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Reader feedback: Americans no better than Slovaks with the bottle

Dear Editor,

I don't know which "Pretoria" is Don Merritt from (or if he's some abstinent Mormon), but having spent quite a few years in the US, I would beg to differ with him on the preponderance of drunks in Slovakia ("Reducing boozing a big job, Reader Feedback, Vol. 8 No. 6, February 18-24).

I have seen many Americans get smashed on two pints of three per cent beer or a couple of glasses of wine. However, alcohol stamina is not the issue here. The time of day was not that significant, or different, either, except perhaps that the draconian restrictions on the purchase and consumption of alcohol in the US do tend to concentrate the sightings to predefined times.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the two countries is the average level of affluence - while a Slovak drunk is much more likely to walk or use public transportation, an American will either drive himself home or take a taxi.

Just because they are less visible, doesn't mean they are not there.

I have also lived in Salt Lake City, in that 'abstinent' heaven of Mormon-land - it's amazing what the people there will do for a drink.

P.S. Perhaps it's because I have never been to the Grizzly bar, but I don't understand what's all the fuss about some joint closing down. It's simple economics - something didn't quite work there: the market, the price structure, the management or the 'security' arrangements. A business does not stay afloat just because we wish that it do so.

Fred Nicholson,
Bratislava

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