OK, learn from my mistakes.
5:00 PM, so commonly joked about as the time at which it is acceptable
to start drinking.
Tempted as you may be, humans have
deemed this time acceptable for a reason. Do not test the its 5
O'clock somewhere theory.
Today, in true college-style, I
returned from class to curl up with my favorite
videogame and a beer or five.
I was not without goal. Due to a scheduling issue, Xenosaga would need
to be beaten by 10:00pm, when my girlfriend would pick me up
to make a trip home to each of our parent's places. I did
not want to be stewing over the convoluted story over the weekend, nor
lose my train of thought on it.
So we have our scenario: 2:00 pm, pre-occupied with a game, and
swilling beer. Sounds like a winning combination?
at 5:00pm my roommate got home. He prefers harder alcohol, and
I had blown through nearly a six-pack without even knowing it. Without
moving from my gaming throne, I had him mix me my preferred drink. This was a bad
Beer before liquor, you've never been sicker!
Liquor before beer, you're in the clear!
As I let some time pass to fully punctuate my descent into a true state
of being shithoused, let me explain that these are not simply
frat-sayings to help hard partiers live through the night. The sayings
are rooted in scientific fact.
The simple explanation for this lies within exactly how hangovers work.
Basically, your body has enzymes in your liver that are used to break
down what you drink. The tannins in alcohol eat up these enzymes. Two
things effectively happen:
For a full in-depth article on how hangovers work check out
howstuffworks.com, or I will be posting a node in the near future.
Also, for a more eclectic gathering of information, check out the node
- Your enzymes are absorbed by your first, and weaker drinks,
causing your "sheilds to be lowered" and the harder stuff to hit you
where it hurts.
- Your judgement becomes impaired, and you feel you are invincible,
and think you have a higher tolerance than you actually do.
Hours passed. The game was beaten. Our minds were blown. We were
shithoused. It felt like 5:00 AM (the time at which our circle of
friends is usually in wind-down mode.) By this time in actuality, it
was only 8:00 PM.
Then the alcohol kicked in with its depressant effect. I became very
relaxed. Its that feeling you get at five in the morning after a really
hard night of partying.... only it was nine at night.
But at this point, I was drunk, so I knew how to fix it
(So I could be alert to keep my girlfriend company on the ride home)
NoDoze. The way I saw it, its like having one cup of coffee; people
use a cup of coffee to sober up all the time.
Now, do the math. We left the house at 11pm to make the trip home, I
was sufficiently drunk by 3pm. 8 hours had passed.
On a normal night of drinking, you (or me as the case may be) are
sufficiently drunk by 3am, and by 11am, you feel like hell. Only, at
times when you wake up like that you've had some rest (albiet not very
good) in you, and you haven't thrown your stomache into a torment
Result: I had a horrible, horrible hangover the entire ride home.
I had a morning hangover at midnight, shakes and all.
The 5:00 pm standard is there not because its rude to
begin drinking without someone but because it is
smart to do so. When lethargy hits you at midnight, you are less likely
to simply pop a NoDoze and push on.