The Russian drunk

A unique solution to the Russian Drunk issue, administered by a tyrannical government.

“So what do you do for work?”

Here we go, generally my rule is that anyone who starts a conversation with this question is going to be a complete bore. However, this guy looks like a person who has lived an interesting life, maybe it’s something about the tattered old doctors case beside his scuffed brown cowboy style boots, I do not know but I decide to ignore my rule and have a chat.

“Well, that is one loaded question. Would you like the long or the short version?”

“I have four hours to kill, how long is the long version?”

“Ok, well then, the long-abridged-version is not much to be honest, I’m doing a bit of traveling, currently trying to get a book published, climb a few hills. In a past life I was a pharmacist. You?”

“I own a house in Indonesia, just got divorced, ride a Harley”

“Good start”

This is where Rob the pockmarked trauma surgeon gives me a half hour soliloquy in his Texan drawl which fills me in on his fifty something years. I find people terribly interesting. I am waiting for Jette’s 3pm plane to land and, being a tightwad, have caught the last hotel transfer which dropped me at the airport at midday. Rob and I chat for hours over a coffee. I last opened the mental folder titled “Pharmacology” two years ago and it is surprisingly refreshing to dust off the cobwebs and be talking about drugs, debating dosages and indications.

“So what is the most internal ricochets you have seen?”

“Three, I once saw a bullet which went in the hip, bounced up to the scapula and changed course on a rib. Low velocity bullets are worse, high velocity just go straight through”

“Big problem?”

“Everyone is damn well shooting each other in America, it gets tiring. What are the drug laws like in Australia”

“Rather strict….”

(I will skip forward fifty minutes to the interesting bit to spare you the shop talk)

“Did you hear about how the Russians fixed alcohol abuse in their remote villages?”

“Nope, Antabuse, Zyprexa?”

“No, it is crazy what they did, this is something you would never get away with in America…or Australia”

“Go on”

“Well, the Russian government needed an effective and cheap solution to the Russian drunk problem. They took villagers who were killing themselves with cheap moonshine and had doctors put them under anesthesia, they cut a small line in their leg, then stitched it up again”

“OK, what? How is this helping alcohol abuse?”
“Well, when the patients woke up they told them they now have a special microchip inserted in their leg which will kill them if they ever take a sip of alcohol away from immediate medical care”

“Like back at their villages”
“Yup”

“Wouldn’t they just not believe the doctors and try anyway”

“No, so here is the kicker, while the patients were still in hospital and attached to a drip they told them they had to check the chip was active, they gave the patient a shot of whiskey and out of sight injected a whack of a short acting neuromuscular blocker into their drip”

Note: Neuromuscular blockers stop people from being able to use their muscles and to breath for themselves-like Tacrine which was used in the London Subways some time ago-one is completely conscious, with eyes open able to see and think but unable to move or breath, not a pleasant sensation I would imagine. The heart continues beating as, being somewhat important, it has a few safety systems in place. The people in London were conscious but unable to breath and died from asphyxiation.

“You’re making this up Rob, surely”

“No, all true, the patient is lying there unable to move or breath and they bag them”

“Bag them, like with resuscitation with the little bellows breathing for them”

“Correct, the doctors then frantically ran about acting like they were trying to save the patient’s life, they also unplugged the cardiac monitor to give the flatline beeeep warning and injected saline into the drip, pretending it was lifesaving drugs”

“So, after five or so minutes muscle function returned and they were able to breath for themselves”

“Correct and the doctors would casually say to the patient, ‘well the chip is active’ and walk out, apparently it works, 100% abstinence after the procedure”

Sometimes I am glad to be a tightwad, sometimes you get to meet the most interesting people. Rob went on to tell me about his (recently) ex-wife who stole his prescription pads nearly costing him his license and about his love for Harleys and Indonesia. The best story by far was the drunken Russians, I thought I should share it!

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