Dutch courage

In the English language there are some flattering sayings about the Dutch. Apparently they are coming from a period in time where the Dutch and English were fighting each other over world domination.

  • Dutch treat: Stingy people who pay for their own meal when going out.
  • Double Dutch: Incomprehensible talk; gibberish
  • Dutch generosity: Stinginess
  • Dutch headache: Hangover
  • Dutch nightingales: Frogs

There are some more but they are less funny.

Probably my favorite is: Dutch courage: Courage inspired by drunkenness or drinking liquor.

It made me think because there is so much truth in it. Alcohol obviously does a lot to the mind. Some men in positions of great power were known to love a good glass. In many cases alcohol would have played a part in their decision making.

How different would the world look if alcohol would not have been there! Boris Jeltsin would never have ruled. Maybe the Sovjet union would still be there. Would Europe speak German if Winston Churchill and Stalin would not have had a “few” drinks together? Or even Russian?

How did I get in this state of mind? Well.. A few years ago I already had an idea for a small hobby project. A little joke. A break glass box with a corkscrew!

I had some wood from a wine bottle box, and I bought some small things and I started making it. In the past I did not have patience but now I made the box quite relaxed. I took the time to sand it and paint it. I was pretty pleased with my work. And when it was finished I placed the stickers with the text rather slanted. Grmbl.

But when I looked at it I realized that although it started out as a joke, there is actually some truth in it. Which is not uncommon for jokes. What is better than sitting down with a nice glass of red wine when you feel stressed after a busy day?

Would it not be good to have a (last?) drink before you had to go to war to fight the English in a fragile wooden ship?

And wouldn’t it be an emergency if you could not open the bottle?



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