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Lynne's Ribena / Long Island Ice Tea Challenge

A while ago, I got one of those knee-jerk mass-mailed "let's get all riled up and boycott this product" e-mail from an ex-colleague:

The previous topic had been the issue of "non-halal" sausages used at the IKEA store, and we all know how that had been blown totally out of proportion (just because the halal certification had expired doesn't mean they were now using pig intestines! And THINK before blindly passing on messages that don't make sense!!)... as usual ...

This time, the victim was Ribena, due to its alcohol content.

Yes... Ribena... (for those who don't know of Ribena: I suppose it's the equivalent of the ubiquitous Kool Aid, but in a concentrated syrup form. Only one flavour tho - blackberry (i think). It's probably as much a part of the British legacy as Bovril!)

A side note: I dunno how they advertised in the UK or elsewhere, but in Malaysia, soon after they introduced the "Ribenaberry" advertisements (cartoon characters, essentially a round purple-colored berry which is the face, with two small arms and legs jutting out of it), I suppose there must have been some concern for "indecency" ... cos all of a sudden, what I thot were androgynous characters suddenly changed! "Female" ribenaberries sported three tiny (fig?) leaves that were somehow attached to what could have been their boobs & crotch, while of course the male ribenaberries had that one leaf there between their legs. Looked so ridiculous! I think that probably drew more attention to sex/gender than before!

Anyway, I digress... yeah, it seems that there was an uproar among the British Muslim community about 2 months ago, when they somehow discovered or got confirmation that Ribena contained ethanol!

Never mind that its concentration was *o*n*l*y* 0.01% ethanol!

I'm sorry people, but that's nothing!!

To put that 0.01% into perspective... for those who may still have concerns about getting drunk off of Ribena despite a fatwa saying it's ok... I thought of a challenge we could do.

I'll call it Lynne's Ribena / Long Island Ice Tea Challenge

Every day for a week, you fix for yourself and consume 5 large glasses of Ribena, and I'll do the same, but instead of Ribena, I'll make it 5 large glasses of Long Island Ice Teas.

Then we each go through this list, and see how many we can say "YES!" to:

You Know You Drink Too Much When...

  • Your doctor finds traces of blood in your alcohol stream.
  • The back of your head keeps getting hit by the toilet seat.
  • The parking lot seems to have moved while you were in the bar
  • When you go to donate blood and they ask what proof?
  • You think the Four Basic Food Groups are Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, and Hotties.
  • You have a "happy hour" at home
  • When you are sober, people ask you what's wrong?
  • You spend all night making a board game called Alcohol Land
  • Although you drove home the other night you can't remember how you got home or where you parked your car
  • "Hi ocifer. I'm not under the affluence of incohol."
  • Your favorite drink is ethanol.
  • "Why does everybody think I have a prinking droblem?! - I don't have a prinking droblem!"
  • "I don't have a drinking prob..pleb..prub.. *hic* Pash me another, tarbender."
  • You can spend a whole night holding up walls to prevent their (your) collapse.
  • You instinctively know where the alcohol is in a store you've never been in before
  • Clubs raise their drink prices because you haven't attended in a while
  • You think beer and ramen make a good breakfast
  • You frequently urinate outdoors.
  • When you first wake up and you're afraid you're gonna die and a half-hour later you're afraid you won't.
  • You fall asleep taking a dump.
  • You believe that spilling a beer is alcohol abuse.
  • You go to the john to hurl, but you take your beer with you.
  • You find it's easier to study drunk.
  • You're on a first name basis at the detoxification center.
  • Beer ads make sense.
  • You wake up to the sound of your dog drinking out of the toilet and you're so dry that it sounds mighty thirst quenching.
  • You wake the next morning and start drinking a few of the half empties left sitting around the room.
  • The space on your driver's license that tells your eye color reads "bloodshot".
  • You fall down a flight of steps and DON'T spill a drop of your beer.
  • You mix your cocktails by the litre.
  • You grow a beard because it stops beer that's running down your chin.
  • You put off urinating in hopes of reaching that near orgasmic Zen-like piss.
  • When the bottle says 20 standard drinks but you only get 5.
  • You spell Alcohol with a capital letter out of respect
  • You lose arguments with inanimate objects.
  • You have to hold onto the lawn to keep from falling off the earth
  • Your career won't progress beyond Senator from Massachusettes.
  • 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case - coincidence?? - I think not!
  • Two hands and just one mouth... - now THAT'S a drinking problem!
  • "Norm!" is what they say when you enter the bar.
  • You can focus better with one eye closed
  • The parking lot seems to have moved while you were in the bar
  • You fall off the floor.
  • You discover in the morning that liquid cleaning supplies have mysteriously disappeared.
  • Hey, 5 beers has just as many calories as a burger, screw dinner!
  • Beer: it's not just for breakfast anymore.
  • The glass keeps missing your mouth.
  • Vampires get woozy after biting you.
  • At AA meeting you begin: "Hi, my name is... uh..."
  • Your idea of cutting back is less seltzer.
  • You wake up in the bedroom, your underwear is in the bathroom, you fell asleep clothed. - hmm.
  • Every night you're beginning to find your roomate's cat more and more attractive.
  • If you're on a diet, you cut back your food calories to allow for alcohol calories.
  • "Take me drunk, I'm home!"
  • You wake up naked lying in the corner of a bus depot.
  • You drink to get over a hangover.
  • You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends who drink too much.

(Many thanx to Baby Angel who e-mailed me this list!)

.... errrr..... I think you can have ALL the Ribena in the world and not worry about ANY of the above being true, okay? Why not go and worry about how hypocritical so many supposed Muslims (in my experience, in Malaysia) are... can pray 5 times a day, can fast every Monday & Thursday, can cover yourself from head to toe (female), can sport a "wau bulan" mustache/beard/goatee (male), but at work do you actually REALLY do your job, your amanah, what you are being paid to do, to the best of your ability, or do you do just the little you can get away with? Focus on just that one thing, and I tell ya, things will be *so* different!!

Again - I really doubt that ingestion of the 0.01% ethanol in Ribena is what will bar your way to "heaven".....

So chill, enjoy your glass of Ribena, and do some personal introspection, okay?

Cheers! (hic!)


  1. Well, we don't have Ribena here, but I believe I've answered "yes" to a few of those questions in my day. That's funny.

  2. Hey Lynne,
    Thanks for those comments in my blog and also supporting my side on the aging virginal issue. This Nik Kelantan is a total crap!

    Been returning to read your blog often. I certainly think you are doing a job well done here in your blog with very intriguing topics.

  3. Funny, funny! ...and also, HONEST, I just developed the hiccups.
    (I know it’s non-related)
    I just have to log off and get rid of them...
    I'll be back soon ((hicc))

  4. Hi Lynne, thanks for visiting my blog and i enjoyed reading your post :)

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog. I met you through Neoworx.

  6. Hahaha, I didn't realize that Ribena contains Ethanol. But like you said, it won't caused so much damage. Used to drink ribena when I was a kid.

    And it's true that some people tend to exaggerate out of proportion when they did not reflect upon their faults.

  7. Ribena? *ponders how much you need to drink to get inebriated*


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