Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ART OF DRINKING ALCOHOL – GOLDEN RULE No. 4


ART OF DRINKING ALCOHOL – GOLDEN RULE No. 4
KNOW YOUR DRINKING CAPACITY or ALCOHOL TOLERANCE
The “Flash” Point and The “Fire” Point
By
VIKRAM KARVE

It is best not to drink alcohol, but if you do drink then you must ask yourself: “Why do I drink?”

You drink because you want to “feel good”.

If you drink too much you will get drunk.

When you get drunk you hardly feel or remember anything since your senses are dulled.

But if you get inebriated, in your intoxicated and drunken state, you will make a fool of yourself, you may embarrass your near and dear ones, and you will certainly feel miserable when you come to your senses from your drunken stupor and suffer the pains of a terrible hangover.

If you drink too little – well then there is no point in drinking alcohol at all

You might as well have some fruit juice or a soft drink or a glass of milk. You may find it laughable, but at some parties, I have seen some persons just holding a drink in their hands for keeping up appearances (they want to project a “proper” image before their hard drinking bosses and colleagues and don’t want people to call them a “sissy”). 

There is no shame in being a teetotaller – in fact you should be proud of it

By the way, after over 25 years of “work hard play hard drink hard” living, I too am a strictly sober teetotaller for the last 10 years.

I write this series as I wish to share my experiences with you and enable you to take more out of alcohol than alcohol takes out of you.

So, if you want to truly enjoy drinking, you must drink just the right amount of alcohol that makes you feel good.

The aim of drinking alcohol is to feel high, not to get drunk (and, of course, not to remain dead sober as a teetotaller, in which case it is a waste of good liquor)

You must feel high but you must not get drunk.

For achieving this delightful “high” state, you must know your drinking capacity which depends on your alcohol tolerance level. 

DISCOVER YOUR DRINKING CAPACITY

Well, it was through sheer serendipity that I discovered my drinking capacity. 

This method worked for me. 

To find out whether it works for you, do try it out, at your own risk, and tell us how it worked for you.

You will need the following which you must keep handy on a table next to your chair:

1. A Bottle of Rum or Whisky or adequate quantity of your regular drink (If you drink shots, line enough of them up).
2. A Book
3. Water

Before I describe the technique let me impart to you some “theory”.

If you were a science student you must have performed a chemistry lab experiment to find out the FLASH POINT and FIRE POINT of a fuel. You start heating the volatile liquid. The flash point occurs when the fuel exhibits a flash. The fuel is heated further and the fire point occurs when the volatile material starts burning and continues to burn.

Applying the same analogy to drinking alcohol, you can say that your “flash point” occurs when you are “high” (at your flash point you have reached your drinking capacity).

If you keep on drinking then you will reach your “fire point”, an inebriated state of drunkenness.  

Your aim is to remain happily high around your “flash point” and in no circumstances must you cross your “fire point”.

But how do you find out your “flash point”?

Here is the technique of how to “measure” your “flash point” or drinking capacity.

1. Drink a glass of water. This is to stabilize you in case you are dehydrated and get you ready for the experiment.

2. Pour your normal drink.

3. Take the book and start reading.

4. Keep drinking at your normal pace and also keep reading continuously. Take your time, sip your drink and focus on the book.

5. The moment you reach state where your concentration starts wavering (you can read the words but you realize that you are not clearly registering what you are reading in your mind) you have reached your “flash point”.
This is that delightful state of alcohol induced emotional flux which makes you feel “high”.

6. If you continue drinking beyond your “flash point” you will reach a hazy state where the words in the book appear blurred and you have difficulty in reading as your eyes may not focus properly.
You have now reached your “fire point” (alcohol induced intoxication).

7. You must stop drinking alcohol immediately once you reach your “fire point” and drink a glass of water and relax and soon you will gravitate back towards your “flash point”.
If you continue drinking beyond your “fire point” you will get inebriated and become drunk.

8. Measure the amount of liquor you have drunk to reach your “flash point”.

9. Repeat this experiment a number of times (on different days), and by successive iteration, fine tune the results, and soon you will know your drinking capacity (alcohol tolerance level).

There is a saying: “First you drink alcohol, and then the alcohol drinks you”.

Similarly, till you reach your “flash point” you are the one drinking alcohol – you have reached the limit of your control but you still have control.

Near your “flash point” you will experience the “high” feeling which alcohol gives you and you must stop drinking at once – you will remain “high” for sometime, enjoying the euphoric sensation, and then you will have a pleasant relaxing feeling as the “high” gradually tapers off and this is the best time to drift off into a nice sleep.

Once you reach your “fire point” you will lose control and the alcohol will take charge and it is the alcohol which will “drink” you and you will get drunk.

Let me sound a note of caution.

If you drink frequently your alcohol tolerance will increase.

Increased Alcohol Tolerance means that after continued drinking, consumption of a constant amount of alcohol produces a lesser effect which means that larger amounts of alcohol are necessary to produce the same effect. Thus, you will need to drink more alcohol to reach your “flash point” to get a “high”. In effect your “drinking capacity” increases. As you continue drinking, this has a snowballing effect.

Though having a great drinking capacity may be a “macho” thing to boast about, and may win the admiration of your friends and colleagues, high alcohol tolerance indicates a propensity towards alcoholism in later years, so watch out.

High alcohol tolerance is not necessarily something to be proud of.

Regular consumption of alcohol will raise your drinking capacity which in turn will tempt you drink more to reach your “flash point”.

And if you continue this habit you may develop alcohol dependence and you may eventually slip into the abyss of alcoholism.

So, if you realise that your “flash point” has increased, abstain from drinking for a few days till your “flash point” falls to a reasonable level.

The less you drink, the better it is for your body, so in fact it is advantageous to have a low drinking capacity.

But then you must remember never to cross your “flash point”.

Avoid binge drinking and competitive drinking which can damage your health.

Like I said in the beginning, it is best not to drink alcohol, but if you do drink, remember, as Winston Churchill once said, that you must take more out of alcohol than alcohol takes out of you.

And how do you do that – well that I will tell you in my next post in this series on the golden rules of drinking alcohol.

Happy “Flash Point”. Do let me know if this works for you.

And don’t forget the four golden rules of drinking alcohol (links to the posts given below or click on the rule to go to the link):

4. DISCOVER YOUR DRINKING CAPACITY

DRINKING ALCOHOL - GOLDEN RULE NO. 1
NEVER DRINK WHEN YOU NEED A DRINK

DRINKING ALCOHOL - GOLDEN RULE No. 2
FEEL NICE BUT DON'T GET DRUNK

DRINKING ALCOHOL - GOLDEN RULE No. 3
ENJOY YOUR DRINK BUT DON’T BECOME AN ALCOHOLIC

DRINKING ALCOHOL – GOLDEN RULE No. 4
KNOW YOUR DRINKING CAPACITY or ALCOHOL TOLERANCE
The “Flash” Point and The “Fire” Point

(To be continued …)

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and he is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
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Email: vikramkarve@sify.com        

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