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Nineteen die after drinking cologne in Saudi Arabia.
June 10, 2002 12:17 AM   Subscribe

Nineteen die after drinking cologne in Saudi Arabia. Apparently this is seen as a alcohol substitute. Geez, if you want it that bad, there's plenty of booze in Bahrain, just next door...
posted by laz-e-boy (23 comments total)

 
Consuming and dealing in alcohol is banned in Saudi Arabia and punishable by lashings, fines and prison terms. Some people drink cologne as an alcohol substitute.

I wouldn't be surprised if, had any of these people survived, they were lashed as a punishment for drinking. And we give money to and have state visits with this government?
posted by evanizer at 12:28 AM on June 10, 2002


Of course there's whoring and boozing aplenty amongst members of the royal family.
posted by donkeyschlong at 12:56 AM on June 10, 2002


I'd imagine that the Royal Family wouldn't bother policing peoples' drinking/whoring habits were it not that they rely on the grudging support of the conservative/radical (hah!) Wahabi clerics which seem to enjoy a great deal of popular support (see below) despite the cologne consumption.
The overwhelming majority of citizens supports an Islamic state and opposes public non-Muslim worship. Muslim citizens often ask foreigners about religious matters to determine their religion, attitudes, and knowledge of Islam. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, about 50 so-called "Call and Guidance" centers employing a total of about 500 persons work to convert foreigners to Islam. Many non-Muslim foreigners (including Christians and Hindus) convert to Islam during their stay in the country. The press often carries articles about such conversions, including personal testimonials.
from U.S. Department of State
Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 1999: Saudi Arabia


Not that I think the Saudi Royal Family is the bees knees but at least their corruption usually only involves yachts, planes and shady business practices. Compare this with the prospect of direct rule by the imams, which seems to my admittedly uneducated eye to be the most likely result should the Royal Family be removed from power.
posted by rocketpup at 3:12 AM on June 10, 2002


I don't know about saudi arabia, but in iran (so my iranian friends told me) every family got it's distilling contraption in the main house, alcohol is prohibited but everybody drink, it's not like those people don't know how to party :)
posted by kush at 4:33 AM on June 10, 2002


Cologne is especially toxic if you mix it with Sterno. Or how about some Lysol as a nightcap.
posted by anathema at 4:56 AM on June 10, 2002


"Police last week reportedly arrested an unspecified number of people suspected of selling the cologne" Is selling cologne against the law too?!?!
posted by banished at 5:17 AM on June 10, 2002


It is if you put a paper umbrella and a straw in the bottle.
posted by vbfg at 5:45 AM on June 10, 2002


insert obligatory quonsarian remark linking saudi halitosis and the hindquarters of a camel.
posted by quonsar at 5:56 AM on June 10, 2002


kusk: Do they use raisins? Because I grew up in Saudi Arabia and almost everyone--my parents included--made homemade wine, but since grapes were almost impossible to come by back then everyone used raisins.
posted by Cyrano at 6:13 AM on June 10, 2002


You see what happens when you have prohibitionism telling you what to do. The simple prohibition doesn't work, people want to know WHY because they like alcoholics.

If the benefit of drinking alcohol is greater then the benefit of being a good muslim , then let the ones who like to be good muslims not drink and the others drink.

What should be REALLY prohibited with serious enforcement of law is the abuse of alcoholics substance, because the abuse becomes a danger to others that don't want to pay for the side effects of your boozing, like crashing into a pedestrian minding his own business.

Same applies for any kind of drug.

But there is a MUCH more important question: does the the personal enjoyment of drug outweight the addiction danger ? You know what alcohol and drug addicts can do
when they don't have enough money for their habits : they become a menace to society and to freedom. How can we address their need for drug and our freedom, preserving both ?
posted by elpapacito at 6:28 AM on June 10, 2002


rubbing alcohol + grape juice = Mogan David.

Worked for me back in the day...
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:30 AM on June 10, 2002


Yeah, being able to see is definitely overrated.
posted by crunchland at 6:34 AM on June 10, 2002


Raisin wine, sometimes called scuppernong when made from muscadine raisins.

Kevin, in my old neighborhood, I once heard a local character refer to Aqua Velva 'n Ginger Ale as a a favorite hobo cocktail.
posted by y2karl at 6:45 AM on June 10, 2002


I used to work in a medical lab. When we got STAT tox screens the techs would bet on what the person was overdosing on. I remember being shocked to find out people drank hairspray.
posted by whtsherbkt at 7:29 AM on June 10, 2002


Back in WWII, all the good stuff was rationed. Gas, alcohol, etc. My grandma's brother was an alcoholic and, with his supply cut-off, resorted to drinking all sorts of homemade alchohol substitutes.

The bottles of vanilla extract finally did him in. Eww.
posted by Tacodog at 7:40 AM on June 10, 2002


Tons of people in the United States die every year from consuming home-made illegal drugs or using substances such as paint and glue. The punishment for using or selling such substances can be long stretches in Prison where beatings, rape, and even murder are not uncommon.

Obviously drug prohibition is much more in the mainstream globally than alcohol-- I wonder if we will ever look back at drug prohibition and see it as we see the Saudi prohibition of alcohol-- extreme, dangerous, and archaic.
posted by cell divide at 9:03 AM on June 10, 2002


during prohibition, my grandfather would by his whiskey from a guy at the Detroit train station, sold it out of a folding-legged suitcase that contained 'cupie dolls'.

the brits made something called 'applejack' while in german prison camp, my uncle made 'hooch' whilst in one of these camps. I believe it helped moral.
posted by clavdivs at 9:45 AM on June 10, 2002


Can't find the link, but I saw a glowing Arab News review of the Fudpucker's in Dhahran, which indicated that they serve beer there. (The reviewer did not seem surprised by this fact.) Weird on a number of levels.
posted by swell at 3:45 PM on June 10, 2002


i'll bet some of it was "eternity"...by calvin klein.
posted by billybob at 3:51 PM on June 10, 2002


I wonder if we will ever look back at drug prohibition and see it as we see the Saudi prohibition of alcohol-- extreme, dangerous, and archaic.

I think it's inevitable as the technology of drug manufacturing gets better. People don't object much to mood altering drugs in principle (e.g. Prozac), they just want to minimize the negative side-effects like addiction, overdosing, etc. (well, some people DO object, of course, but they are the minority and will be shouted down).
posted by rushmc at 4:21 PM on June 10, 2002


When visiting Saudi, you can stay in resorts and hotels that have bars and nightclubs. But I don't know if those types of restaurants and resorts are off-limits to the Muslim population.
posted by dejah420 at 4:22 PM on June 10, 2002


American teens die after huffing paint thinner. Apperantly, this was seen as a substitute for weed.

Yawn.
posted by delmoi at 5:34 PM on June 10, 2002


KevinSkomsvold:

Rubbing alcohol is isopropal alcohol. It makes you go blind.
posted by delmoi at 5:39 PM on June 10, 2002


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