January 23, 2020

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Opinion

We've got cures for all that ails

Got a Grey Cup hangover?

DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files</p><p>Haggis, apparently, is a great cure for a hangover.</p></p>

DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files

Haggis, apparently, is a great cure for a hangover.

Good morning, football fans! Welcome to Monday! How are we all feeling on this bright and glorious and moderately bone-chilling morning?

I’m going to take a wild guess and predict we are all feeling warm and fuzzy all over because our beloved Blue Bombers throttled the hated Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Sunday’s 107th Grey Cup game in Calgary.

I’m guessing that because the sad truth is that, thanks to strict newspaper deadlines, I am writing today’s column on Friday morning, two days before kickoff.

Still, as I write these words, I am feeling pretty darn upbeat. I am praying, from the bottom of my football-loving soul, that the Bombers emerged victorious, because 29 years without a Grey Cup is too much anguish for any Canadian fan base to endure.

Also, I am hoping that Chris Matthew, if he is reading today’s column, is doing so with his pants on, because he is the retired teacher who, back in 2001, bravely pledged to go pantless until the Bombers captured the Cup.

I think we can all agree that 18 years wearing nothing but shorts in soul-destroying Winnipeg winters is the sort of punishment that would be illegal under the Geneva Convention.

Regardless of whether our gridiron heroes won or lost, Uncle Doug can tell by the jittery way you are reading today’s paper that, just possibly, you had too much of a good time at the Grey Cup party you attended Sunday.

Uncle Doug can tell that because, using the mystical powers that are granted to all overweight newspaper columnists, he sees you have a long chain of drool hanging from your mouth, your eyelids are being propped open with toothpicks, and your breath smells like a pair of old sweatsocks that have been left to fester at the bottom of a grungy hockey bag for two weeks.

Which is why Uncle Doug is going to use today’s column to restore your youthful vigour via the technique of providing a few top-secret remedies he was able to find while randomly Googling the word "hangover" on the internet.

For those of you who are not quite as worldly as Uncle Doug, a "hangover" is when, after a night of drinking adult beverages, your outraged body tells you that it hates you and that your brain, if it had any sense, would find another body to live in, preferably in a quiet monastery in Tibet.

So forget the old-style cures, including drinking water and hooking yourself up to an IV, because here is what random online experts recommend:

Cure No. 1: A disgustingly huge breakfast. According to Hannah Jane Parkinson of the Guardian newspaper in Britain: "However it appears on the menu, the breakfast has to abide by certain edicts. It must be hearty. It must have a revitalizing slow rise of steam — like thermal springs in Nordic countries — but not be so hot as to be mouth-burning. It must be some combination of eggs, beans, hash browns (non-negotiable), toast, and for the non-vegetarians, sausages, bacon. Not black pudding, which should be illegal."

Cure No. 2: Midol. I have never heard of Ariana Madix before, but Wikipedia tells me she is a star on the Bravo reality TV show Vanderpump Rules, and her advice is: "The best hangover cure in the world is Midol Complete. Just because you’re a boy doesn’t mean you can’t use it. You will love it."

Cure No. 3: Haggis. What we are talking about here is Scotland’s national dish. For the record, haggis is a sort of savoury Scottish pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs) and assorted spices that is traditionally encased and cooked in the animal’s stomach. Yum! It is often doused with single malt whisky, which kind of defeats the hangover-cure purpose but sounds wonderful.

Andrew Pern, the chef-owner of the Star Inn pub at Harome, North Yorkshire, England, recommends haggis with eggs to ease your fevered brain. According to the Guardian, he says: "You can buy haggis slices now, or mini haggis. Fry it off, fry the eggs, and that’s it. You don’t need any bread because it’s fairly stodgy. Maybe a dash of HP sauce." So the logic is that if you can stomach something cooked in a stomach, your brain will survive.

Cure No. 4: Pickles. To be precise, pickle juice. Here’s what Men’s Health magazine — and we assume they know what they’re talking about when it comes to hangovers — has to say: "Although pickles may not be your first pick of foods to eat hungover, this wacky remedy will have you feeling better faster. Pickle juice contains a good mix of sugar, salt, water and vinegar so eating a few (along with their juice) will help rebalance your electrolytes. Two shots of pickle juice before or after a big night are certainly worth trying."

On the other hand — and we speak from experience here — your chances of being able to open a tightly sealed jar of (bad word) pickles while hung­over is approximately zero.

Cure No. 5: Avocados. Yes, those green things everyone is spreading on toast. Men’s Health magazine says avocados border on a miracle cure: "Drinking alcohol causes you to urinate more than usual and in the process, you lose a lot of important nutrients, potassium especially. Not just a brunch favourite, avocados are stacked with the mineral, one of the nutrients you’ll need to replenish along with sodium and water... they’re an essential ingredient when it comes to increasing your absorption of nutrients after a night out."

Speaking for himself, Uncle Doug is going to try none of these remedies himself, because, if he came within walking distance of a haggis right now, his gastrointestinal system would likely launch into reverse-thruster mode, if you catch the gist of his subtle drift.

No, Uncle Doug is going to follow the advice of some random website that summed up the perfect hangover treatment in four simple words as follows: "Go back to bed!"

Which is exactly what I’m doing right now. And I’m going to stay in bed until the (bad word) Grey Cup parade reaches Portage and Main. For everyone’s sake, I really hope that will be this year.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Doug Speirs

Doug Speirs
Columnist

Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.

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Updated on Monday, November 25, 2019 at 6:31 AM CST: Adds photo

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