Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott proved this week that just because you’re the leader of a major world economic and military power — not to mention being a 57-year-old father of three — it doesn’t mean you can’t chug beer like a 19-year-old frat boy.
Abbott was caught in a video posted Saturday doing exactly that in a Sydney hotel bar, egged on by college football players (Australian Rules Football, of course) who were on hand for an awards ceremony.
After ordering a “schooner” of beer at the bar — a schooner is about 75 percent of a full pint — Abbot downs the entire glass full of the adult beverage in about seven seconds flat. All the while, the crowd of football players from the University of Technology, Sydney, chant “Skol! Skol! Skol!”
If you can’t figure that one out, “skol” is an Australian slang term for drinking an entire beer, or other alcoholic drink, in one shot.
“I walked over to Tony and said ‘will you come over and have a beer with the best players as part of the presentation,’” said the football team’s coach, Simon Carroudus.
“Then he proceeds to reach down and grab a schooner and he drank from head-to-toe the entire schooner, dribbling little bits on his shirt,” the coach continued, recalling the scene. “He tipped it upside down on his head. And he was proud as punch.”
Now, Australia is a country where the ability to guzzle beer — for that matter, any kind if booze — can be a political asset. Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke was repeatedly seen “skolling” beer and once reportedly downed not just one pint, but two-and-a-half — in not more than 11 seconds.
— Chris Chamberlin (@popculturechris) April 19, 2015
Another former Aussie PM, Kevin Rudd, saw his poll numbers rise back in 2007 — the Australian newspaper recalled — after he was caught drunk in a strip joint.
Abbott, on the other hand, has often been criticized for his lightweight approach to alcohol consumption. He was once widely criticized for ordering beer diluted with lemonade, and he has been an outspoken opponent of binge drinking.
“As a father and as a citizen, I’m appalled by the violent binge drinking culture that now seems so prevalent, especially at ‘hot spots’ in our big cities,” he has said.
Some online critics called him out as a hypocrite for his beer “skolling” exploits caught on the above video.
Others, however, were rather impressed with their prime minister.
Say what you like but Abbott did well with that beer.
— Ben Cubby (@bencubby) April 18, 2015
In fact, even political enemies of Tony Abbott, such as opposition leader Bill Shorten, gave a thumbs-up to the beer-chugging video.
“I’m just pleased that Tony Abbott’s learning to drink beer without adding lemonade to it,” Shorten said.
[Image: YouTube Screen Capture]