Wednesday, September 01, 2010

alkies awake!

burning up the interwebs this week have been some very encouraging reports for incorrigible alkies everywhere:

... a new paper in the journal alcoholism: clinical and experimental research suggests that — for reasons that aren't entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does tend to increase one's risk of dying, even when you exclude former problem drinkers. the most shocking part? abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.

i'm sorry, but announcements of this sort always remind me of the longstanding faddish nature of nutrition lore, which took a bit of a ribbing in woody allen's 1973 comedy "sleeper", wherein health food store proprietor miles munroe wakes up from an unplanned cryogenic nap 200 years into the future:

dr. melik: well, he's fully recovered ... except for a few minor kinks.
dr. tryon: has he asked for anything special?
dr. melik: yes, this morning for breakfast: uh, he requested something called wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk ... ?
dr. tryon: [chuckling] oh yes, those are the charmed substances that some years ago were felt to contain life-preserving properties.
dr. melik: you mean there was no deep fat, no steak or cream pies or hot fudge?
dr. tryon: those were thought to be unhealthy. precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
dr. melik: incredible ...

miles: and, and ... where am i anyhow? i mean, what, what happened to everybody? where are all my friends?
dr. aragon: you must understand that everyone you knew in the past has been dead nearly two hundred years.
miles: but they all ate organic rice!

dr. aragon: [to dr. melik] he's ranting ... we'd better tranquilize him.
miles: i knew it was too good to be true — i parked right near the hospital!
dr. aragon: now here, you smoke this. and be sure you get the smoke deep down into your lungs.
miles: i don't smoke.
dr. aragon: it's tobacco! it's one of the healthiest things for your body! now go ahead — you need all the strength you can get.

(don't dawdle, folks! catch the movie in its entirety while it lasts ...)

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