Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Hangover, California Style

I recently vacationed in California.  You know, CALIFORNIA--the place that invented healthy, unprocessed, whole wheat, high fiber, preservative-free, artificial flavoring- and coloring-free, organic food.   In short, either the food without any flavor or the food that tastes weird.  Food is sacred to Californians--so much so that my innocent attempt to get a Diet Coke at a high end resort and spa was greeted with such derision and contempt that, really, you would have thought I had asked for a cigarette.

I suppose a little background is in order.  I had just completed a marathon-and-a half over two days, and although I walked it instead of ran it, I like to think it was similarly exhausting.  I mean despite the fact that those Kenyan runners can punch out 26 miles in something like 2 hours, walking it took about 9, and hell, that's a long time to be on your feet.  After two days of such efforts, my friends and I did what everyone does after such a major accomplishment--we partied.  It turns out, that when you have pushed yourself to your physical limits, your body--at least at the cellular level, is primed to exponentially absorb everything you put into it.  That's why real athletes drink things like water, Gatorade, and possibly IV fluids after an event.  Wine, it turns out, was pretty much the wrong choice, and it resulted the next day in a one-eyed,will-everyone- please-whisper sort of hangover like no other.  Not to worry--the only thing on the agenda was to stumble into the Napa Valley to meet a girlfriend for rest and relaxation at a local spa.  (Although it is fairly sobering-no pun intended-to find yourself in Napa with a hangover before you've even set foot in a single winery). 

Because this was, you know, CALIFORNIA, this wasn't your every day Red Door spa with overstuffed Queen Anne chairs apolstered in chintz.  Think slabs of gray slate at right angles punctuated with "water features."  Very minimalist.  Indeed, without the earth-toned throw pillows it could have doubled as a gulag.  Fortunately, at least everyone spoke in a whisper.  Even, it turns out, the shi-shi waiter who advised that this particular spa didn't offer Diet Coke because it's derived from HFCS (that's high-fructose corn syrup to the riff-raff, and yes, I embarrassed myself by asking).  He then proceeded to explain to me how their ultra-pure diet cola was made, but because of my raging head-ache all I heard was "Blah, blah, blah, "Brazil," blah blah blah blah "natural," and blah blah blah "plant extract."  It's also apparently much much much better for you than the poison that is Diet Coke.  Funny, he also offered me a glass of wine, which for obvious reasons, I declined.  I made a mental note, however, that for all of its purported ills, Diet Coke had never left me feeling the way that wine did right then.

Nonetheless, when that magical elixir passed my lips, my hangover all but dissipated.  I felt as though my body, mind, and spirit had been transfused with a purety like no other as this natural Brazilian plant extract rounded up and put to pasture the toxins that roamed through my body.  HAH.  All lies. What a crock.  It tasted just like a diet RC cola; you know--not bad, but not nearly as good as a Diet Coke.  So, in honor of that delightful concoction in the red and silver can, I offer you the following hangover cure, unless that is, you have the misfortune, like me, to tie one on in California:

Diet Coke

1.  Ask your loving husband to open the can for you, because you know, all that fizzing is loud.

2.  Same with the ice.  Place it in the glass gently, and it's perfectly acceptable to rub a cube over your eyes or across your temples.  Pour. 

3.  Drink slowly to minimize all facial muscle movement.

4.  Promise your God, if you believe in god, that you will never, ever, drink that much wine again.


  1. I know you all too well; there will be more wine in your future, I predict.

    Wine is love and you are blessed with love, wine and friends.

    Just stay away from the damn Marathons!

    The Pie Guy

  2. That. Was. Hysterical :-)