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Fending Off That New Year's Hangover

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Drinkers have tried many methods to speed the return to sobriety... or at least end the incessant banging in their heads.

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If your voice rattles and bangs through your skull like a snowplow on rough pavement, face it: You've got a hangover.

Happy New Year!

The question, if it doesn't hurt to think, is: What-To-Do-About-It?

But first, gentle boozer, a bit of ancient history:

Last night, you guzzled more than your fair share of ethyl alcohol. The "hot and rebellious liquors" Shakespeare warned about were absorbed through the stomach and small intestine and metabolized in the liver.

Alcohol flowed through your veins. (Jack Daniel's or Southern Comfort (BFB) sounds about right, but Bud (BUD) and Coors (TAP) will do in a pinch. Robert Mondavi (STZ) is reserved for sophisticates who can handle corked bottles.)

Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, your physical reactions took a tumble with what you optimistically called your inhibitions.

What you are now experiencing is the slow, painful detoxification process.

Drinkers have tried many methods to speed the return to sobriety – or at least end the incessant banging in the head.

"Proven" methods include:

  • Oxygen
  • Hair of the dog
  • Tepid toast
  • Heavy doses of candy bars
  • Massive infusions of Vitamin B or C
  • Flat beer
  • Cold oatmeal
  • Death


Drinkers, who like poet Walt Whitman asked, "Have we not groveled here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?" plan ahead for binges and offer these helpful hints:

  • Four large glasses of Adam's Ale (water) and two aspirin before bed
  • Warm milk
  • Cold milk
  • Moose milk
  • Anything but milk
  • Liquid bison between the sheets, a.k.a. beef bouillon in bed
  • Brandy and prune juice
  • Guilt, shame and profound remorse


Of course, there is a simple solution.

Poet Ben Johnson asked the object of his desire to "drink to me only with thine eyes/…Or leave a kiss but in the cup/And I'll not look for wine."

However, this tactic may be a bit mushy for your current condition. One teetotaler, in an apoplexy of logic, suggested: "Don't drink the night before."

That's fine for fiscal conservatives, but the rest of us can repeal last night.

So, ask Don Quixote, the man of La Mancha, who noted, "I drink when I have the occasion and sometimes when I have no occasion."

Señor Quick Oats (That's 90-proof ethyl speaking) advised: "Sleep is drink to the thirsty."

Sound advice.

And turn off the light.

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