Saturday evening I got home at a respectable hour, and woke up the next morning with no hangover. I managed to hit “the sweet spot” during St. Patrick’s Day, which is a light buzz wherein you need not fear a headache, but shouldn’t operate heavy machinery if anyone is watching. Maintaining a state of only partially tippled during raucous festivities is difficult and requires training and self control.
Now in my high twenties, “avoiding hangovers” has surpassed activities I once relished in college, such as beer pong, Martini Tuesday, or climbing university buildings after the two prior activities.
If you’re as social as I am, avoiding hangovers is a proactive pastime, not just the absence of drunkenness. You might be comfortable with a drink or two, but your friends want you to get recklessly loaded. To avoid waking up with a hangover due to excess fun I’ve developed a few rules which I pass on to you:
You Cannot Do Shots in Moderation
No one in the history of mankind has ever done “just one shot.” Shots are usually equal parts maple sugar and turpentine. The resultant concoction is one which appears sweet and innocent but sneaks up on you later and hits you in the head with a crowbar. And it will– because after the first shot a second shot seems harmless, and a third is downright brilliant, and pretty soon you’re guzzling thimbles with blue flames or sucking margarita mix out of a flight attendant’s naval.
Drink Lots of Water
This is fairly elementary stuff, but keeping hydrated is important when you’re out being social. Not only does it keep you from capsizing too early in the evening, it necessitates multiple bathroom breaks and thereby increases your chances of randomly having sex with a stranger in the bathroom.
Avoid Drinking Games
The only good drinking game is Russian Roulette, because it’s an all stakes game and you can play it with animals. Much like drinking shots, you get caught up in the fun of drinking games before you realize that your balance has evaporated. When people try and get me to play drinking games I pull out my revolver, take out all but one bullet and spin the cylinder. Then I look the guy square in the eyes and say “First, let’s play a real game.”
Never Agree to Try Out Anything with the word “Bong” in it
When I was in college we had a twenty foot hose we would hook to a funnel on the third story of our frat house. Someone would put the other end in their mouth while a guy up top unloaded a can of Natural Lite and then released the escape valve. Half a second and six feet later the beer would hit terminal velocity, and the guy on the business end of the tube would have his head explode just like in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.
Or maybe the guy would spew half of it out like a fountain. I can’t remember for some reason.
When in Doubt, Drink Expensive Booze
If you’ve got a happy hour after work and you’re afraid things might get out of hand, only buy drinks which cost a minimum of $20. Single malt scotch is pretty good for this because single malt scotch is pretty good in general. Whatever the poison, if you spend a ridiculous amount on just one drink you’ll be slightly aloof and surly for at least an hour, which will help keep you from losing your head. This is fine anyway because scotch is best enjoyed while suppressing homicidal impulses.
If you’re a girl men may offer to buy you a drink. Ask for something that’s ungodly expensive, like gin and orphan tears or unicorn blood with vermouth. This will lead the guy hitting on you to assume you only put out if you receive really expensive gifts, and you might get a swish dinner out of it. In any case he’s not going to try and get you drunk to sleep with you.
The guy will claim the free drink has nothing to do with sex, but he’s either lying or trying to get lots of transactions on his credit card so he has a decent alibi when he returns to his office to kill a business partner.
There are more rules, of course. But they can wait for another post.
Andrew Heaton is a writer and standup comedian in New York City. If this post made you laugh or think, kindly "like" it on Facebook.