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Issue 47 - Teach our children to drink

Whisky Magazine Issue 47
April 2005

 

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Teach our children to drink

In California, Michael Jackson takes a stand

My name has been in the papers every other day since you and I last met. Not so much ‘in' as ‘all over'. Allegations of ever weirder behaviour.

Serious crimes against children. I used to laugh it off, but that is more difficult now that alcohol is in the picture.

In the land of conspicuous consumption, alcohol is the Devil's weapon. Worse still, while the prosecutor poured out his allegations in Southern California, I was promoting alcohol in Northern California (at Whisky Live in San Francisco). The notion that Michael Jackson may have given alcohol to a child made shock headlines, but I plead guilty. Here's how it happened.

I was not quite 40 when it began. I had a new girlfriend, and we were living together in my house. She had a daughter, who was seven. Suddenly, I was a parent. A good one, I hear from the daughter, now an adult and a parent herself.

At dinner, my girlfriend and I would usually have beer or wine (or a cup of tea if we were eating fish and chips). Whatever we were having was offered to her daughter. If she fancied beer, I gave her a small glass. If wine was being served, hers was diluted 50-50 with water. Tea was usually Assam, but I would brew Darjeeling or Orange Pekoe if either was requested.

Spoiling the child? Definitely not: the proof is in the person. Whatever my girlfriend and her former husband have done for their daughter, and whatever parenting I contributed, we are left in no doubt that it is appreciated. The choice of drinks at dinne...

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