DESPITE ITS fine tradition as a drinking man’s holiday, St. Patrick’s Day is generally regarded by professionals such as myself as amateur night.
Whether it’s copious shots of Jamison’s or pitchers of green beer, happy shamrockers – unreined and unprepared – overindulge with the usual consequences.
Lucky for you, lately I’ve been drinking a lot more than usual.
It was all in the name of science, of course, as I conducted a groundbreaking road test of the new wave of anti-hangover pills.
Yes, I know, there was some risk, gobbling down these little pills. Who knows what’s inside ’em?
But they must be safe. Surely, no one would make false advertising claims in the e-mail spam that fills my in-box. Especially when it comes from such internationally respected pharmaceutical companies as Lifestyle Marketing Inc.
But I ate dirt when I was 6 and survived, so what the hell, I gave them my credit card number.
My favorite among these new pills is RU-21, because it sounds like a real drug. Plus, it was “developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences in the course of a 25-year-long research studying alcohol metabolism.”
Of course, the world of medicine is full of important scientific advances developed by Russians – like, um, vanilla-flavored vodka. This one was supposedly formulated to help KGB agents stay sober while drinking.
They tell you to gobble RU-21 before you start drinking, so I swallowed mine with my scrapple. The brochure said I should feel the effects immediately, but the only thing I felt was an urge to spy on the Chechnyans next door.
I got plastered that night, woke up with a ball peen in my cranium and immediately switched to the competition: Chaser.
This stuff is available at GNC and promises “freedom from hangovers.” According to the package, its developer, Dr. Raymond Crippen, was “named one of the outstanding chemists of the 20th century.”
By whom, I don’t know. Possibly Mrs. Crippen.
In any case, Chaser merely changed the color of my pee. Or maybe that was the 14 grape Jell-O shots.
Anyway, I didn’t wake up, as the package promised, “feeling great.”
Sob’r-K was my other drug of choice.
Like the others, it comes with suspect – I mean, obviously authentic – endorsements from completely unknown – I mean, famous – scientists. People like Dr. J. Schaefer, “one of the world’s leading expert [sic] in the use of alcohol, ” and Dr. Lin, “a leading medical researcher.”
Sob’r-K suggests downing two pills before drinking, two during and two after. That was too confusing. I mixed them all into a Yuengling.
Immediately, my lager’s usually frothy head disappeared, which I took as a good sign.
Six pints later, I was reeling as usual. The next morning, the world was spinning.
So, are these pills an utter fraud with no scientific merit, designed to cash in on a gullible public?
They’re untested by the government (unless you count the KGB) and sold as mere herbal supplements. They don’t have to meet any standards, except (I hope) that they won’t kill you.
My advice on this St. Patrick’s Day: Save your money. And on the morning after, get yourself a 24-ounce cup of Wawa coffee.
This is Pennsylvania’s first St. Patrick’s Day under the 0.08 percent blood alcohol regime, so get yourself a cab.
Not sure if you’ve hit the limit?
Stephen Gilberg from HappyHours.Com offers this handy, nonscientific formula you can remember, even after a couple of rounds:
For each standard drink (one cocktail, one pint of beer or one glass of wine), count 3 points. For each hour that you’ve been drinking, count 2 points. Add up your drink points and subtract your hour points.
If the result is less than 6, you should be OK to drive.
Joe Sixpack, by Staff Writer Don Russell, was written this week with Tuppers Hop Pocket Pils.