Could we see pot islands popping up?
I have never been to New Zealand and will never go, I’m sure, but I suddenly have GREAT LOVE for this island country. I’ve always kind of liked it because I listened to Radio Aukland, a classical station that also gives New Zealand news, so I know about accidents on the highways and cold snaps and politics, and I watch New Zealand shows on Acorn and will soon start the new season of “The Brokenwood Mysteries,” a very gentle cop show without all the stupid violence of things like “Criminal Minds” and other things I hope never to have to watch unless that is my punishment in THAT PLACE DOWN THERE after death where I most assuredly will reside. Ugh.
An, but now there is a serious reason to love New Zealand and its brilliant and creative DRINKERS.
New Zealand, you see, has a ban against drinking in public. So does America, except for the French Quarter in New Orleans and maybe some other places I’ve never been, but not all New Zealanders want to adhere to that ban so, here is some of the story from the New York Daily News, a fine, upstanding tabloid in the grand tradition of tabloids meaning murder, mayhem, corruption and booze often get top billing:
“On the rocks, please! A group of creative New Zealanders constructed a sand island bar in coastal waters in an effort to avoid a ban on drinking in public places.
The swim-up structure … includes a picnic table and ice box for spirits.
“Locals said the floating island is in ‘international waters’ and thus exempt from an official liquor ban.”
Unfortunately, the powers that be in New Zealand – clearly Puritans who took a wrong turn on their way to Plymouth Rock — don’t think the drinkers have a legal island to stand upon. As the Daily News reported:
” … they are still breaking the law and face a $180 fine if they get caught on that nifty make-shift bar.”
To which I say:
TO ARMS, ISLANDERS. RAISE THE FLAG OF INIBRIATION. REPEL THE INVADERS.
Well, that might be hard. If you check out the photos, it’s a really small island that can only hold six people and they’re kind of squeezed, so …
Besides, I don’t want them to actually take up arms. In “The Brokenwood Mysteries,” nobody ever seems to shoot anyone on screen. Sure, there’s a murder every episode and the three main cops take them seriously, but they just seem so nice that I doubt that the idea of taking up arms ever occurs to them and probably not to the booze islanders, either. They seem to prefer beer and growing their own wine grapes. So, no arms.
The flag’s OK, though, although I haven’t figured out its design. There has to be some red in it, of course, to suggest bloodshot eyes and maybe a surfboard design — say a surfer riding a wave beer in hand — maybe being chased by Jeff Sessions who, by then, should surely have moved to New Zealand. Once Trump embarrasses him enough to get him to quit, what else will he have to do? Run Roy Moore’s next campaign? Nah. New Zealand calls.
This might sound as if I’m endorsing drinking. I’m not. I’m not condemning it, either. This is really more about a clever rebellion and one, I think, that is more of a goof than a real stand against anything. Think about it: They build a tiny island upon which to drink? And what? They figure the New Zealand feds won’t notice? Won’t care?
Oh, they’ll notice, especially since it’s gone viral which, I recently discovered, does not mean one needs antibiotics.
And they’ll care? Why? Ponder:
Suppose EVERYBODY built a little island for whatever reason. First of all, they would eventually constitute hazards to navigation.
“Hey! Move that island. I got a ship full of (whatever New Zealand ships are full of) that needs to get out to sea.”
“Ah, you move. We’re poundin’ some beers here.”
“Now listen: Don’t make me run you down.”
“Ah, don’t be a pill. Come down off that bridge and have a beer.”
“Since you put it that way …”
Wait, I must pause: Radio Australia’s jazz show is on and they’ve got Miles and ‘Trane doing “Stella By Starlight” … Yeah, it’s not just New Zealand radio to which I listen. I keep hoping for shark stories on Radio Australia but no luck so far.
OK, done. Wow. “Stellaaaaaaaa!” Brando imitation.
Where was I? Right: These Kiwis (knickname for New Zealanders) will eventually be busted, the government will blow up their island, and all will be back to normal. Unless the concept spreads. Then who knows? With Jeff Sessions’ crackdown on marijuana, even in states where it’s legal, could we see pot islands popping up? Would the U.S. attorney for New Hampshire, say, launch a canoe and head into the middle of Lake Winnepesaukee to invade Weedland?
“Jeff said I have to bust you folks.”
Well, I don’t really care. I don’t smoke weed; bothers my throat and screws up my lap swimming at Hampshire Hills.
Now if Jeff decides to crack down upon Colorado’s rookie cookies, well, to slightly paraphrase Leonard Cohen in “Anthem,” “He’s gonna hear from me.”