Belfast Telegraph

Eye don't believe it! This latest drink craze is blind stupidity

By Robert McNeill

I regret to announce that I will not be sticking a glass of vodka into my eyelobe in the near future.

However, the practice is growing in popularity among the more outre of our young people, prompting top complainers to label the curious hobby 'blind stupidity'.

I don't want to sound controversial but, by and large, you shouldn't stick stuff into your eyes.

According to the latest scientific research, you need your eyes to see. So why would anyone go threatening that arguably useful faculty by bunging harsh spirits into their ogle-orbs?

Well, as ever, it's the human desire for an instant high or more intense blottological experience.

Supposedly, it goes into your bloodstream quicker but, biologically speaking, I'm not sure that's true. Besides, what happened to taste? Are we so far away from Continental wine-savouring types that we now just bung the liquid into our eyes to get squiffy quicker?

Instant highs are all wrong and contradict the laws of drinking by which, first, your mood lifts a little; then it lifts a lot; then you feel happy; then you feel sad; then you want to fight everyone; then you want to hug everyone; then you have a very sore head.

These stages take several hours of careful cultivation. You can't go bunging a nip into your eyelobe to have it all at once.

Apart from anything else, such ocular eccentricity strips away the protective membrane and can cause permanent damage to your eyes. It is, therefore, neither big nor clever.

Indeed, in 30-odd years of toping, I've never heard of anything so dumb. Seriously, give that one a bye.

I'm tempted to add that you should give binge-drinking a bye too, though (a) One man's binge is another man's aperitif and (b) If you tell anyone not to do anything, they'll be sorely tempted to do it.

So, to binge or not to binge, that is the question. And the answer, according to researchers at Toulouse University in Franceshire, is 'no'.

They compared middle-aged men in three French towns with their counterparts in Belfast and, while our citizens were obviously handsomer and more intelligent, theirs were less likely to drop down dead.

The reason? Drink. The French, in their swotty way, tend to drink a little every night, whereas the Belfast men stood accused of going doolally on Fridays.

The French actually drank more overall - 30 units a week - while the Ulsterman downed 22.

Unfortunately, the Ulstermen had theirs all at once. And this raises your chances of a blocked artery.

Then there's the question of what you drink. The French tended to quaff wine, the Ulstermen beer.

Though contradictory reports appear frequently, the general consensus is that wine protects the heart, while beer just makes you go to the lavatory.

Drink should make us flush with pleasure, but we're served pints of angst almost daily. We binge-read articles that tell us it's good for you, bad for you, fine in moderation.

It is in the nature of young persons to take thing to excess. Even many adult persons consider the official limits (14 units a week for women and 21 for men) to be opening bargaining positions: "Come on, how much are we really allowed to quaff?"

Seriously, we've got to cut down. And, in next week's column, more outrageous hypocrisy, when we call for more salad-eating.

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