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Drinking 'till you burst.
November 20, 2007 3:12 AM   Subscribe

You might have thought a six month hangover was bad enough but now in 'binge-drink Britain' there's a reported rise in 'exploding bladders'... safe for work but you might want to read it with your legs crossed. Or a least spend a penny first.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (24 comments total)

 
Men and women have different plumbing

Thank you, Guardian, for clearing that up for me.
posted by Jenafeef at 3:34 AM on November 20, 2007


Didn't Tycho Brahe die from an exploding bladder?
posted by hydatius at 4:18 AM on November 20, 2007


I sincerely hope we don't succeed in actualising every synonym for drunkenness. Now you can be bladdered in a medical sense, who will be the first patient admitted with a severe case of ratting of the arse or offing of the face? Still, we're only mortal, after all.
posted by Abiezer at 4:27 AM on November 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


When I was in the Army, we had a beer-bong night, with a funnel that held exactly one six-pack of beer. I had three full funnels in a span of eight minutes - 24 beers in 8 minutes! I don't remember a whole lot of what happened after that, but I was told that I proposed to one of my female soldier friends (who was already married to another friend!) and she dragged/carried/helped me back to my barracks (I was a very skinny soldier, 100 pounds wet).

I probably would have had a burst bladder from that, but, luckily for me, another friend came by during my drunken stupor to invite me to another party. I regained consciousness long enough to open my eyes, look vaguely in his direction, and puke straight into the air with a great release of vomitory fluid...but I passed out again before the fountain of puke landed on my face. (Pretty disgusting following morning though. Yuck! Puke in my *ears*!)

This all reminds me why I pretty much gave up drinking a decade ago, except for an occasional bottle of red wine with some red meat.
posted by jamstigator at 4:36 AM on November 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Er, 18 beers in 8 minutes. See? Drink enough and you can't do the maths anymore! ;)
posted by jamstigator at 4:38 AM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think this speaks more to state of toilets than to binge drinking.
posted by srboisvert at 4:52 AM on November 20, 2007


I don't really understand how you can hang on long enough to rupture your bladder. Surely there always comes a point when you just let it go, regardless.
posted by Phanx at 5:11 AM on November 20, 2007


I would imagine.
posted by Phanx at 5:11 AM on November 20, 2007


Surely there always comes a point when you just let it go, regardless.

That wouldn't be polite. This is Britain, after all: keep a stiff upper lip, and a swollen lower bladder.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:20 AM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


(regarding Tycho: I thought he died from a burst bladder too, but apparently mercury poisoning played a significant role)
posted by lester the unlikely at 5:25 AM on November 20, 2007


Did anyone else find it funny that this post - about exploding bladders - was followed by a post about Aretha (urethra)?
posted by notsnot at 5:44 AM on November 20, 2007


That wouldn't be polite. This is Britain, after all: keep a stiff upper lip, and a swollen lower bladder.

The article mentions people being so wasted they don't feel the pain. or to quote:
some will be so "dulled" that they will not feel the urge to "void". If it is not emptied, the bladder will eventually be unable to contain the volume

Large amounts of alcohol does wonderful things to you. I know a few people that managed to walk around on broken bones while being drunk. And myself I managed to get around pretty well with two severed tendons in my shoulder. Only went to the hospital because it looked so funny. Bursting a bladder seems like something any serious drunk should be able to do.
posted by uandt at 5:46 AM on November 20, 2007


Didn't Tycho Brahe die from an exploding bladder?

I look forward to the explosion of prosthetic metal noses in Britain as well.
posted by GuyZero at 5:55 AM on November 20, 2007


I knew someone who was a young officer in the British Army. Up until quite recently, the rule was at formal dinners that nobody left the table until quite late in the dinner, typically after the speeches and when the meal was well over.

Anyway, in his regiment the Regimental Doctor was known for being a party animal and was sat down the table with some of the younger officers. The guy to the doc's left complained, from the start of the dinner, that he needed to pee. The first course came, he needed to pee. The second course came and he needed to pee. And then he stopped complaining.

So the doc asked how come he wasn't complaining any more. The guy said he didn't feel like he needed to pee any more. So the doc asked if his stomach felt warm. And he said it did. At which point the doc got him out of this chair in a flash and off to hospital, where the guy was confirmed as having ruptured his bladder - which I understand to be quite serious because of the risk of infection.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:29 AM on November 20, 2007


One in four adults is a binge drinker

Mid-life bingers...Pupils aged eight are 'hungover' at school...Middle-class girls 'most a risk of becoming binge drinkers'...Addiction danger for child drinkers...Third of men use alcohol to deal with stress


Sounds like Britain is a real mess. What's going on over there?
posted by nickyskye at 6:31 AM on November 20, 2007


We're allowing the gutter press to sensationalise genuine social problems. Whilst the rest of us get pissed and forget about it.
posted by Abiezer at 6:46 AM on November 20, 2007


Sounds like Britain is a real mess. What's going on over there?

Coffee is too expensive. Seriously - a pint of beer is £1.80-2.50, and a large coffee is just about the same price. Coffee may also make you want to pee, but at least you feel it.

It is a cultural thing - in Canada, we'd all go out for coffee when we wanted to hang out. Here, they go out to pubs to drink. Maybe all the pubs should just have coffee on tap - not only would people be more alert, but the conversations would be better too. Of course, it doesn't help that many of the pubs are getting more bar-like - having loud music, no good seating space - just the sort of thing to get people drinking a lot, instead of nursing their beer over a nice board game or quiet conversation.
posted by jb at 6:53 AM on November 20, 2007


What's going on over there?

Well, like duh - one almighty binge?!?!1!!

...in Canada, we'd all go out for coffee...

Well, that's because you're all BORING LITTLE WUSSES. Huh? Am I right?

No look, c'mere jb. You're my best mate, you are. No really, I fuckin' love you, man. Oh God, I'm gona cry.

Shit, I think I ruptured my bladder...
posted by Phanx at 7:41 AM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Binge drinking is amateur hour. Us professional drinkers go slow and steady, find the sweet spot.

And never leave it.

Which reminds me. Time for my first Moscow Mule of the day.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:59 AM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


> One in four adults is a binge drinker

> Mid-life bingers...Pupils aged eight are 'hungover' at school...Middle-class girls 'most a risk of becoming binge drinkers'...Addiction danger for child drinkers...Third of men use alcohol to deal with stress

What's going on over there?


Your quote is from the Daily Mail article; the Daily Mail is not a reliable source. Nevertheless, binge drinking exists and is a real problem, as is its ugly sister, obesity.

Opinion is divided on the underlying cause of these excesses, but my money's on it being simple Biblical gluttony. Food and booze (and oil...) are cheap and plentiful above and beyond what our sense of restraint and personal responsibility is able to cope with. We know, intellectually, what is bad for us, but we do it anyway.

How do you stop people doing things which will benefit them in the short run, but harm them more in the long run? Is it just a matter of teaching people to be better economists? Unlikely. Perhaps the fear of God used to override our desires, but in 21st century Britain, God is something that little old ladies and scary foreigners do. While most Brits will lazily proclaim a vague belief in some sort of afterlife, God as a moral force has been vanquished and replaced with - and here's the rub - nothing. When religion stood in the way of our good and righteous human desires, we tossed it out and made progress. But not all our wants are good and righteous, and now nothing stands between us and our self-destructive impulses.

How can we put people in control of their own lives and make them feel responsible for their own decisions? Deny NHS access to people who refuse to look after their bodies? That won't help them control their oil gluttony. Perhaps self-help books and motivational seminars will reinvent the biblical wisdom that we tossed out with the biblical nonsense, but they're alien to British culture.

How do we do it? Liberal democracy doesn't seem to have an answer yet. We need one soon, because there are plenty of non-liberal non-democrats lining up to bring back their answer.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 9:03 AM on November 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


Nickyskye, it's just the latest moral panic. See previously: video nasties.

Interestingly, as outlined in that wikipedia link, it was the Daily Mail leading the charge on that occasion too. This kind of thing is mostly about selling newspapers. That's not to say there aren't problems - but the UK's tabloid press can be relied upon to hysterically hype their significance.
posted by tiny crocodile at 11:14 AM on November 20, 2007


From one of the Daily Mail links:

The ladette slumped in the gutter, the lad throwing up in the street — these are the familiar images of the 'binge' drinker.

But what about the fifty-something couple sharing a bottle of claret with supper every night? It will come as a surprise to many, but according to a new report they, too, are drinking to excess.


Man, the line between the "French Paradox" and dangerous self-abuse is some kinda razor thin.
posted by gompa at 11:17 AM on November 20, 2007


I know the Daily Mail are about as bottom feeding as you can get but in this case they are right. Quick straw poll with all of the girls I know here at work and all of them bar two have binged drinked at some point or another and over half of them drink to excess at least every other weekend.

I really hate the rise of the ladette behaviour. It's bad enough going out that you have to put up with guys getting drunk, acting like jerks, generally causing a ruckus and whatnot little alone the girls jumping in too.

It just seems that the lady and the gentleman are a dying breed. Simple and plain is out for the loud mouthed, extroverted and boorish. Modern society is more decadent than ever and as it slips further down the slope I feel more and more out of place in this world.
posted by Talez at 3:07 PM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw in the news today that Mary Kate Olson had a kidney infection...wonder if her bladder is going to pop too?
posted by dasheekeejones at 4:17 PM on November 20, 2007


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