A few years ago something changed in the brewing of Becks lager and I became violently allergic to it. This was not just flushed cheeks but itchy, burning skin and difficulty breathing. Some experimenting revealed that the challenge was specifically the bottled product and I henceforth avoided it. It would be nice to think that was the end of the story but, since Ms Nature is involved, it is not.
Since the rather scary incident with Becks I have developed occasional alcohol blush. This reaction results in scarlet blotches across the skin and is a common ‘allergic’ reaction in Asians. The cause of it in Caucasians is less well understood but it does tend to be random, as I have found, rather than every occasion.
Thanks to Dr Google and some unintentional experimentation I have moved a step closer to understanding the triggers, further experiments will be needed to confirm. The theory is that a reduction in ALDH slows the metabolism of acetaldehyde which is also the mechanism used in drugs to treat alcoholism.
The annoying thing is that the symptoms seem random, well they did. On Saturday night I drank some beer, nothing unusual in that, on Sunday afternoon it hit. After one pint a friend enquired as to whether I had been welding, the colour is that vivid. But here is where research is king, apparently ALDH reduces with hydration levels. Obviously drinking beer reduces hydration but there is one other key from the weekend, chinese food!
I have not eaten Chinese food for some time, I avoid it because it is unhealthy, often unpleasant and also because it dehydrates me. This weekend I had a craving for crispy chili beef which I satisfied on Friday. Unusually for me I conserved part of the meal for Saturday night and thoroughly enjoyed it. It would seem that the combination of alcohol and salt reduced my hydration level and this triggered the blush. I think that there may be more to it than this because I didn’t suffer a hangover which is the usual indication of dehydration but it’s a start.
In other news I have yet another scary example of the welfare culture of this country. My friend’s daughter asked to do something over the weekend and he explained “daddy doesn’t have the money for that”. Without a thought his daughter advised going to the bank to get some money. Daddy then had to do the whole ‘you have to work for money speech’ to explain how money gets into the bank.
Ever thoughtful his daughter was not going to leave it there “don’t they put money in your bank for you? They do for mummy” obviously he attempted to explain the reason that mummy got money paid into the bank but his daughter seemed less than convinced. I felt for the guy and the situation he found himself in, how should he explain it, in fact how could anyone? Do you explain to your daughter that in the UK the state sponsors mothers? But if you don’t then you have to make the case that mum is wrong and that’s not a winner either.
In a country that is massively over populated, has high unemployment and huge welfare dependency how do you explain state sponsored childbirth? Like the ever improving economy and the never ending glass it is a myth but unlike the last two we believe it. So the friend whose young, part time employed son has recently become a father was proud. The lad has split with the mother but “give him his due he helped her move into her flat”. As a father, hell as a human being he should be in despair. Another child with no future, born to a young mum and funded by a bankrupt state, it’s not an inspiring situation.
Of course the father will ‘step up’ and graciously accept the £1 per week reduction in his tax credits which the state will impose as child maintenance. The mother’s parents will be declaring how well she is doing as the state funds the next 16 years of her life. This general acceptance of the situation is symptomatic of people faced with a situation that they cannot understand. It won’t be long until the card makers hit upon this lost opportunity and produce ‘welcome to the gravy train’. A clothes company will produce baby clothes with ‘sponsored by the national debt’ emblazoned upon them. Remember you heard it here first.