Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions


Resting Heartrate

August 13, 2007 by Richard Wright in Journal, Life

I need to reevaluate so very much of my lifestyle. Apart from quitting smoking, that evergreen work-in-progress, and getting more exercise, the over-consumption of caffeine is a continual concern. You might be might be tempted to label me a hypochondriac and move on, after a statement like that, but consider the story of Jasmine Willis, aged seventeen, who was rushed to hospital after drinking seven double espressos at work. Her symptoms included inexplicable bouts of laughter and tears, palpitations, breathing difficulties, and fever.

I read that story on BBC news, and my first thought was ‘lightweight’.

Then I started thinking about it. I drink a lot of coffee during the day, right through the evening. A lot. Most of it is from an enormous mug, half again the size of a regular one. I do not use a teaspoon to measure granules of coffee into said mug. I tip the jar, until a mound of of coffee that would daunt many hobbit hill walkers awaits the boiling water. And water is all. To add milk or sugar is to pervert the pure coffee experience.

On top of which, I have a hideous love for energy drinks, particularly Red Bull. When I buy a four pack, it’s rare for there to be any left the next day.

To lift a line from Frankie Boyle, all this adds up to me having the resting heartache of a serial killer in a hardware store during a closing down sale.

On the plus side, there are strong indicators that caffeine helps the body to actively defend against, and even destroy, cancer. In which case, I must be pretty much immune.

Yay me.

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  1. LorrieAugust 14, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    I also love the energy drinks. Low-carb Monster being my demon. And tragically, I’ve just discovered I rather enjoy diet Rockstar!! The first time I had it it gave me a buzz like alcohol. Wonder what they are sneaking into these addictive little bastards! Because, as we recall when Coca-Cola was first invented it did contain cocaine (hence the name!!)

  2. Richard WrightAugust 14, 2007 at 7:04 pmAuthor

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised…

  3. Fran FrielAugust 16, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Richard – Makes me jittery just reading that.

    Thanks for the article link. As a child, my daughter had similar emotional reactions to caffeine. As a young adult, she’s more in control, but she can still have those uncontrollable freak outs and I suspect it’s the caffeine (like you, she loves the coffee). I think suspect there’s a genetic sensitivity (from my side of the family). If I drank even a fraction of what you’ve said you drink, my head would explode…I mean, literally. Oh so messy.

    Anyway, thanks again. I’ll be sharing the article with her.


  4. Richard WrightAugust 17, 2007 at 12:17 amAuthor

    I do think, like many things, different people have different tolerance levels to caffeine. For some people, it seems to be much more potent than for others.

  5. Fran FrielAugust 17, 2007 at 1:52 am

    Exactly, Richard. And I suspect you may hold the tolerance record. I think you should be the next spokesperson for Red Bull. Hey, you could be Mr. Bull! *wink* I think there’s a story in there somewhere…

  6. Richard WrightAugust 17, 2007 at 10:41 pmAuthor

    Ha! Roll on the lucrative endorsements. “Red Bull gives you wings! And high blood pressure! And sweating anxiety and paranoia!”

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