Like the average Australian household, we have a range of alcohol in our home. Always a supply of beer and wine in the grog fridge in the shed (very Aussie I know), as well as an assortment of spirits, some bought purely for that dessert recipe that required brandy, or sherry for an Asian marinade, but most as duty-free gifts from visiting friends or relatives.
As a result we seemed to have an endless supply of unopened bottles of gin and vodka in the fridge. It’s not that we don’t drink it, but for some reason it seems to be our preferred drink of choice when we go on holidays, not at home. Who doesn’t love a G&T or Bloody Mary when you’re on holidays and the late afternoon cocktail hour comes around (okay, so sometimes cocktail hour starts at midday on holidays, but who’s watching the time anyway)? It’s almost anathema to have a holiday without one.
So at home, the bottles of gin and vodka sit unloved for most of the time, alongside the ever replenished supply of beer and wine. Well at least we thought they were unloved, until recently!! Father of a Man-Child must have been doing a fridge clean out (maybe making room for dinner party food and wine), and obviously noticed our unopened bottles looking a bit light on. No doubt he considered a number of possibilities:
- The alcohol has miraculously evaporated, even with the lid firmly on and sealed?
- Mother of a Man-Child has turned into one of those awful alcoholics who necks vodka for breakfast (a possibility given teenagers living in the house)!
- The Men-Children have discovered the untapped delights of Mum & Dad’s grog supply.
Now which option would you bet on????
Naturally, he approached the Men-Children, who both vehemently denied it the first time around. When the trend continued, he approached them again. One was adamant it wasn’t him, the other one, not quite so…….bingo, suspect identified. He eventually admitted that his friends and he had on occasion helped themselves to a few pre-party slugs. Don’t worry, his brother isn’t all innocence. He was once caught with beers under the bed at the holiday house, and another time heard walking down the hallway “clinking”.
Whilst it’s not surprising that they have been into our supplies, it is surprising that they haven’t tried the age-old trick of adding water to the gin and vodka bottles so their “idiot parents” don’t even realise they have consumed any. Or in the case of scotch, black tea of course. I can imagine a little watered down gin or vodka might go unnoticed by the taste buds, but a scotch drinker would surely notice black tea?
Naturally, my parents were twice as smart when it came to checking if we had thought to do the same with their grog supply many years back. They didn’t just mark the amount in the bottles so they could tell if anyone had been drinking it, my father turned the bottle upside down and then marked it, which meant we looked at it and thought, oh good, they’ve drunk past the line and forgotten to add a new mark, so we won’t be caught……Doh!!!! (I can only assume he learned this trick from his father. I suppose when you come from a long line of Catholics it’s no surprise is it?)
My parents’ smarts continued the time I took my mother’s car for a “joy-ride” to Portsea for the day, never even thinking my astute father would have checked the speedometer before they left for an outing. I had permission to drive the car, but not on a 200km round trip! The speedo coupled with my extremely sunburnt forehead from driving with the sunroof open on a hot summer’s day was a complete giveaway, but hey, it was worth it for the chance to be uber cool for a few hours!
So the upshot with the boys? We didn’t empty all the bottles in front of them and say “there, that’s solved that problem” did we. Certainly not, we don’t want to waste good alcohol, and one day we might want a G&T or Bloody Mary at home. We just told them that it wasn’t theirs to drink, and please stop helping yourself to our supplies. In other words – buy your own!! We are not naive, teenagers of 16 years old drink, and have many ways to get their supplies. We don’t ask how, as we simply would rather not know.
Tell me, what tricks did your parents use at home to stop their teenagers hopping into the family stash? Of if you have children, have you decided to live like a monk and abstain from having alcohol in the house, or simply put a padlock on the grog fridge?
Read about the time I found beers under the bed. New Years Eve at Portsea – 30 Years On.