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Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

All alcohol contains methanol. I would have thought this is a good thing since it is also the fuel used in motocross bikes.

Ben TrovatoNow is a time for reflection, a time for evaluating the year gone by and a time to make fresh plans for the year ahead. More importantly, though, it is a time to lie on the beach and get as much alcohol down your gizzard as is medically possible. It must be said, though, that both the beach and drinking come with their own attendant risks. Let’s start with drinking.

The worst thing about drinking, apart from waking up to find a wedding ring on your finger, is the hangover. Some doctors try to tell you that hangovers are caused by dehydration. This is like saying that floods cause drought and I, for one, would sign any petition that calls for these charlatans to be struck from the roll.

Dehydration is caused when the bartender ignores you because he is too busy catching bottles behind his back and flirting with all the pretty young things.

In rare cases, dehydration is also caused when a girly little hormone that is meant to tell the body to conserve water can’t hold its liquor and passes out on the job. This results in you having to wee every 10 minutes. With the floodgates open, the body starts borrowing water from less important organs, like the brain. This causes the brain to shrink, something it is not altogether happy doing. This explains why stupid people with small brains suffer worse hangovers than smart people with big brains.

All alcohol contains methanol. I would have thought this is a good thing since it is also the fuel used in motocross bikes. And, boy, can those babies go!

However, instead of doing the sensible thing and using the methanol to accelerate the mind, the body breaks it down into formaldehyde and formic acid. Deformed foetuses and pygmy brains are preserved in formaldehyde. Ants and bees secrete formic acid when they attack. What the hell are our bodies thinking?

The monstrous aberration known in scientific terms as Babelaas horribilus is also partly caused by the depletion of magnesium in your body. As we all know, magnesium constitutes 2% of the Earth’s crust. So before you go drinking, take the time to step out into the garden and grab a handful of that damn fine crust.

Just remember to wash the dirt from your face before you walk into the bar. Not many drinkers can handle the sight of a grown man with a soil-encrusted mouth spraying bits of grass and earthworms about while shouting for another round.

Drinking & Swimming

Lifeguards warn you not to drink and swim. I have never heard such nonsense. What are you going to do? Lose control on the backstroke and sideswipe a jellyfish? Burst a water-wing and roll? Have a head-on collision with a snoek?

The ocean is by far the safest place in which to drink. For a start, it is impossible to fall over. This means no more inexplicable cuts and bruises the next day. And there are no roadblocks to ruin your life. No chance of irresponsible sex with someone whose name you can’t remember. The only problem I ever encountered while drinking and swimming was having my beer diluted with sea water.

Bluebottles (Bloublasies)

Apart from the Congolese gentleman selling beaded flowers, the thing next most likely to ruin your day at the beach is the bluebottle. This little scoundrel is also known as the Portuguese Man-of-War, although we are no longer allowed to call them that because the Portuguese say it portrays them as an excitable people who are always up for a fight. I thought that was the whole point of being Portuguese.

 

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