Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Beer Defense

In the comment section of French's last entry I made what was supposed to be a humorous suggestion about me and French tearing up the bars of Boston on a weekly basis because his lady (a term I use VERY loosely) has landed an amazing new job that will require weekends, nights, and travel. Since French will be having tons of free time on his hands, I generously offered that he spend that quality time with yours truly.

I know, I'm too nice of a guy. It really would be a treat for him to spend time with me. Hey, one of my resolutions was to be a nicer person. I think one was to be humble, too, but I was probably kidding.

Anyway, as you can see in those comments, son pere took exception to my suggestion, which wasn't that serious anyway. I'm married with two boys, a demonic dog, and a house that all require special care, attention, leashes, chains and whips. Then I have to tend to that dog.

I actually understand the defense son pere was trying to make. If I had a screwed up son like French I wouldn't want anything risking his son's new found sanity and good behavior. I didn't know French very well when he belonged to the Dark Side (although I wish I had!). I met him through his current girlfriend who used her time to quickly recreate his persona so he would resemble an actual, socially acceptable, healthy male. Pity.

French's salvation from the abyss of bachelorhood is not my issue. I like him as he is now and no doubt would have enjoyed him just as much as a smoking, drunk, carnivore. My issue in this particular case is the complete and utter dismissal of beer as a legitimate, satiating, scrumptious and satisfying beverage. I shall quote son pere from the comment section:

"a real friend would respect the healthy life-style French has taken up over the last year, year and a half, and suggest joining him at the Yoga class, or something like that - no drinking involved - only water"

No drinking involved???

Only water??!!!!

I can understand respecting the healthy life style, but take enormous offense to the implication that beer is somehow unhealthy for you. In fact, I'm here to argue the opposite. I am here - today - with this entry to take a stand and claim that not only are we better off with beer in our lives but those who don't drink beer are NOT as healthy and well adjusted as those that do.

That's right. Beer is our friend. And has been for thousands and thousands of years. Below are the many reasons beer is not only de-fuckin'-licious, but good for you. Please remember to always enjoy alcohol in moderaAHAHAHAHAHAAHA; almost got that out with a straight face.

1: Lower Bacteria: The combination of boiling water, fermentation and alcohol means beer has fewer illness causing bacteria than a simple glass of water. In fact, if you go back to the middle ages (and who doesn't enjoy doing that?) beer was the drink of choice. Sure they were a bit limited in knowledge, but they noticed that drinking beer caused fewer health issues than drinking water so they weren't totally idiotic. That the people in the middle ages also drilled holes in your head when you had a headache is irrelevant to this discussion.

2: Your Heart Likes It: Since the beginning of this century (either 2000 or 2001, depending on who you ask or want to believe) over 60 different studies have concluded that drinking beer led to healthier hearts. If you want actual proof look up Dr. Jerome L. Abramson of Emory University who researched 2,235 elderly men and women and discovered that those who drank moderately on a daily basis were 20-50 percent less likely to develop heart failure.

3: Your Blood Likes It: In 2001, Dr. Wolfgang Koenig of the University of Ulm's German Center for Research on Aging published his findings that alcohol improves the balance of lipids (or fats) and reduces the likelihood of clotting. Alchohol drinkers also have higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (that's the good kind). Do they take this into consideration when they see the obscene results of your blood alcohol content? Of course not. Stupid, close minded, law enforcement officials.

4: It's Rich In Vitamins: Those who drink beer on a regular basis have higher levels of folates (which protect against cardiovascular disease), B6 and B12. Looks like Clemens should have been living the High Life and not injecting the low life.

5: It Can Save Your Life: Dr. Kenneth J. Mukamal of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center right here in Boston studied 1,913 patients at 45 hospitals between 1989-1994. All had been admitted due to a heart attack. Dr. Mukamal discovered that moderate drinkers (at least seven drinks a week) were 32% less likely to die from a heart attack. Light drinkers (at least less than seven drinks a week) fell to 21% less likely. Conclusion: If you don't want to die of a heart attack, drink like a fish.

6: Your Brain Likes It: Moderate drinking reduces the possibility of brain lesions and 'silent strokes'. It also improves blood circulation in the brain, thus making us smarter and able to write intellectual masterpieces like this entry. Other research has shown that alcohol drinkers show fewer signs of mental decline caused by aging.

7: Your Kidneys Like It: No really. A combo study between the US and Finland (don't ask) concluded that male beer drinkers had a 40% lower risk of developing kidney stones.

8: It Reduces Stress: A study from the UK (where else?) showed that the welcoming atmosphere of a pub helped reduce stress. Quoth the good Dr. Colin Gill, 'Pub-time allows men to bond with friends and colleagues. Men need break-out time...and are mentally healthier for it'. He also stated that rather than bitch about their men heading out with their friends, they should welcome and encourage it, thus securing Dr. Gill's place in my personal Hall of Fame.

9: It's Good Food: Check out the label on any standard 12 ounce beer:

Beer contains 150 calories

Beer has no fat

Beer has no cholesterol

Beer is caffeine free

Beer contains no nitrates

Beer contains 1 gram of protein and 13 grams of carbohydrates

Beer contains significant amounts of magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, and biotin

Beer is chock full of the B vitamins (as anyone who has taken brewer's yeast as a B supplement already knows), with impressive amounts of B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxin), and B9 (folate), with smaller amounts of B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B12 inotisol and choline.

Beer is 92 percent water

You can even use it as a healthy alternative when cooking. It adds flavor, be a substitute for higher calorie ingredients like oils and sugars and makes an excellent tenderizer.

Summary: Don't diss beer. In many ways it's better for your overall health than water. In fact, if these studies are accurate (and why wouldn't they be?) beer is not only good for you, but if you drink beer every day you may live forever. Even better, you will still be mentally aware when the year 2200 arrives thus allowing you to nag your great great great great grand kids for being spoiled.

Personally, I can't wait.

Summary to the Summary: French and I will go out and get plastered at some point soon. This I promise you. I think we should wait until the weather is nice so we can sit outside.

Today's distraction: Some tips on how to properly appreciate beer. No, you don't pour it into a funnel. Man alive, I have so much knowledge to share.


French said...

So poetic (wiping tear from corner of eye).

Your words are so therapeudic.

Bring on the suds.

Jim Hammen said...

Well put. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

(Begins a slow clap). Bravo! Bravo! God bless us, all of us!

BeachBum said...

Now I know how Brubaker felt when he left the prison.

son pere said...

My apologies, beachbum. I apologize to both you and French. I keep forgetting that he is now a responsible young man, not a wild, first-time-away-from-home college freshman living with similar young men. Was a time when he and his buddies would drop by chez moi and down a few when I and the missus were out. I shall "pop" one with you guys when your first outing takes place - just let me know when. Of course, I will still be sitting at home while downing a frosty one, while you two are out on the town. By the way, if you are into peanuts, let French know. I have a reserve of the best damn peanuts in the land, and I would be glad to share them. Just let me know if it's Gourmet Salted, or Redskins. (Only French gets the Cashews!). Anyway, they ALL go great with a nice, cold beer. Again, please accept my humble apology for misunderstanding your intentions. I also had forgotten that you, as well, are a responsible "family man", who wouldn't be into the "staggering, slobbering drunk" scene.

Loved your latest entry - very informative. Where do you learn all this stuff? When do you have time to research it all? Because, based on previous posts, you seem to be busier than the proverbial "one-armed paperhanger". Just curious!

BeachBum said...

No apologies needed. I understand the protectiveness (if that's even a word) of being a father.

Calling me a responsible family man might be pushing it. I try to maintain a healthy immaturity in my approach to life. It's tough, but I manage.

As for the research, that's the beauty of living in the internet age. I can do 3 days of research in one hour now.

I don't work harder, I work smarter.