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Pleasure without pain?
As a devout trencherwoman, I was initially delighted to read of this magic potion brought to us by the French:
"Security Feel Better". Well, with a name like that, it could hardly be English, could it? From The Telegraph:
France's drinkers can now buy a potion which supposedly stops hangovers and makes alcohol disappear from the blood system up to six times faster than usual.
Made from a "secret recipe" based on plant extracts, Security Feel Better comes in tiny bottles and is recommended for use before, during or after a heavy lunch or party.
It is already on sale in a number of French supermarkets and is being exported to Korea, Germany and Switzerland with talks in progress to launch it in America and elsewhere, though not yet Britain...
PPN's website says the product should work within 45 minutes to "prevent hangover and eliminate food and drinks quicker, especially alcohol", and to ease feelings of excess after "a lunch or party".
Come off it. There has to be a down side. You'll be telling us next that it is possible to eat lots of meat, cheese and creamy sauces, and drink copious quantities of wine, and still stay slim and elegant. And I don't swallow this "French paradox" nonsense either. Parisians are slim and elegant because they diet like crazy. French peasants aren't because they don't. Everyone knows that it is not possible to enjoy oneself without paying some sort of price, especially where alcohol is concerned.
Still, this potion seems to be selling well. So perhaps it is true that you can eat and drink your fill, have some of this and not feel bloated or hungover. If this comes to Britain we'll be able to have a five course meal at Bibendum with wines to match each course and a glass or two of port to follow, then, after downing a glass of this stuff, feel bright eyed, bushy tailed and raring to go. Christmas Day will never be the same again. Instead of slumping on the sofa after dinner in a drunken stupor, fit only to watch the Queen's Speech and The Great Escape, we'll be able to go for a jog and compete a fiendish sudoku.
This, of course, is the down side. The whole point of a good dinner - and you cannot have one of those without plenty of wine - is that you are not "raring to go", that you are unable, afterwards, to do anything requiring concentration or energy. A good dinner is a end in itself, not a means of fuelling up, the better to tackle some purposeful activity. It is supposed to incapacitate the diner, render him fit for nothing beyond the satisfied contemplation of the food, drink and company he has just enjoyed. This is why the whole idea of fast food, or, worse still, the business lunch, which is neither properly business nor properly lunch, is so abhorrent. You might as well just grab a sandwich.
The French used to know this. Do they still?