Monday, 16 January 2012

The Phantom Boozer.

Lots of scare stories around boozing cheeeldren lately. You'd think someone was trying to ban it or something.

A girl with a pickled pancreas is held up as being a typical teenager. Apparently she had been drinking two of those three-litre bottles of cheap cider every day since she was 14. She bought them at £3 a bottle which means she bought own-brand supermarket stuff.

It's around 5%, that stuff, and each bottle contains just under 16 units. So she was on 32 units a day, 224 units a week. That is, even by my standards, excessive. It's about the equivalent of an entire bottle of whisky every day. No wonder her pancreas packed up. I'm surprised her eyes hadn't melted.

The scaremongers feel the need to ramp up even those figures.

Kieran Moriarty, a consultant gastroenterologist at the Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, told the Sunday Times: 'The teenager had been drinking 400 units a week since she was 14, cheap lager and cheap cider, and she came in with severe acute pancreatitis."

Take a figure and double it. 224 units a week is quite scary enough without making up a new figure, but then force of habit...

Six litres. Twelve pints. Every day. At the height of my imbibing skills, in my early twenties, I once achieved the 'double gallon' in one night - sixteen pints. I never felt the need to repeat that feat, it was a one-off and it utterly wasted all of the next day. I recall not feeling like drinking at all for several days after that one. Normally, making it to the gallon was considered an achievement, the usual night-out rarely reached eight pints and that was certainly not every night. Midweek drinking was one or two pints and often none.

Drinking twelve pints a day, every day, is going to put anyone into a permanent state of drunkenness. Nobody's liver can detox at a rate that could keep up with that intake, and with that volume of fluid going through, the bladder would be under such strain she'd whistle when she peed. Yet here we have a fourteen-year-old who was able to buy six litres of cider a day, at a rate of £6 a day (£42 a week).

[Buying the equivalent in bottled water would have cost less than 50p a day, for those 'booze cheaper than water' nuts]

Where did she get the money? A weekend job? A paper round? Nobody drinking at that rate could hold down any job at all. Not even a job that involved mainly vomiting and urinating. She had to find £42 a week from somewhere.

She also had to get around the fact that she was four years under the legal age for buying alcohol and she must have been permanently pissed so she would have been bouncing off the supermarket shelves when buying it. Did nobody notice?

The solution? Minimum pricing, of course. Let's ignore the fact that we have a law stating that nobody under 18 can buy alcohol but nobody is enforcing it. Let's ignore the logical conclusion that the only way a 14-year-old pisshead could get £42 a week is by stealing it, and if the price goes up they'll just steal more. No. let's have minimum pricing and pretend that will solve everything.

There is no mention of her parents. Presumably they put a bottle of gin in her school lunchbox every day and cooked every meal in brandy. Are we seriously to believe that even the most inattentive parent is not going to realise their child is on twelve pints a day? It would be like living with a younger version of Father Jack and every conversation would be like talking to Rowley Birkin QC.

What of the shop that let her buy the cider? Yes, I know, it's not the shop's responsibility to tell anyone what to do with the stuff they buy, but when they sell booze to someone four years below booze-buying age, they are responsible for breaking the law. The article makes no mention.

Instead, it harps on about 'the evil drink stealing children's lives' while ignoring the fact that we have laws stating they can't buy any.

The girl's current age is not stated, just that she started when she was 14. All we have is -

The astonishing revelation was made by a doctor who treated the girl, who is from north west England.

... and the claim that she drank 400 units a week, equivalent to around 13 bottles of whisky. Enough to floor a walrus. Every week.

You know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking the Mail just took the story at face value. I'm thinking about all those 'thousands of deaths' from second hand smoke that never existed. I'm thinking this is propaganda and that the sozzled teenager does not exist.

Well, the antismokers get away with ridiculous claims and the dopes in the comments below the articles soak it all up. As they have with this one.

400 units a week and you'd soon be dead. If they cremated you, you'd burn for days and if they buried you, archaeologists would dig you up in a thousand years and marvel at the embalming techniques we must have had. You'd sterilise your entire intestinal tract with that much alcohol and denature every surface protein all the way down. Nothing would work. Nothing. Pancreas? The least of your worries.

If there was a shop selling that much booze to a teenager, the Mail would have gleefully reported their prosecution. The parents would have been prosecuted too. No mention of either. The Mail reporter seems not to have noticed and neither have the commenters.

Also, no mention of liver damage. At that intake her liver should have looked like it had been used for close-range shotgun practice.

I call 'fake' on this story. It's too far-fetched on too many levels and yet they are getting away with it because the drones are just so incredibly dim. An Expert has said - so we don't need to think. The Expert has done it for us.

Next on the denormalisation train? Meat. All of it. The drones will accept this too.

Sometimes, I wonder whether that New World Order idea of killing most of the people on the planet is actually quite a good one.

Anyway, as a responsible citizen and in the interests of promoting moderation in drinking, here's a song extolling the virtues of sensible beer consumption.


Curmudgeon said...

I've often seen descriptions of full-blown alcoholics claiming they were drinking two bottles of whisky a day, or the equivalent, so 400 units a week isn't necessarily life-threatening in the short term. But you are quite right that the story is basically a crock of shit.

Legiron said...

I've met some serious alkies. There's no way a 14-year-old in that state would go unnoticed.

Budvar Yorks said...

My dad had an "Off licence" back in the 70s. We had a couple of regular alkys who bought from him. One an architect, would go on a bender and his wife would buy a crate of Gold label barley wine every day. He'd keep this up for a few weeks until he began puking, and then he'd dry out for a month or so, then start again.

I've met a few alkys in my life, and they all without exception follow the same thing, drink until they collapse for 2-3 months, start puking blood and stuff, then dry out, then start all over again.

There isn't a shred of truth in this article, and am calling "Bullshit" on it.

SBC said...

As a professional alcoholic I was on UP TO 1 1/2 ltr of Scotch (when I had money) a day -7 days a week. I doubt I quite reached 400 units a week most weeks. A solid year of that level of consumption and anyone would be dead. No ifs , no buts. It took two years for my liver to recover. Towards the end of my last 6 month 'wet' spell I was unable to keep any food down and all my major organs were shutting down. 4 years? Piss off,I call bullshit.

Tony said...

The Daily Mail is rife for this kind of bullshit. As Leggy has said everything is ramped up for sensationalism and some of the commenters are so fucking stupid it defies belief.

JuliaM said...

Instead, it harps on about 'the evil drink stealing children's lives' while ignoring the fact that we have laws stating they can't buy any. "

Indeed! Someone should call the police!

 Oh. Wait. .

c777 said...

WC Field's or Boris Yeltsin couldn't even drink like that.
Nah, Fake.

Legiron said...

They even quote Dr. Moriarty.

It's only missing a deerstalker and a pipe...

Legiron said...

The police were busy...

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