Friday, 8 April 2011

What's it going to be?

Is it me, or is it a mere coincedence that just as the weather turns nice and people walk around with smiles on their faces, this comes out to make sure we're all good and miserable?

Drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a day can significantly increase the risk of some cancers - with at least 13,000 cases a year in the UK linked to drinking.

Oh, really? Forgive my cynical response, it is just that if you take all these 'studies' at face value pretty much everything will give you cancer and result in an agonising premature death.

"Our data show that many cancer cases could have been avoided if alcohol consumption is limited to two alcoholic drinks per day in men and one alcoholic drink per day in women, which are the recommendations of many health organisations," the report's authors said.

*deep sigh* I notice a disturbing lack of hard numbers there. 'Many cases could have been avoided'? Come back to me with a definite number that would have been avoided, and how much those people drank, and how often, and I might start to show an interest.

"And even more cancer cases would be prevented if people reduced their alcohol intake to below recommended guidelines or stopped drinking alcohol at all."

Oh for crying out loud. Can you bunch of miserable, grey, nannying, hectoring, pouting, righteous puritans not just fuck off and leave us the hell alone for just one day? Just one day out of the year? No? Thought not.

But which is it going to be? I'm a little confused. You can't pass one day without hearing how doing, eating or drinking, well, pretty much anything, will kill us stone dead quicker than jumping in front of a train, and yet, we're constantly told that we're living longer than ever before, and we're slowly bankrupting ourselves in the process.

'Ahhh yes', the righteous say, 'but you'll die.'

I'll let you in on the worst kept secret in human history. We're all going to die. I will, you will, the President of Mali, the lad or girl who delivers the freebie local paper, the bloke who does the vision mixing on Coronation Street, all of them, each and every one of us will die. It is one of the things we will never have control over. I'm thankful of it, immortality would be a fate worse than. . . well, you get the idea.

'OK, but you'll die horribly.'

I'll let you into another secret, death rarely comes in an airy bedroom with the sun streaming in through the windows on freshly pressed linen with a collection of loving relatives surrounding the almost deceased. How often do you hear of someone who goes to bed at night a healthy person and just doesn't wake up?

We all die of something, and from where I'm standing one cause is just as good (or bad) as another. Mother Wolfers was a geriatric nurse in the public and private sectors for many years. I used to go in to her nursing homes on occasion, it used to cheer up the old girls to have a young friendly face from time to time. Believe me, living to an advanced age is not a blessing. Spending your last few years, and it can go on for years and years, mourning a long gone partner with little hope of replacing that loving companionship with even the flimsiest facsimilie must be utterly miserable. Spending your twighlight years in a home where you are out of sight and mind of your family, occasional visits where you have nothing to say, and they just want to go, that is if you get visits at all, can only be heartbreaking. You'll make new friends and see them disappear one by one, in the chair one day, gone the next, knowing that your turn is coming. It is little more than a waiting room, up out of bed, breakfast from a blender, sit in a chair with little or nothing to do, lunch from a blender, back to the chair, dinner, time for bed, lights out. One day it'll really be lights out. Am I to wait for that and be thankful for it?

If you're lucky you'll drop your marbles. It is often the way in geriatrics (or palliative care as it is now called by the PC), either the CPU goes or the motor goes. You want the former, I've spoken to an old lady who was convinced I was a sailor and that the nurses were her working girls. She'd been a madam in the 50's. She was gloriously happy. If the motor goes you're trapped in a body that can only be escaped by one means. I remember another lovely old lady, totally dependent on diamorphine, fading away before my very eyes, totally bedridden but with a mind as sharp as a razor. It is the manner of the life that is tragic, not the death.

No. Life is to be lived, not spent cowering in a corner fearful that it will be running away. Life is running away, it has done since the moment of your conception, take that time, I beg of you, spend it recklessly, there are no instalment repayment plans, when your account is called in, it is called in in full. Take every opportunity, your life is yours, it does not belong to the politicians, the doctors, the priests, rabbis or imams. The academics and scientists have no claim over it, it is yours and yours alone.

Have that third drink. Have that rare steak. Have that cigarette or cigar. The reaper will get you, he is inescapable. The only way you can be ready for him is to have a bloody great long list when he asks 'What did you do with your life, brief mortal?' Can you imagine answering that question with, 'Well, nothing really'?


Captain Ranty said...


Cannot disagree with a single thing.

Who wants to check in at St Peters with perfect organs? Is there a bonus for that? Do you get a special cloud to sit on?

Is there a prize for returning unused livers, pristine kidneys, free-flowing arteries, and pink lungs?

Fuck me rigid. The Righteous are going to be mightily pissed off when they queue up behind me, with a bottle of gin and a fag on.....


NewsboyCap said...


Fucking brilliant, I have my MUM and my MUM in law coming to the end of their days, I think they would agree with every word.

The Refuser said...

Is there a prize for returning unused livers, pristine kidneys, free-flowing arteries, and pink lungs?
A good point but if you recall a few years back the control freaks in the BMA were trying to get the public compelled to donate their organs in the event of their dying and they want at the very least an opt out on organ donation rather than the current opt in. Tossers.

nisakiman said...

"The only way you can be ready for him is to have a bloody great long list when he asks 'What did you do with your life, brief mortal?'"

Happily, I will be able to answer "How long have you got?"

For the last 40 odd years I've held the "live fast, die young" philosophy. Trouble is, I can no longer die young, and even living fast is getting difficult...

However, I think I can safely say that neither my lungs nor my liver will be of any use to anyone upon my eventual demise. In fact I'm amazed they're still of any use to me...

Anonymous said...

Amen to the last comment, I am testing my lungs and liver to the extreme.

And those fuckers at the BMA want to pillage my corpse for spares, fuck 'em its all getting burnt and cremulated.