It's getting to the end of Dry July. A wonderful time of the year when celebrities and normal people give up booze for a month to raise money for a great cause. Good on everyone involved for doing their bit.
You can't argue with the charitable intentions but these ventures also raise a big question. Is this just binge sobriety?
Is stumbling around feverishly counting down the days till you get back on the juice a positive thing for participants? Does it change a person's life for good or simply build up pressure destined to explode into a booze tsunami come August 1?
I can't speak for everyone but for me it's definitely the latter.
Sobriety movements assume alcohol consumption is intrinsically bad. That the act of enjoying a glass or six of delicious liquor is a sin. Another naughty activity on a wider list of things we should feel guilty about.
Many believe we should flagellate ourselves for our after work beers, the chips we have with them, any sun that gets on our skin, carbon-assisted travel, lard sandwiches, sugar and smoke.
But if we stop doing all those bad things will our lives become instantly super amazing? Maybe. Maybe not.
The world is a terrifying place. You will die at some point no matter what. Even if you abstain from everything there's a good chance you'll be obliterated randomly.
I often think of the clean living people who were killed by Matthew Broderick on an Irish road in 1987. You can plan your life to the second and still have Ferris Bueller cross the centre line and finish you off. In which case you might as well have gone loose during the time you had.
What's the exact reason we should feel bad about drinking anyway? Is it the things we do under the influence, the things we can't do, the health risks?
For a lot of Kiwis the main issue is the hangovers. If we could drink every night and still put in 100 per cent at home and work, why wouldn't we?
Unfortunately drinking leads to useless weekend fathering and poor weekday productivity. Not drinking on the other hand leads to being very bored at work social events. Whole weddings have been ruined by sober people.
It's a balancing act and I blame science.
The lack of a convenient, productivity increasing hangover cure is one of mankind's biggest failings.
If someone invented a drink that got us happily hammered but didn't hammer our health or give us a hangover, surely that would be an achievement equivalent to New Horizons passing Pluto. Imagine the fun, the productivity, the happy families. The world would be a better place. There would be no need for a dry anything. Come on science!
I feel for those who are struggling through Dry July. The good people doing their thirsty bit for charity. But how can they stop the equal and opposite booze reaction come the end of the month? The answer is simple - cheat.
As a child I ate heavily through two World Vision 40 hour famines. I still collected the money from my sponsors and handed it in. I made the event enjoyable by sneaking food from the kitchen.
Dry Julyers could do the same. Tip a little whisky into your coffee when no one's looking. Disguise yourself and go to bars on the other side of town. Drink in parks. Put vodka in your Pump bottle. No one will know. The money still gets raised. Everyone's happy. Win-win.
If people want to sign up for binge sobriety who are we to judge? Whether it's ultimately good or bad for them isn't the issue. It helps others in need.
You can sponsor someone now at nz.dryjuly.com if you want. I have.
There is endless need in our community. Each year charities are forced to come up with new and exciting ways to get money out of the public.
Why don't we support a binge drinking month. This year let's save the Kiwi with Drunk December. Who's with me?