalation.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, vaporisation involves standing in a room and literally breathing in vaporised alcohol.
At first glance, I thought this sounded pretty cool.
Hangovers? Done for!
Beer guts? A thing of the past!
Poor life choices? Well - err - yeah, they'll probably still happen.
Apparently, gone are the days when a Bundy and Coke, Wolf Blass Chardonnay or XXXX Gold would all suffice in kicking back after a hard week of work.
Well, truth be told, a XXXX Gold was never really anyone's drink of choice, but you get my point nonetheless.
Clearly, a drink just isn't enough anymore.
All of a sudden, our bottled friends have been boxed into the same category as our friends from primary school: we thought we'd have them forever, but now we've found something more convenient, more novel and less likely to spill liquid all over our good shirt.
Enter vaporised alcohol: the drink - or lack thereof - of the future.
Yet, exciting as this all is, shouldn't we stop and consider what is really going on here?
Dare I ask: is the drug now more attractive than the drink?
I'll be first to admit: I enjoy a cold beer, a fine wine or classy spirit as much as the next guy.
Correction: I'd even enjoy a warm beer, a cheap wine or methylated spirit considerably more than the next guy.
Drink responsibly, kids.
That said, this latest little firewater fad is of great concern even to me.
I'm no scientist, but it doesn't take one to know that having a drink or two with friends or family probably does us more good than bad.
As long as it's not to excess, it lowers stress, tickles the tastebuds and just brings a bit of feel-good into our lives.
It's not just alcohol the drug that does all of that.
When we enjoy a drink, that's just it: we enjoy a DRINK.
And that's part of the fun.
Champions of alcohol vaporisation point to the fact it does not go to the liver, but the lungs instead.
That all sounds well and good.
But do we really know what this drug is capable of doing to our lungs?
We are taking a problem away from the liver, only to hand it straight over to the lungs.
Sure, our blood might start getting filtered a bit better; just, we might struggle to breathe as a minor side effect.
That's not even stealing from the rich to give to the poor; it's stealing from the poor to give to the rich.
Capitalism at its worst.
Robin Hood and his merry (well, drunk) men would be rolling in their graves.
I'm not saying for a second we should all abuse our livers as some sort of bitter protest against our vaporising foes.
But if we're going to consume alcohol, aren't we better off leaving it to our most experienced poison remover?
Trust me. He'll de-liver.
That terrible joke aside, with vaporisation coming to the fore, where do we draw the line exactly?
Do we start injecting vodka straight to the bloodstream?
In Australia, not one other recreational drug would be awarded such celebration.
And as a nation whose attitude to alcohol isn't exactly world class, I find it hard to see the merit in giving this particular drug such unique value.
So, before this becomes the farcical norm, let's look at this with a little common sense.
Sit back. Take a deep breath. Have a drink.
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