Og Beminded Me

ABOUT THIS, SO thanks, Og.

Tonight is New Year’s Eve, the night when many amateur drunks are tempted — and give in to the temptation — to tie one on. To tie several on.

And the price, generally accepted, is a mouth full of rabbit fur, mouse turds, and sand, and a head as big as all outdoors and as delicate as a paper orchid. Or an orchid sculpted from an eggshell, maybe.

I am here to tell you it doesn’t need to be so.

In the novel Oath of Fealty Larry Niven describes a character (Tony Rand) taking a dose of a B vitamin in anticipation of a hangover. (Yes, Pournelle also authored this novel, but Niven wrote on this topic elsewhere, so I’m on pretty firm ground attributing this contribution to him here.) Rand muses that he’s amazed that more people don’t know about this.

It’s simple, really. B vitamins support liver health. It’s your liver that filters all the crap out of your bloodstream from adult beverages, the same crap that contributes to your hangover. You boost liver function by taking vitamin B — eh viola! — no hangover.

Here’s the what. Get a bottle of a B-100 formula. They have it at Kroger, Walgreen, CVS — anywhere they sell vitamins. I’m not sure if it’s niacin or folic acid or what that actually does the deed, so the complex is the sure shot. Take enough so you pee yellow. Usually, one dose (mine shows 6667% of the RDA of Thiamin) will keep you for 12 hours or so. Do that right before you go drinking. When you get home, before you go to bed, take another dose. Five grains of acetylsalicilic acid (ASA: aspirin) wouldn’t hurt, either. Just stay away from stuff produced by those war criminals at I.G. Farben a.k.a. Bayer.

If you feel the least bit queasy in the morning, take another dose of B. Your favorite caffeinated beverage wouldn’t hurt, either. The vasodilator effect lowers your blood pressure, which can help with headaches.

And that’s your New Year’s drinking tip. I have done this for decades and never get hangovers, except when I forget.

And I ain’t no amateur drunk.

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