More specifically, Bobby Bang-up and Tommy Torn-up, the two fictional, hungover guises of my friend Stu.
Sometimes I'll get a text in the morning which says, simply, "Bob." This means that Stu has woken to find himself as Bobby Bang-up, a man whose head feels as if it's in the clamps of a vice, his throat sore from too many late-night cigarettes, his brain driven to distraction by the mildest honk of a horn or a stray beam of sunlight.
Bob is also a man who needs to get to work, while Tom (a.k.a. Tommy Torn-up) is a man so incapacitated, so beset by tremors and mind-rot and merciless, full-body agony that not only can he not make it into the office, his stomach turns at the mere thought of the effort required. I also get texts from Stu saying "Tom," though these usually come around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon.
Today, I'm Bob. I cooked and cleaned and tended the grill for a great neighborhood party last night, and on the way to the end of the evening I had one (several) glass(es) too many of Over Under Winter Punch.
It happens. But when it does, how do you get over it?
My favorite hangover remedy used to be a healthy dose of Angostura bitters in orange juice... until I realized that Angostura runs about 80 proof - in fact, all aromatic bitters are similarly boozy, as a lot of alcohol is needed to properly macerate the various herbs and spices. And while hair of the dog is the quickest way to get rid of a hangover, it doesn't really solve the problem - it just delays it.
I've since moved on to a hearty breakfast, lots of water, and something sugary and carbonated - Coca Cola usually does the trick, though the extra pomegranate soda I had leftover from the punch yesterday is getting the job done quite nicely.
Let's hear some more:
Site founder Jason Rowan: "After a too-big night I always go for Advil, as much water as you can take and, if the stomach is upset some Stonyfield Farms lowfat plain yogurt. One recent morning I found myself buying Tumms, a first in my drinking career, and a possible warning sign of a larger problem that I handily chose to ignore. The steam room at the gym is great for instant detox, but barring that a long hot shower is effective. One of the most gnarly hangovers I've heard about drove its victim to sit under a hot shower on a lawn chair, wearing sunglasses, drinking a beer."
- "Leftovers from whichever restaurant I got drunk at the night before - seems fitting."
- "A double shot of Wild Turkey 101."
- "Getting off the couch and into social scenarios helps to change personal focus from the pain to the event (sunshine and being in Key West is a big bonus if you can swing it)."
- "Nothing but sleep. I've tried everything under the sun, and only sleep gets me back to normal."
- "Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a bagel from the bodega on my corner, plus a large bottle of red or orange Gatorade.
And, the winner of the Putting In the Most Effort Award:
- Oliver Rockaway's Hangover Elixir:
4 oz. orange-flavored Pedialyte
2 oz. orange Gatorade
1 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. orange juice
5 mg. Valium (finely ground)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice; shake violently and strain into a pint glass full of ice; garnish with orange slice and umbrella; drink, and repeat until hangover has subsided.
(Author's note: "Years of searching for a genuinely real cure for symptoms of a hangover have led to this recipe. This is the closest to a medical cure I've come across [hence the medications in the recipe]. No doubt you will feel a change within minutes of drinking this concoction. This recipe was invented in Cherry Grove, NY, at Jumping Jacks.")