Saturday, June 13, 2009
Shortly after arriving in New Zealand we were watching t.v. as a family. A commercial came on and we began to watch a story unfold. The room got quiet as we were watching a man in a family room playing with his kids. He then went out to the back yard where a party was going on and began having a few drinks. The day passed and he continued drinking. In the evening he went back into the house to play with the kids. He picked a kid up by one arm and one leg and began swinging her around like an airplane. He lost control and swung her head first into the entertainment center. Glass shattered and the little girl lay crumpled on the floor. The women in the room ran to her and screamed at the man to get out. He stumbled out into an alley where he passed out. We sat there stunned with our jaws hanging open. We have seen other such commercials but that is the most shocking.
In the short time we have seen the effects that binge drinking is having on society. Just before arriving a couple of men got drunk and decided to take their small plane up. It was a storm. Now one of Maddie's friends is living without her dad. Another day I heard sirens in the afternoon. A drunk man had come speeding around a corner in front of the grocery store and hit an elderly couple. A couple of weeks ago there was a fight in the streets here with 40 people involved. A police car was smash up with the drunk people throwing bricks at it. Chad is consistently sewing up people who have knife wounds from fighting while drunk. The stories are endless.
New Zealanders consume 15 % more alcohol than Americans do.