In honor of the Royal Baby Watch, some news out of the U.K. today:
A National Health Service hospital in Hampshire county has applied for a liquor license. Not for the doctors and nurses - but for the patients themselves! Why not? A spoonful of sugar might help the medicine go down, but a good stiff drink makes you forget you're sick in the first place!
The hospital claims they'll serve wine and beer only and just in a new private wing. They also say only those patients deemed "medically appropriate" will be allowed to partake. So presumably no drinks for anyone who already has cirrhosis. ;)
Critics are quick to point out that the NHS is sending a "mixed message" about drinking, especially in a country that has seen its fair share of alcohol-related problems. Over the last decade, there's been a 51% increase in the number of hospital admissions linked to alcohol abuse, with more than 1.2 million people admitted during 2011-12. At the same time, deaths due to alcohol abuse among young women have been on the rise - in part due to the "ladette culture" of the 1980s which saw young women participating in traditionally male-oriented activities. Like getting super-sloshed.
Alcohol Concern and other agencies aimed at addressing alcohol-related issues, have recently lobbied the government to increase the price of booze, hoping that would reduce the number of alcohol-fueled health problems. But that policy was recently rejected by the powers-that-be.
No telling yet whether that Hampshire hospital will get its liquor license. But there's every chance it will - especially since it's not the only healthcare facility to serve alcohol in the UK.
The private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital - where the Duchess of Cambridge is currently in royal labor - already has a liquor license - and a fine wine list that includes champagne. For $25,000 (the approximate bill for the Duchess's stay) I guess they could put a little bubbly on the menu, right? And poor Kate. After being in labor almost twelve hours already, she could probably use a little something to take the edge off. I can just hear her plummy accent ringing throughout the halls: "Screw the epidural! Make mine a double! Aeeeeeeeiiigghhhhhh!! I hate you, Wills ... I've always hated you ... I ... always ... aaeeeeeighhhh!! Where's that DRINK, goddamnit!??!"
btw, Royal Mom and Dad-to-be are no strangers to the pleasures of the occasional night out. According to some royal watchers, they were quite posh party-heads back in university. If you haven't already seen it, here's an earlier post about the royal rowdiness: Lads & Ladettes.
Hopefully HRH Jr. will arrive some time today cuz it's a drinking day for me - and I wouldn't mind raising a little toast to the royal bundle myself.
Of course ... I'll probably do that anyway. ;)
Keep calm - and carry a tumbler of wine, Kate! Cheers!