In this country it’s Big Drinks Day today. More alcohol is downed today than in any other day of the year. The imminence of Xmas and the closing down of universities and firms is, of course, the reason for the splurge.
Ethyl alcohol is a neat molecule, easily and quickly digested, a bundle of energy. Ir’s also small enough to evade the gate-keepers at the blood-brain barrier and affects our neurons extensively, putting those of our frontal lobes — which normally supervise our impulsive behaviour — to sleep. It also ruins our livers if drunk in quantity over the years,
Ethyl alcohol is what biologists call a super-stimulus. Because we and our predecessors never came across drinks bars in the African savannah for millions of years, our bodies never had to develop defensive mechanisms against this dangerous molecule. “Never” is not quite accurate because we occasionally came across over-ripe fruit with the tantalising tang of it.
So what else can we say about it? — enjoy it in moderation during the coming few days.