Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Musings-Christmas Cheer

Hello Everyone,
Well, Its been a very long week which started me to thinking about a glass of christmas cheer when I got home. You do not run down to the LCBO to pick up a bottle of your chosen poison in the great white north. The first step is to go to the Hamlet Office (City Hall) and get a permit to possess alcohol (cost $2.00). After filling in this form you return to the Hamlet office between 1-3 pm. and review the alcohol avalability listing from the Rankin Inlet Liquor store (which is terrible). You review the list and make your selections. You are allowed limited quantities of alcohol per purchase (2-64 oz bottles or 4 flats of beer, or 3-40 oz, or 4 bottles of wine per 2 week period). You fill in your permit based on availability by Monday at 3:00 for that weeks order (cost $15.00). On Monday evening the Alcohol Commission (a group of elders) reviews all orders and approve or deny the permits based on your quantities and if you have caused any trouble in the past while drinking. Then you wait till Tuesday and go to the Northern to see if your permit was approved. If your permit is approved you must send a money transfere to the Rankin liquor store (cost $30.00) by Wednesday at the lastest. The cost of alcohol is about double that found in Southern Ontario and aound 7 times the American price (for our south of the border friends). Now we're almost done, we wait. If the weather is good you can start calling the local airline to see if your order has arrived on Thursday. When your order arrives you can go out to the airport and pick up your order as well as pay the frieght charges to ship it to Baker (range from $35.00- $70.00 based on what you ordered). the Average order will cost between $200.00 and $300.00 to get 2 64 oz of booze. Important tips: only order 64oz's in plastic bottles (these are lighter and less breakable), Order the highest quality product available (the cost difference between the worst whisky and the best is only a couple of dollars) which is a very small % of what your paying anyways and costs the same to ship so splurge and put that 2% of your costs to a better product, Don't drink wine (cost prohibitive) there are no high quality products available, all are is glass and will run you about $65.00 for a $7.00 bottle of wine.
The idea of this process is to allow the local government to self regulate thier population and avoid the pitfalls of alcoholism that is so prevelent in the north, however as with most good idea's it fails miserably. The process does affect how much the non residents drink (white folk), but the locals seem to have no problems at all aquiring alcohol whenever they want it. The bootleg market is huge as well as the home-brew market. Most orders by Locals are for 3-40 oz's 2 to drink and one to sell. A 40 oz bottle sells for $150.00 locally except at this time of year. The home brew stuff is, well I don't know, but lets just say your vision would be in serious jeapordy consuming this product.
Now, lets deal with Christmas cheer, due to problems at this time of year the purchase of alcohol is banned from Dec 9 to January 13. This means that currently blackmarket prices have doubled and will soon triple and beyond, apparently by New years eve a 40 oz will be selling for $1000.00. This is why since I got here I have only imbibed of this nectar (legal only) once in the last 4 months. Keep this in mind as you pour yourself another glass of christmas cheer and think of those how have drank enough fruit juices in the last 4 months to ensure the fruit growers of the world enjoy a wonderful Christmas. BTW pop prices 2 liters of Coke $14.99 12 pack of Coke $19.99, even if you get booze odds are against you still being able to afford mix. Orange juice concentrate $3.25, I think I'll have apple juice today.
Finally, this question was asked last night, there is no where in town to go to have a drink, No bars, cafe's restuarants, hotels and any similiar places, there are no public service permits allowed in the area.
Enjoy you holiday festivities and don't drink and drive.

Take care


Anonymous said...

Soooo, Curt... can we bring ya something festive when we come up this summer? Is that allowed?


Curtis Groom said...

Yes.... wait....YES,
Your allowed to get it, many people get it shipped through the mail, I don't know if its legal, but its common. Its how the RCMP get thiers. Once again its a matter of the problems, if your not a problem, they don't care.

Anonymous said...

It gives a new meaning to "hard" liquor --- Hard to come by, hard to find, hard to pay for etc.

I was surprised at the prices you mentioned for soft drinks etc, but when you have to add the cost of transportation, I guess it does make sense. I really never appreciated the convenience and prices we pay here in southern Ontario.

I will be thinking of you when I raise a glass over the holiday season and do hope that you manage to do the same.