As I’m writing this, it’s now two days after Taste of Durango and the town is waking up from the collective hangover. For my part, I wasn’t terribly hungover on Monday because I made it to bed by my normal bedtime and did a pretty good job of recovering the next day, with water, coffee, aspirin, ibuprofen, and a huge breakfast courtesy of Brenda’s in Bayfield (seriously worth the drive y’all). But sometimes, the normal stuff just won’t cover a hangover. The headache, sore muscles, upset stomach, nausea, and complete utter shame and self-hatred put you in a hurt locker so deep and dark and scary it seems like you’ll never get out. Sometimes a hangover is so bad, you might as well go to the ER and tell them of your inexplicable symptoms with the hope that modern medicine has a cure.
But even the hospital isn’t much help. Lots of studies of have been done and the effects of dehydration, blood sugar levels, proper pH, etc. all seem to be minimal. Some studies have found that hangovers are “inflammatory immune responses” so taking anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and aspirin should help, but what about the nausea, anxiety, vomiting, and terrible regret? Even modern medicine has mostly drawn a blank when it comes to a hangover vaccine or cure (think of the cash cow that truly curing or vaccinating for a hangover would be) so advice from most doctors and medical professionals is still “drink in moderation” or “don’t drink” and we all know that’s not going to happen. So what do we do when we ignore the best advice money can buy? We turn to our folk and witch doctors!
My most effective cure is the following: 2 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade
2 8-ounce cans of Red Bull
1 32-ounce cup
Lots of ice
2 Excedrin Migraine
1500-2500 calories of your choosing
DirectionsFill the cup with ice and add 1 can of Red Bull, topping off with Gatorade. Take the 2 Excedrin Migraine as you drink as fast as possible. Refill the cup with ice, fill almost to the top with Gatorade, top with a spritz of Red Bull from the second can. Repeat until all the Gatorade and Red Bull is gone. If you don’t have to pee, fill the cup with water and ice and drink until you do have to pee. Once the bladder has been evacuated, eat 1,500-2,500 calories of whatever kind of food you can find.
There’s something about the combo of electrolytes, caffeine, and fluids that just takes the edge off enough to calmly reevaluate my life’s purpose and stop the cycle of self-hatred.
In doing research for this column, I’ve talked to many other hangover sufferers and the cures vary from person to person. Some I’ve tried myself and can attest to their effectiveness; others sound downright scary and I’ll not endorse the veracity of the claim; and others, still, I will say they work but only under the supervision of a doctor because I cannot encourage the use of prescription drugs for off-label use.
Most people in Durango will tell you about The Cure at Durango Diner, which totally works when paired with a Bloody Mary from El Rancho. Weed is also very very high on the list, which works, but lethargy and increased anxiety may result. Other things on the list include: Xanax (works, but memory and ability to give a shit may ensue) Adderall (totally works, but appetite for more booze may develop), increased salt intake, green juice, prayers, activated charcoal, exorcism, smudging, Netflix and chill and sweating out the alcohol.
But I think the most mentioned cure – and this comes with its own maxim – is this: “the best detox is retox” or “the hair of the dog that bit you, heals the wound” and “pelos de la misma chancha” in Spanish, and in Latin “similia similibus curantur” on and on because almost every culture on Earth has a principle like this. For my money, this probably works the best because every culture on Earth can’t be wrong.
Robert Alan Wendeborn puts the bubbles in the beer at Ska Brewing Company. His first book of poetry, “The Blank Target,” was published this past spring by The Lettered Streets Press and is available at Maria’s Bookshop. [email protected]