Global hangover cures that'll numb the pain (but turn your stomach)
In honor of football, drinking, America, and YOU, we proclaim the Monday after Super Bowl shall henceforth be known as National Hangover Day. It’s a day for hangovers to be celebrated, embraced, and combated in the most enjoyable of ways -- namely, eating delicious food, and possibly drinking more. The ultimate goal? Getting the entire country a day off work, a beautiful dream you can help make happen by signing this petition to our sports-loving President right here and tweeting it. The immediate goal though: fixing that hangover...
Which is where these wacky global hangover cures come in. Because why the Monday after the Super Bowl isn't a national holiday is about as much of a mystery as why the Super Bowl's on a Sunday in the first place, and why a game played mainly with hands is called football. And now, as you're sitting at work with a pounding head, you're wondering why you thought it as a good idea to spend Super Bowl Sunday chugging Buds like it's a Saturday and 1999.
Dried bull's penis -- Sicily
Manly Sicilian men weakened by an earsplitting headache and the after-effects of too many limoncellos hope that munching on the impressive genitalia of a bull will restore their virility. Because what’s more virile than a bull? And his peen?
Why it just might work: Wonderous, delicious jerky often heals the head after a bender (what with the restorative additions of salt, sugar, and preservatives); think of this as a less-than-slim Jim with a slightly more exotic origin than 7-11.
Sheep’s eyeball -- Mongolia
Mongolians just mosey on over to their corner deli and scoop up some pickled eyeballs to mix in with their tomato juice, for a truly bloody Bloody Mary.
Why it just might work: Much like the preferred American hangover remedy, tomato juice is key here. When imbibing, your liver gets too preoccupied metabolizing the poison you're injecting it with to maintain adequate blood sugar levels, but a glass of tomato juice packs enough simple sugars to get you into a vertical position. As for the eyeballs, well… protein can’t hurt, right?
Voodoo -- Haiti
Talk about scape-goating. Haitians shirk all responsibility for their throbbing head by blaming the drink for their pain, and punish it by inserting 13 pins into the offending bottle’s cork. Apparently, this magically removes a hangover. What happens if the bottle doesn’t have a cork? Unclear. But it sure beats bull penis.
Why it just might work: Who knows -- maybe there are higher powers at work, and they're very concerned with your personal hangover hell?
Balut -- the Philippines
Aborted duck baby, a local delicacy, is thought to remove those morning cobwebs in the Philippines.
Why it just might work: Eggs contain cysteine, which can help soak up free radicals caused by alcohol. But why does the egg have to be fertilized already?!
Armpit citrus -- Puerto Rico
Allegedly, these crazy kids believe that rubbing a lemon or lime in their drinking arm’s pit will lessen the blow (specifically the ensuing dehydration) of a night on the Bacardi.
Why it just might work: Fruit can’t hurt, but try putting it in your mouth instead. Sounds to us like some gringo got punked, big time.
Rhino horn -- Vietnam
The Vietnamese grind up rhino horns after ragers, then steep them in hot water. Don’t do this at home -- trading rhino horns is illegal. Plus, it's so in demand for many of its other mythical qualities (cures cancer, allergies) that it may set you back up to $300k. Also, stop killing rhinos!
Why it just might work: We got nothing.
Katerfrühstück -- Germany
Of course the Germans have a word for “hangover breakfast”. Up north, they torture themselves with plates full-o rollmöpse -- pickled herring wrapped around gherkin and onion -- on an empty stomach, while their more relaxed southern neighbors eat a special white sausage that traditionally should only be consumed before 10a... with lots of beer, of course.
Why it just might work: The brine in rollmöpse replenishes electrolytes, encourages you to drink more water, and its sugars alleviate hypoglycemia and turn into fat. As for sausage and beer, that’s just delicious and will make anyone feel better.
Sweat, lick & spit -- the Wild West
Some Native Americans believed that working up a good sweat would do the trick… and then licking said sweat, gurgling it around a bit, and spitting it out.
Why it just might work: There’s something about the idea of sweating out toxins -- exercise will cut through the fog due to the endorphins released that bolster your pissy mood. Where the licking and spitting came from, we don’t know.
Rabbit turd tea -- the Wild West, part two
Cowboys thought they’d cure their whiskey blues by brewing a tea with rabbit droppings.
Why it just might work: Hair of the rabbit?
Umeboshi -- Japan
Too many sake bombs? Eat some umeboshi, a dried, über-pickled kind of hideously sour plum.
Why it just might work: Fruit? Good. Salt? Good. This might actually help replenish depleted key electrolytes like sodium and potassium.
Tripe soup -- Mexico, Romania, Turkey, and Korea
Guts to help your twisted guts! While the ingredients vary by country, this soup is always filled with animal innards.
Why it just might work: Just thinking about having to eat this makes our hangover disappear. But really, a greasy, salty, high-protein soup should turn into sugar (read: energy) and provide amino acids.
Deep-fried canary -- Ancient Rome
After debauched bacchanals full of vino, those wacky Romans'd down deep-fried a canary – sometimes beheaded, often whole.
Why it just might work: Well, how often have you scarfed down KFC in an attempt to feel less terrible? Same deal. Fat is turned into sugar, yada yada.
Sauna -- Russia
Sweat. It. Out. And maybe flagellate yourself a little bit with birch branches.
Why it just might work: Again, the idea is to sweat out those poisonous, poisonous toxins, and the flagellation is meant to improve circulation, but since you’re already super-dehydrated from a night of binge drinking, going into the sauna is actually really dangerous.
Reverse ostrich -- Ireland
Local lore states that if you bury yourself up to the neck in wet river sand, the rest of the day will be hangover-free.
Why it just might work: The equivalent of a cold shower, this should wake you up and get your blood pumping.
Buffalo milk -- Namibia
Psych! There’s actually no buffalo milk in this concoction, but it sounds a lot like what gave you your first TGI Friday's hangover, as it’s a bunch of cream and sugariness mixed with dark rum, spiced rum, and cream liqueur.
Why it just might work: If hair-of-the-dog actually worked instead of being just a temporary relief, this might be promising. But ultimately it’ll only lead to you adding a sugar crash to your laundry list of hangover ailments.