Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Behavioral Scientists Find Dangerous Link Between Alcohol, Holiday Meals with Family and Compulsive Need to Air Grievances

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Nutritionists have long known that the traditional holiday dinner makes up one of the healthiest mixes of proteins, vegetables, grains, starches and fruits when the proper levels of portion control are exercised. They also tout the moderate consumption of red wine as a "heart healthy" source of antioxidants and good cholesterol. But a new study finds that the combination of the two, exacerbated by the increased rush of adrenaline from elaborate holiday gatherings with family, can create dangerous levels of stress, depression and even violence, typically ending in tears, alienation and words that can never be taken back.

Behavioral scientists at San Narciso College issued a report Tuesday documenting the discovery of a widespread but previously undiagnosed seasonal condition that they describe as a devastating variant of the "winter blues," or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Dr. Norville Funge and his researchers refer to the condition as "Confronting Unresolved Seasonally Sensitive Issues with Neurotic Garrulousness (CUSSING)."

He said: "Our study illustrates the toxic link between alcohol, overcooked meat, holiday events and a dysfunctional type of radical honesty. The blend of these symptoms depresses inhibitions and decision making abilities, leading to poor judgment and a compulsion to publicly air old, festering grievances."

According to the paper, the effects vary in intensity depending on the complexity of the meal, the amount of alcohol consumed prior to and during its preparation, and the unexpected presence of certain family members. Funge cited the case of the Grist family as a common example.

Mrs. Grist is working with a menu that's beyond her skill and involves dishes she's never attempted before. Those recipes, only recently released to her, are considered cherished family treasures that evoke memories of her husband's deceased grandmother -- a matriarch within whose shadow all others have languished. Expectations are unreasonably high. Normally, a couple of drinks over dinner would have little impact. But add the five or six tumblers of Blue Nun she's downed while cooking -- complicated by the constructive criticism she must endure from relatives hovering in the kitchen -- and CUSSING won't be far behind. The situation achieves critical mass when Mrs. Grist's sister shows up unannounced with her deadbeat baby daddy, Bodean "Slim Jimma" Doogal, whom everyone believed was still serving his sentence in County. Unless Mrs. Grist alters course quickly and takes her family to a fancy hotel dinner, she's not going to prevent the onset of CUSSING.

"Even worse," Funge said, "CUSSING seems to be viral, infecting everyone within range. Soon, the entire house is populated with CUSSING relations. Without proper intervention, the prognosis is always negative."

Funge and his team analyzed eight San Narciso families from different stations in life, noting that some level of CUSSING occurred in each household with only slight variances in degree.

"The McIvers family rendered the most glaring example of CUSSING in the report," Funge stated. "The night ended with the revelation that Mrs. McIvers had been sleeping with her husband's female boss for over a decade. Within a matter of moments, every guest in the house exhibited advanced signs of CUSSING, which culminated in an emergency trip to the veterinary hospital to treat the dog's three broken ribs, a grease fire, four restraining orders for domestic violence and one citation for public urination and indecent exposure."

Beginning next September, Dr. Funge will be hosting a preventative family counseling program called "Healthy Holiday Alternatives -- Gift Certificates, a Couples' Cruise to Cabo and Skype."

(c) 2011. See disclaimers.