Civil Discourse Now

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New Year's Eve: how to abate the effects of a hangover.

   Another amateur’s night is upon us. People who otherwise would be at home, watch TV, and retire for the evening by 10 feel the need to go out, get plastered, and stay up until midnight.

   Here are some practical tips for a pleasant New Year’s Eve; they are not authoritative and, if you have any questions or allergies, consult a physician:

   1) Do not drive. If you live within walking distance of your favorite local bar—there you go. Try to walk home in the company of others. This is a major metropolitan area and crime occurs. In Carmel you could get jumped by the worst type of criminals—white-collar. The next thing you would know, you’d have invested in some Blue Sky and lost all you have.

   2) Tip heavily. The bartenders and servers to whom you have gone for comfort only get paid (generally) on a low hourly, with tips considered their chief means of income. Servers and bartenders even have to pay taxes on imaginary income—their sales for the evening times (it used to be) eight percent (8%). So when you stiff a server or bartender, actually you cost them money. Fifteen percent (15%) has been the standard. Do not be bashful about tipping more heavily for good service (or your own guilty conscience if you have been an ass this evening at some point or all points). That waitress easily can call a cab for you and help you to the door and into the vehicle that takes you home. And she’s put up with your crap (and the crap of a lot of other people all evening)?Make it twenty percent (20%).

   3) Get home early. Unless you feel lucky and believe at closing time you will meet the love of your life for the next 12 or 15 hours, go home by 7 or 8. The bars still will do plenty of business. You can order a pizza, kick back, and pass out on the couch. You do not have to worry about your status as passenger in a vehicle that is struck by another vehicle. You also do not have to worry about the large guy at the table next to you taking offense at your staring at the cleavage of the love of his life. There are a lot of amateurs out. Get home and off the streets before you are run over.

   4) Eat. There are several ways to avoid a hangover. The first is the least desirable: do not consume alcohol. Okay, just like the kids in "Christmas Story" tossed over their shoulders those socks they received as gifts, I just threw away that silly idea. One valuable means of abating the effects of alcohol is to eat early in the evening. Split a pizza, order a double cheeseburger, whatever. Get more than a nominal amount of food inside your belly. If you have food allergies, I don’t know what you should do. I’d guess you drink some off beverage derived from fermentation of a rare berry of some type. As I said above, when in question, consult a physician.

   5) Drink plenty of fluids. No—I mean a different kind. Toward the end of the evening, drink water. Also, have a glass of water next to your bed for during the night. Alcohol dehydrates the human body. Dehydration exacerbates the effects of a hangover. So drink water.

   6) Take an aspirin (unless you have a medical condition that makes aspirin a no-no). Another aspect of hangovers is constriction of the blood vessels in the brain. Aspirin is supposed to combat that constriction. If you have no medical condition, and take no medications that are cross-indicated for aspirin, an aspirin will help.      

   7) Do not engage law enforcement officers. I know, you might feel chatty, but walking up to a police officer on New Year’s Eve after you’d had eight mojitos is more likely to provide you transportation to the Marion County Jail then lead you to enlightenment. Those officers are engaged in a job. Let them get on with it.

   There you have it: ways to help abate a hangover, avoid jail, and greet the New Year with fewer hassles. I wish you a good one and hope 2013 is a prosperous year—the year in which the Cubs finally win the World Series. (I only was whimsical. I have not begun to drink yet.)

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Comment by Paul K. Ogden on January 1, 2013 at 11:14am

To this day, I can't really relate to people when they talk about hangovers.  Never had one.   Even when I would drink a lot more in my younger days, I'd wake up early, with no headache, no nausea, nothing.  The only thing I might suffer from the next day is getting less sleep than I otherwise would have.  The bad thing is that I never could sleep in the next day.  I'd be up at 6 am, wide awake, feeling fine but tired wishing I could have slept in.

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