Hanging over with Andreae Prozesky.
Well, that’s it. You’ve done it.
Perhaps you were just sticking your head into the Ship to see who was there. One quick drink with an old high school friend turned into a few more drinks with a few more old high school friends. Somehow, round-about last call, the world turned all sugary-shootery and now you’re feeling like Christmas is truly, truly here in all its hideous splendor.
Or perhaps you ended up at that New Year’s party you swore you weren’t going to go to. Although everyone at the party arrived clutching holiday-motif Liquor Corp bags, there’s nothing left to drink in the house, and the evening’s hosts are feverishly dialing numbers in the hope that there’s somebody out there who’ll swing by with a bottle of rum at six a.m.
Tomorrow is going to suck.
There are really only two ways to avoid a hangover. The first is to not drink, and the second is to not stop drinking.
Well, there is the whole moderation thing, where you only drink as much as you can handle, gulping back tumblers of water between beers. This kind of behaviour requires forethought and presence of mind, and – while sometimes necessary – is antithetical to the spirit of indulgence and wanton revelry that is the character of the season. Should you choose to not drink at all, well, then a hangover isn’t one of your concerns and you can stop reading right here. And if you haven’t stopped drinking long enough for a hangover to set in, then you’re probably not interested in reading and have likely wandered off by now, so why am I even addressing you?
Before you start rifling through the medicine chest, let me remind you that the combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and alcohol will eat your liver. All the doctors say so. So don’t take any of those. You owe your liver a favour or two.
Naturally, you want to sleep, and if you can sleep then all the better. Sleep until well into the afternoon if you can. Drink water when you wake up, and lots of it. A certain Scope-maker has been known to sprinkle salt into her water to combat a hangover. The theory is that the salt creates some kind of electrolyte magic, although I’m not sure that table salt and tap water is necessarily the best plan. Electrolytes do combat dehydration though, and since your brain shrinks a size or two in the course of a night of drinking, you might want to get your hands on some. Gatorade and Powerade are the usual sources of electrolytes, but if you can drag yourself to a drugstore, Pedialyte packs more electrolyte punch than the other guys. You can find it in the baby section.
Food Nerd that I am, I tend to opt for the greasy breakfast cure, in a dimly-lit environment if at all possible. I’m not sure that there’s any scientific basis for my faith that eggs and toast and home fries will set my world right. Could be it’s just a pleasant, salty placebo. Who cares? And even though coffee should technically make a hangover worse by doubling your dehydration, it somehow makes one act a little more human in one’s morning-after state.
I once had a Polish neighbour who would serve shots of vodka with pickles, believing that the pickles would counteract the vodka’s ill effects. Pickle juice, apparently, works wonders on the party-weary individual.
A co-worker of mine knows of someone who swears by Mountain Dew and salt-and-vinegar chips for a morning-after breakfast. Although I find that thought horrifying, it somehow seems to make sense. Likewise the quasi-homeopathic logic of the proverbial hair of the dog that bit you.
And if your closest food source is a convenience store, consider the bland, lardy and yet fruit-filled apple flip to sort you out.
Send your questions, comments, suggestions and electrolytes to firstname.lastname@example.org
Home-made electrolyte therapy drink
1 litre fruit juice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 liter water
1 mashed banana
Home-made vodka therapy drink
(of the Bloody Mary variety)
1 1/2 oz vodka
3 oz tomato juice
1 dash lemon juice
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 drops tabasco sauce
1 lime wedge
Shake all ingredients (except lime wedge) with ice and strain into an old-fashioned glass over ice cubes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the wedge of lime and serve. And surely you don’t neet me to tell you that if you want to go all Canadian, opt for Clamato instead of tomato juice and you’ve got yourself a Caesar.
On an interesting note: apparently if you substitute beer for vodka, and Clamato mixed with raw egg instead for tomato juice, you’ll have something called a “Calgary Red Eye.” I can only imagine that this works like an absolute charm.