Two weeks ago, the Health Department issued a shocking report finding that New Yorkers drink excessively, according to the standards of the medical industry (which is totally in the pocket of Alcoholics Anonymous). But now that the holidays are upon us, aren't we entitled to a little excess? The Health Department says no, and they're launching a new subway ad campaign scolding you to take it easy. Yes, you, passed out on the F train with an empty Ballantine quart rolling around between your feet.
"New York City is a great place to spend the holidays, but too much drink can turn a celebration into a tragedy," intones the Health Department in its buzz-killing press release. Alcohol kills some 1,500 New Yorkers every year... and excessive drinking prompted more than 70,000 emergency-room visits among New York City adults last year alone." And the ever-moderate Commissioner Thomas warns, "New Yorkers are surrounded by ads selling alcohol, and the messages are enticing. Beer, wine and liquor may look like passports to sophistication and romance. But even two extra drinks can turn a good time into a disaster." (So true; that's exactly how Grown Ups got greenlighted.)
As you can see here, one ad shows "a well-dressed woman" passed out on the subway stairs, "her belongings strewn beside her on a dingy underground stairway." The caption: "Two drinks ago you could still get yourself home." The other poster shows "a young man in business attire, bleeding and bruised after a barroom altercation." The caption: "Two drinks ago you would have walked away." True, but two drinks ago he would have also felt physical pain, instead of just swelling pride at having defended his solemn right to the next game of Big Buck Hunter.