There’s a catch-22 for wine lovers who have really caught the bug: The more desirable a wine is, the harder it is to get. And the harder it is to get, the more desirable it is.

Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan, Wine for Dummies, 4th Edition, Wiley, 2006.

catch-22 n
1) a situation in which a person is frustrated by a paradoxical rule or set of circumstances that preclude any attempt to escape from them
2) a situation in which any move that a person can make will lead to trouble [CED]

Catch-22 n [U]
an impossible situation that you cannot solve because you need to do one thing in order to do a second thing, but you cannot do the second thing until you have done the first:
It’s a Catch-22 situation ー without experience you can’t get a job and without a job you can’t get experience. [LDCE]

Medicating an autistic person can be a catch-22 situation. An autistic person may need medication to function better within society, but the body of an autistic person does its best to reject medication. Medical tests have shown that autistic people are more prone to drug reactions and rare side effects that doctors don’t often seem to worry about. People on the autism spectrum are more likely to have paradoxical reactions, which occur when a drug should function one way but does the opposite. And, generally speaking, the autistic population is more likely to experience drug toxicity, or toxic effects from a drug regardless of the amount taken. An autistic person’s body doesn’t always get rid of medications as fast as the average person’s does. As a result, a person on the spectrum may need to start a medication at a much lower dose than normal and likely remain on that low dose. Careful monitoring by the person with autism, caretakers, and doctors is required.

Stephen M. Shore and Linda G. Rastelli, Understanding Autism for Dummies, Wiley, 2006, p.97.

In truth, “rape” is proving remarkably common in nature, and for a whole variety of reasons. Among young orangutans, it is the norm­ basically because they have no obvious alternative. Orangs are monogamous as big primates, they invest an enormous amount in gestation and child care. Their choice of mate is very important to them. Female orangs don’t like to mate with males who are not already mature and possessed of a convincing territory. Mature males, for their part, want to know that their chosen partner is fertile, so they prefer mature ladies who already have a youngster at heel. For the virgins of both sexes, it looks very like a catch-22. The young females prefer mature males but are rejected by them, but in their turn they reject the virgin males. Unsolicited assault offers the only opportunity that either will get to reproduce. At least the female knows that the male who overcomes her is not a complete wimp. The arrangement is not nice, but we can see how, in those very special circumstances, natural selection would have favored it. No “rape,” no offspring, and the lineage of orangs would come to a halt. The basic reproductive strategy of orangs seems sensible: go for partners with a proven track record. But it has forced them into a strange comer. Despite the traumas of their first encounter, once the pair have formed a bond, they stay together. The male protects his partner and his offspring.

Colin Tudge, The Bird : A Natural History of Who Birds Are, Where They Came From, and How They Live, Crown, 2009.


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