Duped again by a shocking headline


‘ALCOHOL kills more than heroin’ was the scary headline in the papers last week. Given that there are millions of people who drink alcohol and relatively few who use heroin, it would be surprising if the fatality figures were otherwise. Kitchens are more deadly than heroin on the basis of how many people die in them each year…but you get the point of the shocking headline.

A headline to make people read on, thinking that alcohol itself is more dangerous than heroin. Misleading? Yes. Eye catching? Certainly.


Give me a cosy country pub to a smoky opium den any day, and I don’t care if my pint is more dangerous than a quick fix of China White.

I have developed a rather fine belly over the years through my addiction to what law enforcement agencies term, “the odd pint” and I know this isn’t healthy, but given that amongst heroin’s side effects are apparently “chronic constipation” and “sudden death”, I’ll keep living on the edge with my Sheep Dip Stout thank you very much.

Apart from back alleys and traditional opium dens lacking that welcoming family environment that one finds in say a Harvester pub, I don’t like the frankly un-English ways that heroin addicts choose to partake of their drug of choice.

The only delusional behaviour I suffer with beer is the common one in thinking I am suddenly a Richard Gere lookalike, and that barmaid whom I mistook for the uglier of the bouncers when I entered the pub, had suddenly changed into a convincing double for a female, and that he or she was making eyes at me.

Headlines apart, I won’t be changing my lifestyle habits from alcohol to the new healthier A Class drug.

If alcohol was as bad as the Daily Express proclaimed then why isn’t there a Real Ale Squad? Or a Wine Squad? The Drug Squad seem pre-occupied with heroin and cocaine, when really they should be infiltrating sherry evenings and wine tastings. Or was the headline really just a load of twaddle?

London’s Evening Standard was the master of the non headline. Classics such as “Prince Charles Denies Gay Rumours” and “Exploding Crocodile in London Street”, when of course there were no rumours and no crocodile…….but the hoardings caught the eye and you just had to buy the paper. I did. Every damned time. And then every time I cursed how I could have been duped yet again.

Constantly forgetting my being duped from the previous day. On tubes thousands of commuters on a daily basis would mutter “oh not again” to themselves for being so stupid. Most people – me included –  have the short term memory span of a ageing goldfish with obvious learning difficulties. We make perfect Evening Standard readers.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here