Poverty is an academic exercise for some, but a practical reality for most. Into the fray, toss the price of booze – the lubricant that is our salve and damned salvation. After all, stiff times call for a stiff dop. This makes the increase in "sin taxes" in February’s budget – on alcohol and tobacco – that more ignominious. Where’s the empathy, Pravin? You should be pouring the drinks, not hiding them under the bar. Yet, there might be a way to squeeze a few drops of life out of this after all, much like Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan did with his budget. For, while the papsak (the plastic wine-filled gut of a box wine, sold sans box) was outlawed several years ago, the humble dooswyn (box wine) — or "Bellville briefcase" — has retained its shelf space in our favourite stores. Papsakkies were also known on Cape farms as "blink toekoms" (bright future) — a reference to their silvery surface and the promise of lifting you from your immediate troubles. A five-litre papsakkie could cha...

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