Boozers who go behind the wheel give alcohol bad rap

Vusi Nzapheza Straight & 2 Beers
Despite efforts to highlight road safety, local motorists revel at playing Russian roulette behind the wheel by continuing to drink and drive.
Despite efforts to highlight road safety, local motorists revel at playing Russian roulette behind the wheel by continuing to drink and drive.
Image: BonganI MngunI

The Easter weekend is the second-most deadly period to be on the road in this country. The increased traffic over this long weekend is a nightmare second only to the festive season.

Despite efforts to highlight road safety, local motorists revel at playing Russian roulette behind the wheel.

To reduce the chances of spilling my beer, I have decided to keep away from the road at this time of the year.

For starters, I am not a goduka (migrant worker) who needs to go "home" for the holidays, nor am I a pilgrim whose God resides in some faraway mountain.

I am staying put in Jozi with my music and braai stand. I have a Bible app should I feel the need to connect with the spirit. Besides, I can still recite the seven words Jesus Christ uttered on the cross that I learnt as a child.

I remember those words as if I was there in Golgotha on the day they nailed him, literally. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing," comes to mind.

I recall how the earth shook in a tremor at midnight when Jesus gave his last breath. The non-believers scuttled for cover when they realised that indeed Jesus was the Son of God as he had told them all along.

"Today you will be with me in paradise," is another gem he uttered on the cross and many will remember his bloodcurdling appeal: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Had I been around in those days, I have no doubt I would have been in a pub marinating my senses with ethanol when they lynched him.

What I am saying is that to me and many others, the long weekend is nothing but an excuse to drink.

However, for those who are on the road and behind the wheel, it would be folly to touch a glass. Drinking and driving has given alcohol a bad rap.

I was horrified this week when hot cross buns tipped a breathalyser and registered an alcohol level of 0.21.

Believe me or not, but driving under the influence of hot cross buns can land you behind bars. The yeast in the fluffy buns was shown to affect the reading on the breathalyser machine. Yeast is well-known for being a catalyst of fermentation. To their credit, amagwinya have shown remarkable sobriety despite being prepared with yeast.

The latest hot cross buns news was greeted with indignation and glee in some quarters. For decades, motorists have scampered to fool the breathalyser with little success. Others swear that eating raw onion or garlic erases alcohol fumes from the system.

The potency of onion and garlic on the breath are well known to those who have been on their receiving end.

However, traffic officers have cautioned that apart from altering your oral hygiene, onions and garlic have no effect on your blood alcohol level.

Others have welcomed the intoxicating effects of hot cross buns as a ready-made excuse if the breathalyser blows you out.

To put this holy cross imbroglio to the test, I ate 10 hot cross buns during the writing of today's column. Needless to say, errrr ... Merry Christmas, burp, hic!

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