I see where a recent TV show implied one could avoid heart attacks from eating too many fats by drinking a given amount of red wine along with each meal as they do in France.
Apparently, the French suffer fewer heart attacks than we do even though they consume red meat and rich sauces and other cholesterol-laden substances in unheard of amounts. They claim the average Frenchman eats a rasher of bacon for breakfast every day along with two or three croissants and a bowl of cream sauce for a grand total of some ninety fat grams. Add lunch and dinner and you get enough cholesterol to lay low even so marvelous a specimen as Arnold himself.
Americans eating such a diet would all be dead by forty while the French seem unaffected.
Why? The guess is because they drown the fat grams in red wine.
What happens? Do the fat grams turn into alcoholics and develop liver troubles? Well, the truth is, they don't know. All they do know is that something in the red wine overpowers the fat grams and renders them harmless. As a result, the French live free of heart trouble while we drop like flies from cholesterol-jammed arteries.
So, the obvious thing is for Americans to drink more red wine. I myself resolved to do this as soon as I saw the show. In fact, I hurried out and picked up a gallon of Cabernet that very night and drank a glass or two before bed.
The next day I had a glass of wine with my bacon and eggs and could almost hear those fat grams being rendered harmless. At lunch I had a fat burger with greasy fries, a slice of banana cream pie, a glass of vino to neutralize the fat, and I actually lost a pound. For dinner, I skipped eating altogether and just drank a bottle of red wine and never missed the food.
I was so delighted with this success that I redoubled my efforts and began drinking red wine at every meal and even with quick snacks between meals. I soon found myself drinking wine before and after meals and in place of quick snacks. It wasn't long before I had a lot of new friends I met in wineries and bars, people like myself who had a strong interest in good health and clean living.
"Say, pal, you're looking good," the guy on the next stool says as he steadies himself to keep from sliding off onto the floor again.
"Yeah," I say, "I'm up to two bottles a day. I'm thinking of running in a marathon again this year."
"Did you run in a marathon last year?"
"No, but I thought about it then, too."
He nods. "It's the red wine does it. They say Lance Armstrong drinks a gallon of wine a day when he's racing and he wins every time."
"Yeah, it takes real balls to do that."
"And he does it with only one ball."
"It's the red wine, all right."
These were lasting friendships, too; I saw all of these guys in rehab units when we dried out to give our livers a break. It seems there was a flaw in the red wine and heart attacks theory that had something to do with acute alcoholism. Drink enough red wine and you'll never have a heart attack. Drink too much of the stuff and your liver will explode.
In fact, things got so bad I ended up counting my steps with fellow boozers and listening to woebegone tipplers boring each other with tales of lost weekends and DUI arrests. As I slowly dried out I gave up the booze but kept eating fat burgers and fries so my liver got better but my heart developed an irregular beat that would delight Philip Glass. My weight went up and my spirits down because being entirely sober all the time is most irritating.
That's because it's really hard to take reality straight without something to soften the blows. There's too much crap out there, too many idiots and crooks, a surfeit of rogues and a severe shortage of reason and common sense. You need to alter your mind some way to make sense of things that are too often senseless in an irrational world.
The secret is in moderation. A little wine, a little smoke, some kind words and long silences is Paradise enow.