The Hangover Clinic

So on Friday night we went to a rum tasting hosted by some friends. The thing about tasting events — er, parties — that feature spirits is that you have to be very careful not to get too — what's the technical term? — trashed.

One of the hosts was an actual physician. It's not often that you get to pick the mind of an actual physician, so when she said that she would have to work the following night, and being that we were all attending a rum tasting, and being that tasting events (read: parties) that feature spirits are perhaps inevitably going to involve hangovers, I asked her whether there was anything, you know, medical that one could do about hangovers.

Sure, she revealed — for one, you could hook yourself up to an intravenous infusion of a saline solution. This would be similar to the folk remedy of drinking Gatorade, she explained, but much more efficient, since it would skip your stomach altogether and go straight into your bloodstream. (I think I'm getting the details right, but now that I don't have a brain to pick, I'm working from memory, and a hazy one at that.) An IV, and perhaps an anti-nausea pill, and you'd be good to go, she said.

So the obvious follow-up question, in my mind at least, was Why aren't there hangover clinics? And If there aren't already hangover clinics, what's preventing us from opening one?

It would work like this: You wake up hungover, force yourself out of bed, walk down the street, enter the clinic, get a short exam, pay your [fill in cost of what the market for such a service might bear]-dollar fee, get hooked up to an IV and one hour later you're fixed! Brilliant! Right?

There could be flat screen televisions showing lame movies or sporting events. There could be "healthy," "restorative" juices served. There could be comfortable sofas and a soft color scheme. Cucumbers on your eyes . . . come in your sweatpants, it doesn't matter!

We could team with bars, who would provide little wooden nickels at the end of the night to really inebriated individuals — knowing you'd get the service paid in advance might provide a big boost for the business. For the bar, it's a value-added type of thing.

I know, maybe a clinic isn't your speed — maybe it sounds too much like it might be a place where you drink doses of methadone out of little paper cups. Fine — I get it — you're "fancy". Then what about a private service that comes to your home and performs the same function? Or we could limit the operations to corporate accounts and do it in the privacy of a hotel suite or even a conference room. We could get started in Las Vegas or New Orleans and focus on conventions.

Think about it — bachelor and bachelorette parties — if you're getting married the following day, you'd give a lot for this type of service. Michael even suggested a name: "Hang Over." Get it?

I just don't see the downside.

Our doctor friend thought that the cost for the materials would be minimal — she guessed that the bags of solution and the tubing required would cost about $15.

As for "next steps," well, that would involve getting an actual hangover and testing the method. For myself, the prospect of willingly getting a hangover is a little nauseating, but I'm open to grand experiments — though I have to say that I am a little squeamish about needles.

Yes, we can dream.

Posted: January 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Back Of Napkin | Tags: , , ,