Did you know that one can actually drink even less in Spain now than in the UK when in charge of a vehicle? Spanish livers are apparently in terrible shape - has the World Health Organisation been told?
The limit in the British nanny state is 0.8g per litre (whatever that means) while here in socialist Spain the limit is 0.5g/l and even less (0.3g/l) for neophytes. These limits - one small beer perhaps - are screwing the nation's bars, particularly those which are located away from the cities with their handy taxis, metros, buses and apartment blocks. In the City, you are never more than a block away from a bar anyway. The walk will do you good...
In the countryside, the only way to reach these places is by road. So, either you take a taxi there and a taxi back (for: let's say, a net outlay of ninety euros for two beers and a tapa) or you hitch-hike, or you find some pooftah who will drink lemonades all night, or you don't go. Unlike the City, you see, there is only the one road home, so it's easy enough to catch you...
Make no mistake: the ambitious politician in charge of the DGT - the traffic police - has ruled that anyone over the limit will lose several points on his driving licence (yes, we have a point system now), will be fined a massive amount of lolly and may, if he's had two beers rather than one, go to jail, for Crissakes!
No doubt this power-crazed hoodlum (the description is merely my own humble opinion) has a chauffeur to ferry him around so he can talk on his mobile phone, drink, smoke and play with himself. All at the same time.
The reason (cue some heavenly church organ music) is to stop the deaths on Spanish roads. Actually, about 99.999975% of people who drive somewhere amazingly get there in one piece. However, there are those that don't. Perhaps they kill themselves merely to spite this ambitious apparatchik who, no doubt, would like to be head of the UN one day.
Perhaps it's because the secondary road system is shite.
So, strike the nights-out down at the boozer and make an excuse not to go to the weekly quiz night, the two-for-one night, St Valentine’s Day and, of course, the Carnival. Actually – if you wore a cunning disguise...
Instead, how about a nice steak down at the Argentino's on the beach washed down with a refreshing glass of diet-cola? And if the wine-waiter bamboozles you into taking a glass or two of the House Red, why, you can order a taxi to take you home and another one the following morning to pick up your car. Tripling the cost to you of the dinner.
But wait, I have a better idea. Ring the steakhouse and tell the waiter to cook you up a steak to perfection, wrap it in tinfoil, strap it to the back of his moped and deliver the damn' thing to your door - together with half a bottle of the aforementioned House Red. So civilised.
Actually, I read that an aggressive Spanish TV company recently documented the speed of the traffic tsar himself while in charge of a chauffeur doing thirty cliks over the speed limit and overtaking, without recourse to a winky, on the right (Antena 3). He was probably too busy with his mobile phone to notice.
This past summer, drunk from her success with the smoking issue (you now have to ask the harassed barman to press a silly button before the cigarette machine works), the Ministra de Salud (Hah!) proposed to put a health warning on bottles of alcohol, including wine. Salud, of course, means ‘Cheers’. Apparently she thinks that there are some people amongst the electorate who can read yet who can't think. Aghast (for once), El Presidente Thapo put a stop to this madness. However, between the socialist 'acoso' against smoking, drinking and now sex (yes, they are closing down the principal attractions of the Barrio Chino in Barcelona and elsewhere), to say nothing of their attacks on the missionary position, there is increasingly little left with which to amuse oneself.
Except to count all of the people you know who are now out of business.
Certainly, at this time of year, between the empty hotels, the drop in house-sales and the fear of the local population to be out after dark, the little yellow lights are closing down all over Broadway…
Better stay home and trash some grey-cells on the tele-basura. The brainless TV.