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Why Humans Make Pour Decisions

March 1st, 2019 by dk

I don’t trust liquids. They’re sneaky. You can never be sure what they will do. Ask a roofer, an economist, a counselor, and a scientist and you’ll hear the same story. The physics of fluidity is notoriously difficult. Real or metaphorical, they travel to the nearest opportunity, seeping into the weakest spot, flooding whatever region is least defended.

One of my worst childhood memories was being entrusted by my grandfather to paint the bedroom of a rental house he owned. He suggested I start in the closet, so I did. When he checked back several hours later, I was still in the closet, hoping to match the wet paint with the dry — a losing proposition. His anger at my ignorance was misdirected. He should have blamed — as I do — the liquid.

I grew up with — and then, slowly, without — alcoholic parents. It would have been more painful to watch, had I better understood what I was witnessing. It wasn’t until later that I learned that all families don’t see what I and my six younger siblings endured.

I don’t blame my parents, because life is hard and not everyone arrives for the battle fully equipped. I blame liquids for promising to fortify them and others for battles they had no intent to wage — must less, win. Alcohol has had some reckoning for its havoc, which is more than you can say for soda or caffeine.

I arrived at college without ever having had a cup of coffee. (It’s still true today.) I saw my mother use coffee to lift her from the wreckage left each morning from the alcohol. I decided I would have as little to do with either as possible.

I married a tea-lover, so I fell off one of those wagons. I might not have married her, had her morning drug been coffee. I’ve always been a morning person, so brewing a pot before she woke was a mercy I could make new every morning. Sharing it started each day on the right foot.

A year ago, I switched from tea to hot water. No lemon, no root-of-whatever, just steaming water. Turns out, I was responding to the warmth and the comfort, not the chemicals. I finally found something I can drink to excess without worry or guilt — so long as I know there will be a bathroom nearby.

Unlimited quantities with no second thoughts — this seldom occurs when liquids are involved. Whether it’s caffeine, alcohol, or milkshakes, liquids pit mind against body. Our bodily systems give no signals of satiation against hunger or sobriety when it enters in liquid form.

Evolution never considered that calories, sugar/stimulants or inebriants might come via liquid. We’re literally defenseless.

So is it any wonder that the emerging cannabis industry is working overtime to turn edibles into drinkables? Cannabinoids are not water-soluble, so it’s a difficult task. A THC-infused drink could drastically shorten the delay caused by the digestive system for euphoric effect.

Liquids — not to be trusted. Never mind — or to confirm the fear — that humans are 97 percent fluids.


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and blogs at

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