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Better New Year’s Hangovers Through Science

Topics: Health & Wellness | Add A CommentBy admin | December 31, 2010

Tired of all those mamby-pamby guides telling you that drinking water and taking aspirin will prevent your hangover? Get real, with our no-holds-barred, drink your brains out guide. Prepared by a retired top professional in the field.

Go ahead and drink yourself silly.
Just don’t be a baby about it.

If you don’t feel like drinking a lot tonight, we already suggested some excellent New Year’s Eve movies. But if you DO decide to drink a lot tonight, do me a couple favors: First, don’t drive. And second, don’t complain about your hangover tomorrow. Drinking to excess is all fine and dandy, but man up and do it right, or don’t do it at all. Although I kicked the habit a few years ago, I actually have considerable experience in this arena, so you can trust my expertise. I estimate that in the more productive period of my illustrious drinking career, I easily consumed over a thousand gallons of vodka. Which is my first tip. If you’re going to funnel poisons into your body for an evening, be scientific about it. Anything other than straight vodka may be tasty and enable a lot of highbrow banter about palates, noses, and finishes, but is frought with peril. Wine, beer, and whiskey are variously chock full of fungus and mold, cogeners, and fusel oils. It should be telling enough that the smoky and fiery character of bourbons are derived from something that in German means bad liquor. Some of us have understood this vodka trick for years, and now science has finally validated the idea.Speaking of science, I bet you didn’t know that there’s an enzyme in our systems specifically for breaking down alcohol. Well there is. So while you’re drinking the most-distilled vodka you can get your hands on to ensure that it’s almost entirely simple ethanol, EAT SOMETHING for chrissake. Russians have understood this for ages; they do a little shot, have a little Zakuski, do a little shot, have a little Zakuski… wipe, rinse hands, repeat. Until you’re grabbing everyone within reach (your reach will dwindle as you slump under the table) by the neck to kiss them and tell them how much you love them, goddammit. Oh, and have a glass of water now and then. This isn’t rocket science; it’s just science. And one trick I’ve never heard or read about but I swear worked flawlessly for me for years: eat a couple of eggs right before bed. And by “right before bed” I mean as you’re passing out on the way to it. And aspirin? Whatever. If you’re drunk enough that you’re already anticipating a brain-splitting hangover, your body is so busy detoxing already I doubt it’s going to notice you slipped it a couple puny aspirin. No, the end of a hard night of drinking is hardly the time to start taking medicine, unless of course by “medicine” you mean copious amounts of recreational drugs. In which case, have at it. I never understood the idea of ingesting intoxicants and then not ingesting ALL THE INTOXICANTS AVAILABLE. I mean, the objective here is intoxication, right? No sense mucking things up by trying to figure out ways to not be intoxicated. I mean, if you don’t want to be intoxicated, WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DRINKING? And that leads to our last little tip, which is dealing with the hangover if you fail to prevent it. Not to be insensitive or anything, but this part is pretty simple too. Either get up, have a bloody mary, and go on about your day, preferably engaging in difficult manual labor, or lay in bed swearing you’ll “NEVER DRINK AGAIN OH DEAR GOD I SWEAR IF YOU JUST MAKE THIS STOP“. If you choose the latter, take a cue from the movie Trainspotting, in which the character Renton shares a list that very nearly matches exactly what you’ll need to feel better: “one mattress; tomato soup, ten tins of; mushroom soup, eight tins of, for consumption cold; ice cream, vanilla, one large tub of; Magnesia, Milk of, one bottle; paracetamol; mouth wash; vitamins; mineral water; Lucozade; pornography; one bucket for urine, one for feces, and one for vomitus; one television; and one bottle of Valium“. Hopefully you won’t actually need the first and second buckets, but otherwise this list is just about right for a hangover. In reality, I in fact hope you’re smart and responsible enough to not get blithering drunk tonight, but if you must, do it with dignity, and tomorrow, accept the fact that bacchanalian revelry is in fact a pretty freakin’ stupid way to start the year. Whatever you do tonight, just don’t hurt anybody else. And truly, I wish you and yours and all of us on Earth a Happy New Year.