A nasty hangover is nature’s way of saying you had way too much fun last night. And unfortunately, as we’re all no doubt aware, what goes up must come down. Wayyy down. Here are some tips to limit the damage – or inflict more – from some people who probably knew best.
Between the food, the cars, and organised crime, we can be thankful to the Italians for all kinds of wonderful things – but a great hangover cure isn’t one of them. Apparently, Sicilians believe that all you have to do after a wild night of drinking is eat a dried bull’s penis. If you have no reservations about doing that, you’re probably still drunk.
Word on the street, if the street is the BBC, is that Native Americans would run around in the morning to get all sweaty after a hard night on the turps. The logical next step: lick all that sweat up and spit it out, so you can get rid of all the “poison” you’d just oozed out. It’s hard to know which is worse, the sweat licking orgy or the fact that they actually woke up before midday to do it.
A Clockwork Orange writer Anthony Burgess liked to beat his hangovers to the finish line with a homemade cocktail – and the heavy-drinking Englishman did know a thing or two about morning-after blues. He drank a concoction known as Hangman’s Blood: “Into a pint glass, doubles of the following are poured: gin, whisky, rum, port and brandy. A small bottle of stout is added and the whole topped up with Champagne,” for added effect.
Two cowboys, one cup:
What did those lonely cowboys of the Wild West concoct to cure their extra- manly hangovers? A fresh, hot cup of tea, of course, which sounds like a perfectly nice, rather feminine little remedy – until you find out what they added to it. Rabbit poo. That actually becomes less weird when you consider cowboys also used to wipe their bum with corncobs, which we like to assume they also ate. Who wants to come to Brokeback Mountain?
For English comic novelist and champion drinker Kingsley Amis, the morning after is often a strange “metaphysical moment”. Amis recommended a mixture of Bovril – a salty meat extract oddly beloved to British people – and enough vodka to set you back on the right path, or at least on the path to the nearest bathroom.
Apparently some Puerto Ricans swear by rubbing a slice of lemon in the armpit of your drinking arm before you start boozing. While we’re a little dubious about the effectiveness of this one, at least you’ll be left smelling fruity fresh, and have a spare slice for your mixer.
Lessons from the past:
We all know how much the ancient Greeks and Romans knew how to party, what with the bath houses, orgies, bath house orgies and epic feasts. Well, after a wild night of debauchery, ancient Greeks were all about a nice breakfast of sheep lungs and two owl eggs. Don’t skimp on the owl eggs.
Romans, meanwhile, would chow down on deep-fried canaries, which we can only assume were sold in big, family-size buckets and seasoned with secret herbs and spices.
While most of these cures require mixing together ridiculous ingredients, this hangover remedy simply requires a complete lack of logic. Haitian voodoo people are said to recommend sticking 13 black pins in the cork of the offending bottle. That’s probably a good 130 needles or so you’ll need after a night out in Patong.
Back to basics: American actor and singer Dean Martin knew how to keep it simple. His cure: “Stay drunk”.