Feral Friday

  • Published
  • By Col. "Tip" Stinnette
  • 39th Air Base Wing Commander
Allan was a 33-year-old computer technician and by all accounts a smart and competitive guy. So when it came to entering the local Feral Friday competition Allan was raring to go. For those of you unfamiliar with the word feral, it means untamed, wild, savage.

The drinking competition was aptly named as it had a 100 minute time-limit and a sliding point scale from one point for a beer to eight points for hard liquor. Allan stood and cheered his winning total of 236 points which also netted him the literally staggering blood alcohol level of .353 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, seven times greater than the legal driving limit.

After several trips to the usual temple of overindulgence, a.k.a. the bathroom, Allan was helped back to his workplace to sleep it off, a condition that became permanent.

A forensic pharmacologist estimated that after downing 34 beers, four bourbons, and 17 shots of tequila within one hour and 40 minutes, Allan's blood alcohol level would have been 0.41 to 0.43 percent, but Allan had vomited several times after the drinking stopped. The cost paid by Allan was much higher than that of the bar, which was fined $13,000 for not intervening.

Drinking oneself to death need not be a long lingering process. Our graduates from the Alcohol Awareness class offered by Central Texas College briefed their term paper to me last week.
By the way, in case you are wondering they were not "volunteered" to take the class or brief me but rather took the class because the Air Force paid for it, it was an easy way to get a credit and they wanted to learn more about the impact of alcohol. They asked to brief me. What I found particularly interesting in their presentation was their analysis of the long-term physiological effects of alcohol, especially on the heart. Google it sometime ... you will be amazed.

Allan's case is admittedly an extreme one but to be brutally honest we have had similar cases here at Incirlik on Friday and Saturday nights. This issue of the Tip of the Sword is about the impacts of substance abuse. Mentally we often put drugs into this category and overlook alcohol. The fact of the matter is that on any given Friday at the "Lik" we have someone abusing the substance otherwise known as alcohol and often to the extreme of having to get their stomach pumped. Drinking oneself to death need not be a long lingering process and makes it hard to ensure freedom's future.