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Home » Dave’s DiegesesMarch 2005 » Dave’s Diegesis: Saints’ Days and Dehydrogenase

Dave’s Diegesis: Saints’ Days and Dehydrogenase

MccartycrestForgive me if I’m not entirely coherent. I’m a bit hungover from my St. Patrick’s Day festivities. I broke out the old McCarty family crest (argent with a red stag) and imbibed a few frosty ones to honor St. Patrick. The man that became the patron saint of Ireland was actually born in Wales with the name Maewyn Succat around 385 CE. Suffering Succat-ash! Heh, heh. Although born into a pagan culture, a vision sent him to France, where he became a priest.

(I have a massive headache. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) is the enzyme people have to break down alcohol. If this enzyme didn’t exist in our livers and stomachs, alcohol would act as a poison causing flushing, syncope, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, headache, tachycardia, anxiety, and confusion. Or perhaps that was me watching too much Riverdance. ADH first converts ethanol to acetaldehyde, which is further broken down into harmless acetic acid by aldehyde dehydrogenase. Acetaldehyde, or ethanal, is more toxic than alcohol and is the cause of many hangover symptoms. Stupid ethanal.)

St. Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the populace to Christianity. He used the three-leafed shamrock to symbolize the trinity, founding a long tradition of Irish people trotting the globe being holier-than-thou. Did I say that? I didn’t mean it, it’s the ethanal talking. I love U2. How is it that U2 is getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame already, anyway?

Every March 17th, people celebrate St. Patrick’s day by wearing green, drinking beer, having parades that exclude gays and lesbians (even though he is the saint of excluded people), and pondering the fact that there are chefs that specialize in Irish cuisine. And then being even more befuddled by the existence of a sentence that unironically uses the words “Irish” and “cuisine” together.

Every Friday, Dave McCarty will join us to discuss a topic of interest to him and probably no one else but the author of this site, who carries the Asian phenotype of low-activity aldehyde dehydrogenase.


Whoo hoo! Hungover McCarty! I like it! :)

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