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Byron Shire
August 16, 2022

Comment: Net sober by 2050!

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With Scott Morrison about to jet off to Glasgow for the UN COP 26 Climate Change Conference, I’ve got some unexpected and exciting news of my own: I’ve decided to take advice around my health and wellbeing and give up drinking!

I know, I know. Thank you for your applause and admiration, which I correctly assume is pouring my way. It’s wonderful to be able to make this announcement loudly in the media.

Andrew P Street. Photo Daniel Boud.

To that end, I’ve set a target for giving up… well, look, not all booze, obviously. That would be both irresponsible and unrealistic.

To be specific, I have agreed on a non-binding drinking target with many, many conditions attached – but I am confident that I will be net sober by 2050!

You may applaud again.

Part of this future triumph is already being achieved by rolling over my sobriety credits from 2005, specifically the two weeks I had that gastro thing and basically consumed nothing but dry toast and flat lemonade.

By extrapolating those 14 days and baselessly assuming that they are representative of my thirties, I think you’ll find that my drinking has been very reasonable by international standards, per capita.

Achieving this incredibly impressive goal is also based on a few very reasonable assumptions about the rapid development and commercialisation of new alcohol capture and storage initiatives, like the successful implementation of Clean Brewing – a developing technology by which my drinking multiple growlers of tangy, frosty beer actually removes hangovers from the community!

Admittedly early research has been a little disappointing, in that I woke up the other morning feeling like rats had hollowed out my skull and were using it as a combination latrine and firing range, but I’m hopeful that with adequate public funding we will start to see a dramatic reduction in the number of soiled and soggy mattresses I am forced to shamefully drag to the curb.

Now, to the naysayers who naively declare that ample non-booze alternatives already exist, such as water, orange juice, soft drink and literally almost all potable liquids worldwide; it is possible that these may play a part in my thirst-quenching efforts going forward. But frankly, I have my doubts about whether those can be successfully applied to all of my hydration needs on a regular basis, which is why I have been stocking up on brown liquors to provide a baseline supply of liquid while we explore alternatives, including the purchase of some very nice new monogrammed tumblers. It’s my glass-led recovery!

In addition, there are a few things that I feel should be made clear about my brave and bold step into a lean, clean future. One is that I realise that some so-called experts in my liver function have suggested that I will literally explode if I keep drinking for the next nine years, and that a strong interim reduction of booze is required by 2030. Unfortunately, I cannot commit to any such reduction, and may instead have to ramp up my drinking in the short term in order to hit my 2050 goal. I will not be drawn on the details of these on-booze matters.

Also, I reserve the right to abandon any plans to stop drinking if there is any risk of so much as a single job loss in the brewing and viticulture industries in the next three decades. Obviously.

There are those who will suggest that reducing my drinking by 2050 is far too little, and pathetically too late, to be remotely beneficial. Others may cynically suggest that my announcement is an empty gesture made purely to look like I’m doing something positive while deliberately doing the opposite, especially since I’ve been swigging from a hip flask throughout the writing of this column.

And sure, you might point to my career-long reliance on booze, and my many public statements on how great it is up until and including last week. Like that time I stood up and waved a cask around shouting “This is goon! Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared!” in what I thought at the time was parliament, but was actually an Oporto’s car park.

But the fact is that I am demonstrating a strong and extremely admirable commitment to a sensible and economically responsible level of sobriety, following a perfectly acceptable and internationally agreed-upon timeline that protects both my health and the job security of the hardworking people at Dan Murphy’s.

In any case, there is no longer any need to speak to me about the dangers of polishing off a bottle of red in a park, or demanding to know where that smell is coming from, because I am meeting and beating all of my unlegislated, changeable, vague and easily discarded targets as I head to my goal of being net sober by 2050.

Bottoms up, Australia!

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  1. Scott Morrison is about to go off to Glasgow for the UN COP 26 Climate Change Conference, and have a small glass or two of scotch, to go.
    Meanwhile down in civie street, back here back home Andrew P Street says he wants to scotch beer out of his diet, right here on the streets of Byron.
    Cop that!

  2. Oh yeah !
    Your fabulous achievements in this field are no doubt heroic and well deserving of the adulation that will no doubt follow, but as a pragmatic and staunch supporter of an industry committed to the noble , tried and tested tradition of intoxication and fleecing of the stupid and gullible, what compensation will be paid to the shills and poker machine rackets that are the backbone of the nation ?
    Now that you have embarked on this destructive, hasty non-binding, semi-aspirational path to the destruction of all that is worthwhile and what the diggers and RSL have fought for ( GOD have mercy on your soul ! ), what do you propose to compensate all those who have expectations, and a right, to continue to rort you, and all those who will be tempted to follow this irrational ,iron-clad contract designed to end the weekend and kill the golden goose in a matter of mere decades?
    …….and will you still be alive? What about ME ?
    Cheers, G”)

  3. Thank you Andrew Street for your plan to become sober by 2050. You have inspired me to announce my own plan. Okay I know plans are becoming a pain but if the government can keep announcing plans and plans to make plans you can’t blame Joe Blow citizen getting into the Act.
    My big announcement is I am planning on paying net zero income tax.
    Here’s why:
    1. My income tax is so small, like $0.0000 add up to twenty more 0’s then put in the 1% and you can see that my tax would not make one iota of difference to the national budget.
    2. My own personal economy wants it. I could, with this plan, keep and beat my high standard of living by
    – upgrading my forthcoming world cruise cabin considerably
    – increasing my employees by another gardener, a full-time housekeeper, and a highly skilled handyman
    – sipping daily barista made cafe lattes
    – creating more employment for ATO investigators thereby contributing to the national wellbeing
    – avoiding depression with twice weekly home visiting massage and a 26inch curved smart tv
    – taking long drives for sheer pleasure of freely affording unlimited petrol.
    Perhaps all this would be too much for my meagre tax savings but the plan is flexible.

    Being a PAYE person paid by the government my plan would need special tricky accountancy. Not to worry. Accountants have been quite successfully creative at dispensing with tax. At the rate of past advances in accountancy skills and with help from technology yet to be invented I am sure my plan will be working by 2030! Wow! Move over Scotty.


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