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Alcohol Is Back And Don’t You Forget It

Some news is sweeter than a mother’s kiss at bedtime. Some news could cure a manic depressive instantly.

Some news is...

There was a huge sense of anticipation when it was announced the President would address the nation on Friday. With the calls of unbanning the sale of alcohol having reached a crescendo, there was an air of anticipation that The Announcement would be made. On these shores in these times, The Announcement is whether the sale of alcohol is banned or not.

BTV became must-watch television on that night and everything in that address seemed like preamble. We were all waiting to hear what the hallowed leader would say regarding the sale of alcohol. BTV viewership started off at 2.5million and immediately after the announcement that alcohol would be dribbling down our throats on Monday was made the viewership dropped to around 30,000. The 30,000 included kids, teetotalers, priests, broke fellas, people without DSTV subscription, people in love with BTV captions bloops and so on. For some of us, we were busy on our phones sharing the good news.

Obviously there will be the expected backlash from the brewers of the infamous Modaefoko – a brew that kept the nation going in very difficult times. Yes, there were casualties. But then every type of holy water has casualties.

The whole country looked forward to Monday – the very Monday which is always accused of being blue, the very Monday which some feel should be removed from the calendar. This one had turned a sunset orange.

We cursed whoever labelled Monday blue. This would be our Monday. This would be the day that the President had made. And oh how we were going to rejoice and be glad in it.

There was the small matter of preparing for Monday. The bootleggers put up the ‘Beer on Sale, 80% off’ signs. There were

sporadic ‘Buy one get 4 free’ signs too. For the uninitiated this seemed like Black Friday all over again with a much darker shade. I am thinking of pitch-black as the most appropriate description.

Bootleggers calls were not picked, their adverts not responded to. They had quickly morphed into some kind of devil with five horns. They were accused of being unrepentant blood-sucking monopolists. And these were the more civil adjectives.

Preparing for Monday also meant getting all sorts of laxatives to flush out the illegal brews and the illegally-priced alcohol from the system so it is ready to handle lawful, fairly-priced alcohol. Pharmacies struggled to cope and as we all know during such times instant street pharmacies and pharmacists will sprout up all over the place like a bad rash.

The Dibete side road pharmacies also choked under a huge demand from motorists. Four out of every two cars that passed stopped to make a purchase of the maroon-pinkish liquid that can allegedly cure ailments before you even contract them.

The celebrations were about to begin but the weekend rolled through slowly like a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter. This is one moment in history where the weekend became an irritant to the people. This weekend took around four days and the Sunday lasted close to 36 hours.

Monday finally came and with that came a whole wave of queues much longer than the covid-19 tests queues. Very patient Batswana lined up to get their supply of alcohol.

The patience of people in liquor stores queues is greater than that of those people in testing centres. In fact, the alcohol always runs out before the patience of customers. A very interesting phenomenon!

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