What causes a hangover? Naturally, it's different for everyone. Certainly, three vodka tonics, a shot of whiskey, two PBRs, and a couple glasses of box wine will do it every time; but on the real, "free radicals" are to blame. Free radicals are unbalanced atoms created when your body processes alcohol. When your system tries to dilute the number of free radicals by drawing fluid out of healthy cells, you get dehydrated, and that along with alcohol withdrawal causes a hangover.


Anyway, if you're not willing to stop drinking, you can at least try some of these trusty hangover cures, tested by actual drunks.

Joe's Cure:

"When I worked at this cafe in Milwaukee, WI, we sold this stuff called 'SPORTEA.' People were coming in and getting this iced tea all fuckin' day long! It's made with green tea and vitamin C and ginger and electrolites and shit. And I swear to fuckin' God this stuff is the only thing that I have ever consumed that actually and substantially helped with a hangover. In fact, I could get ripped at 11 AM, down a couple pints of Sportea and be to work by three, completely refreshed and ready to work my ass off until I'd get drunk again at midnight." JOE FAUSTIN KELLY Available for $5.97 at sportea.com

John's Cure:

"The best defense is a good offense: eat before you pass out. Doesn't matter if it's something you found under the table, or an expired donut portion that's stuck to the refrigerator shelf with hamburger blood. Drink a quart of salad oil. Whatever it takes to slow down those pesky hangover-elves who conspire to strip-mine your cerebellum with tiny razorblade shovels the moment your eyes cross and close for business. Eat anything but ass or pussy.

"Regurgitation is not recommended as a hangover cure, unless you do it an hour before closing time the night before, and then only as a means to make a point during a heated conversation.

"When these methods fail, try my favorite cure, 'The Three Bs': Beer, Bong-hit and (a vigorous) Blowjob. Women can substitute sparkling Merlot for Beer to better enjoy my blowjob." JOHN DOOLEY

Aaron's Cure:

"How about trying

1. The hair of the dog (Be sure to drink the kind of alcohol you consumed the night before.)

2. Emergen-C (As helpful as a beer, but without the alcohol.)

3. Uppers (The kind that go up your schnozzola.)

4. Sleep/time (Cures all wounds.)

5. a. Eat something that will soak up the toxins (bread), or

b. Eat something that will make you expel them faster (greasy food).

6. Kill yourself." AARON BEAM

The Herbal Cure:

If the preceding pearls of advice don't suit your fancy, how about curing that banging head the healthy, natural way? According to the herbalists at the Dragon Herbarium, taking cayenne and kelp helps a hangover, as does Echinacea and Ginseng, and if you're really dragging, try Royal Jelly. (Note: Royal Jelly is the stuff nurse bees feed the queen bee. It helps her become twice the size, and live forty times longer than worker bees.)

The Internet's Cure:

In the interest of being thorough, I searched the internet for a real hangover cure. Some recommended home remedies included mixing half-Tabasco and half-tequila in a shot glass and shooting it, while another said to mix Starbucks Frappuccino with Dr. Pepper.


There were, however, a bunch of sites that sold hangover cures in pill form that seemed jalopy, but claimed to work or your money back. I ordered First Call from

www.preventhangovers.com ($5 for a four-time sampler, $25 for 15 hangover rescues). It's a hangover supplement you take before and after drinking. I took it, drank a shitload (three vodka tonics, four beers) and, as the instructions indicated, I took it again. I slept six hours.

The results: I had some of the mental retardation that comes along with a hangover (bad driving, poor sentence construction, messy hair, bad outfit), but physically, I felt quite good. My stomach didn't implode like usual, my brain wasn't vibrating, and I was even able to walk around without moaning. That's what I call "success."

Email your own hangover cures to

katie@portlandmercury.com. I want to know.