Grog, only escape from nagging wife

OH, how times have changed! Can you imagine a story like the following published in the media today? A Daily Telegraph reporter hit the streets of Sydney in 1954 to undertake a ‘vox-pop’ with male drinkers in an Elizabeth Street pub. The reporter wanted to ask them their views on women who drive men to drink. The story came after a social worker in the Yale University Journal of Studies in Alcohol named four types of wives who drove their husbands to drink. Jack Bennett, of Bexley, told the reporter he believed that “for many men the only escape from nagging wives was the grog”. I hope for Jack’s sake his wife never set her eyes on a copy of the Daily Telegraph the day the story was published on Sunday, January 3, 1954:

nagging wife

Jack Bennett, of Bexley, believes that for many men the only escape from nagging wives is “the grog.”

Bennett voiced this opinion as he downed a schooner in an Elizabeth Street hotel this week.

Bennett was one of a number of Sydney men the Sunday Telegraph interviewed this week to find out their views on women who drive men to drink.

A social worker in the Yale (United State) University Journal of Studies in Alcohol this week named four types of wives who drive their husbands to drink.

They are the career woman, the self-punishing type, the controlling type, and the mothering type.

“I think half the steady drinkers here are trying to escape the yackety-yack of their wives,” he said.

“And these fugitives from the ‘ball-and-chain gang’ are usually the worst ear-bashers of all.

“Most really heavy drinkers are failures in life, and the odds are that a woman is the cause of their troubles.

“The woman who spends her husband’s wages, then nags at him to earn more money, is another type who drives men to drink.

“A mate of mine who’s in financial strife and tries to forget it by boozing was a victim of such a wife.”

Truck driver Dave Adams, a regular drinker at a Sussex Street hotel, said some of his friends were ruled by domineering wives.

“Some of them drink a lot to show they aren’t ruled by a rod of iron,” he said.

“They want to show they’re not afraid of what will happen to them if they go home drunk.

“Me; I’m happily married, and my wife doesn’t mind me drinking. I drink because I like it.”

FOOTNOTE: Ruth, a blonde barmaid in the Sussex Street hotel, named the type of husband most likely to drive her to drink.

“He’s the bloke who comes in here to moan about his wife. Struth, I get sick of his type.”


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