Friday, 20 July 2012

If you are going to put where the sun don't shine, have a plan

A little intro. Anyone who has hovered around the UK is familiar with Marmite, salty, yeasty, you put in on toast.  Thinly.  You love or hate Marmite.  If you end up as an ex-pat, you take jars with you and visiting friends have to top up your supply.  In the UK, you watch with bemusement as you try and sell its virtues to hapless visiting tourists who sniff it and roll their noses.

And we think of this as some British phenomenon that is part of eccentric world of being a Brit.  The majority of whom only speak English.

Actually other countries have their equivalent of Marmite (and I am not talking variation on a theme Vegemite).  In Sweden there is Kalles Kaviar
Yep, this is sold in tubes. Caviar of a sort but not Beluga.  This is a fish egg concoction, a translucent pink, like the skin hue of your friend that never tans but just goes lobster.  It is grainy and fishy.  Like a whiff you may get by a dockside and be grateful when it passes.  Gagging for a taste yet? IKEA used to stock it, (not sure if they still do) so chances are you have walked past it sometime. 

As someone likes anchovies, olives, Marmite and other Umami tastes I can rather see the attraction.  The best serving example is something like a pitta bread, thin spread of Kalles and a cold fried egg.  Wrap in tin foil and consume as a late breakfast while you catch up with friends with your flask of strong coffee.  A very civilised way of declaring your views on Costa.

The point to the preamble is that other nationalities do things we can't understand but it sort of works.  You may like Marmite but you would probably have to be at your most open minded to go for Kallas on toast as an acceptable alternative.

So in Sweden they have little tea bags containing a tobacco product, snus, that you pop under you lip for a different way of getting your nicotine.  They are bitter, but you are not chewing, and then you are aware there is a mild stimulant around.  And here's what you don't do with it:
Case report. We report a case of self-administration of 75 sachets of moist snuff rectally in a previously healthy, 42-year-old man. He presented with symptoms of nausea, discomfort, and dizziness. He had dry and warm skin, a pulse rate of 53 bpm, a mean arterial blood pressure of 135 mmHg and fluctuations in consciousness. The patient was treated with mechanical ventilation because of respiratory insufficiency. No specific anti-nicotinergic treatment was given. Plasma levels of the nicotine metabolite cotinine were 8,691 μg/L 7 h after admittance and 9,814 μg/L after 12 h. Levels of cotinine in the urine were above >50,000 μg/L. The patient developed a mild pneumonia, but he was uneventfully extubated after 12 h of mechanical ventilation. All physiological parameters were restored and he was discharged from hospital after 36 h. Conclusion. Excessive rectal administration of moist snuff may be life threatening. Patients may require intensive care. Long-term sequelae were not seen in this case
No, I have no idea why or how but 75 sachets is 3 tins.  A sachet would prob last half an hour under, ahem, normal usage.



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