Chief Executive Paul Varga credited the strong performance to "the stability of our company, the strength and resiliency of our brands and people, and the quality of our cash flows and balance sheet." That could work. Or maybe it's the fact that millions of newly jobless, formerly productive members of society are now spending their days in rocking chairs, drinking whiskey and cursing at their TVs.
One question remains -- how long can a nation of unemployed derelicts afford to keep drinking top-shelf booze, or mid-shelf for that matter? If we're really looking forward to a lost decade like we saw in Asia in the 1990s, it might be time to drop the Johnnie Blue and start acquiring a taste for the cheap stuff. Let's not forget that the last time one of these depression things happened, people took to making gin in their bathtubs.
Ethanol/Grain Alcohol It is illegal to sell this 190-proof "drink" in California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. Obviously, the liver has lobbyists in those states.
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Moonshine Prohibition caused people to take all sorts of odd steps to get their buzz on. For those who took the Bo and Luke route, a shoddy brew included methanol (a.k.a. wood alcohol) that acts in a few hours and can cause blindness. Perhaps that allowed them to not realize they were making out with cousin Daisy.
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Hjemmebrent Norway's Moonshine goes a bit further, being distilled to 96% alcohol. In Tara Grescoe's book "The Devil's Picnic," drinking hjemmebrent is described this way: "You were sober then you were drunk. It was grim, goal-oriented, and a little sad. And the hangover was like no other." Scary. We can't imagine anything worse than a PBR hangover.
Blood Religious groups and tribes, including the Suri of Ethiopia, have been drinking blood for centuries. For some it's a ritual, for others it's just a great way to risk contracting Hepatitis B and C.
Coca Cola Coca-Cola launched the disastrous "New Coke" in 1985, but in truth, the stuff we'd been consuming for decades was new. The true original version had cocaine in it. If Coca Cola still had cocaine in it, the world would be a sleepless wasteland of rambling teeth grinders.
Black Drink Made from roasted leaves of the Yaupon Holly, Native Americans males consumed the Black Drink in a ritualistic manner, substituting it for coffee or tea. They purged themselves after imbibing for hours at a time, leading to the berry's appealing Latin name, "Ilex vomitoria."
Jolt Cola Jolt Cola's slogan is "all the sugar and twice the caffeine." But if you consider that a few of the symptoms of caffeine overdose include restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, increased urination, gastrointestinal distress, muscle twitching, irritability, and irregular heart beat, a cold Jolt doesn't sound so good.
Bombes Enterprising bar owners in Greece originally came up with Bombes -- a mixture of alcohol and cheap, dangerous industrial spirits. These drinks are so lethal that the government had to step in, because the loss of bar patrons due to death wasn't enough to keep them from being served.
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Bud Extra A couple of years back, someone at Budweiser came up with a plan to keep beer drinkers from passing out. They called it "B to the E," and injected it with ginseng and high levels caffeine. In June 2008, Anheuser-Busch pulled the product in response to public criticism, which was completely warranted.
Kumis Though not technically a danger to your physical health, there's something psychologically troubling about sipping Kumis, a booze made from fermented mare's milk. Russians have been drinking from the horse's teat for centuries, but we'll pass.