One Tequila, Two Tequila, Floor!
“A Hair of the Dog and Some Other Hangover Cures from Popular Tradition” is a study published by Frank M. Paulsen in The Journal of American Folklore in 1961. Whilst employed at Wayne State University, Paulsen became obsessed with anecdotal hangover cures. He spoke to over 150 revellers in numerous bars across Detroit, Cleveland, Montpelier, Buffalo, Utica, Omaha, Los Angeles, Montreal, Quebec City, and Toronto. Not only hilarious to read the cure, some of the biographical info collected is enough to get you giggling. These are some of our favourites…dare to test some out this weekend? Let us know how you fare and if you have any tried and tested hangover cures. It all helps!
1. White bread
2. A dozen raw oysters
3. Mashed potatoes
4. “Eat a white Bermuda onion like an apple. Wait half an hour, then take a good shot.” —George Gust, Club 58, Detroit. Restaurant and bar owner, white, male, about 28; born and reared in Detroit; of Greek extraction.
5. Buttered celery
6. “Cut a big piece of watermelon, if you can get hold of one, and punch holes in the meat with a fork. Pour half a pint of gin over that and eat it down. Be careful of the seeds; they’ll kill ya.”—Mr. Meschner, Hawkins Bar, Detroit. Retired; white, male, about 70; born and raised in Detroit, where he worked for the Ford Motor Company for some 50 years; now spends most of his time wandering from bar to bar in the northwestern section of Detroit; quite active for a man his age. (Meschner’s other recommendation: “get one of those little dime apple pies and cut a hole in the top crust; pour in as much brandy as it’ll take. Eat it with a tablespoon.”)
7. “Eat oranges. Not just the juice, but the whole goddamned thing. Peel ‘em back and eat the stuff and all. Eat six or a dozen if you’ve got to. You need that vitamin B. That’s what makes you nervous and crappy.”—“Bearman” Cambel, Bouche Bar, Detroit. Used car salesman; white male, about 50. A huge man, about 7 feet tall and 400 pounds in weight.
8. Hot won ton soup
9. “Open a can of tomatoes, hot or cold, either way.”—Anonymous, Tanampa Club, Detroit. Maintenance worker; white, male, about 55; born and reared in Mexico; a quite friendly gent who insisted on buying me a shot of Tequila and instructing me in how to drink it in the traditional way, with salt and lemon.
10. Rare beef
11. “A big bunch of parsley.”—Mrs. Cynthia Parkins, Bouche Bar, Detroit. Saleslady; white, female; about 65.
12. Pickled herring
13. Sour herring
14. “Any kind of fish.”—Mary, Belmont Lounge, Detroit. Waitress; white, female, about 45. (In his notes, Paulsen suggests that fish may be a relatively popular remedy because it “has traditionally been considered and aphrodisiac”—a connection that seems more meaningful once one reads items 83 through 89.)
15. “The worst thing you can do on a hangover is to eat pork. I’ve been drinking for sixty years and have had a few hangovers, but none of them were as bad as when I ate pork. I love pork, but I never eat it on a hangover.”—Mr. Capadine, Club 58, Detroit. Manufacturer of tool and die parts; signed the first Cadillac automobile—an amusing gent, perhaps not completely reliable.
16. Raw oatmeal
17. “Eat raw peanut butter right out of the jar.”—Anonymous, Hawkins’ Bar, Detroit. Commercial artist; white, male, about 40; aggressively interested in my collecting project; quite a heavy drinker.
18. Soda crackers and sparkling water
19. “Eat as many scrambled eggs as you can.”—Anonymous, Danny’s Gin Mill, Detroit. Bartender; white, male, about 40.
20. “Eat honey—three or four teaspoons with black coffee. Not in the coffee, just eat it while you’re sipping the coffee.”—Anonymous, Normandy Bar, Detroit. Occupation unknown; white, female, about 23.
22. “Many people chew raw parsnips to get rid of that morning aftertaste.”—Bruce Millan, Momo’s Bar, Detroit. Theatrical producer and bartender; white, male, about 35; has his own company of child actors who irregularly perform in plays throughout Michigan; also tends a bar full time; also is working for a Master’s degree with a specialty in folk drama at Wayne University.
24. Raw onion sandwiches
25. Canned peaches
26. “Eat a good greasy meal—the greasier the better. The grease, it stops a steam from a stomach from goin’ to the brain—the hot steam. You need grease. Too much steam from stomach affect brain. The doctor, he tell me this. Plenty greasy food, never go wrong.”—Tom Donhm, food time market, Detroit. Grocery store owner; white, male, about 40; born and reared in Iraq; has lived in Detroit for 10 years.
27. “Eat dry toast. Anything that doesn’t contain oils will help.”—Anonymous, the Lobster Pot Restaurant, Montpelier, Vermont. Waitress; white, female, about 21; wife of graduate student at the University of Vermont.
28. Tomato juice (Paulsen’s note: “over fifty of the listed informants mentioned tomato juice as a cure.”)
29. Chilled tomato juice
30. Boiled tomato juice with a pat of butter on top
31. “I’m a young fellow; I can stand it. Sometimes I might feel the need of something; then I take tomato juice with an ice cube. But when you’re young like me, you can just sleep it off.”—Gene, Bouche Bar, Detroit. Short order cook; Oriental, male, about 25; he has not missed spending every evening at the Bouche in 2 years (claims the bartender), yet no one there knows his last name or exactly where he works; drinks beer only, but in great quantities—8 to 10 bottles each evening.
32. Tomato beer
33. Gin and tomato juice
34. “Bloody Mary: That’s tomato juice and vodka. Put a little of that—what d’ya call it?—Worcestershire sauce—in it. Bring you right on out…Jesus! [gesture of arms skyward].”—Harold Lucas, Club 58, Detroit. Waiter; Negro, male, about 60; born and reared in New York City; has been a waiter for 40 years and has lived in Detroit for the past 8 years.
35. Rhine wine and tomato juice
36. “Mix cinnamon in wine and sip on it. Any kind of sweet wine will do.”—George Fonte, Club 58, Detroit. Bartender; white, male, about 45; born and reared in Wisconsin; has been tending bar, mostly at exclusive private clubs, in Detroit for 20 years; he was my most cooperative and informative informant. (Fonte also suggested: milk; lemon sherbet; Mashed strawberries and sugar dressed with egg whites, gin, and chartreuse; a whiskey sours; salty dogs; an orange blossoms; a shot of vodka mixed with equal parts tomato juice and clam juice; sherry mixed with an egg yolk and served at room temperature; a shot of Pernod mixed with an egg white and four dashes of bitters; and warm seltzer water mixed with bitters.)
38. Oyster juice
39. Hot prune juice
40. Stewed prunes and gin
41. An orange dressed with soy sauce
42. “I’ve heard there’s some special vitamin or mineral or something in fresh papaya juice that will cure a hangover in a minute. The trouble is, where do you get it in Detroit?”—Philomena Van Allen, Bouche Bar, Detroit. Bookkeeper; white, female, about 37; born and reared in Chicago.
43. Ice cream mixed with buttermilk
45. “Eat something like spaghetti with a good hot sauce on it. It’s the spices in the sauce that do it.”
46. Beer with a spoonful of salt in it
47. Warm beer
48. Flat beer
49. Cold beer (suggested by over fifty respondents)
50. “A shot and a beer—a stale beer if you’ve got any. Break a couple eggs and put them in the beer. Don’t eat the eggs. Let [the hangover] fight itself out. But if you get hungry after a couple of doses, eat the eggs.”—Anonymous, Webb Wood Inn, Detroit. Occupation unknown; white, male, about 65; apparently quite a heavy drinker.
51. “Put the white of an egg or the whole egg in beer. It’s the white of the egg that does you the most good. It coats your insides.”—Mr. Curly, Club 58, Detroit. Salesman; white, male, about 45. Born and reared in Boston.
52. Whiskey with milk and sugar
53. A gin and soda
54. “Avoid gin.”—Anonymous, Topinka’s Resaurant, Detroit. Bartender; white, male, about 40.
55. A fruit cocktail with vodka mixed in
56. “Take a double shot of bonded whiskey and lace it with black pepper. Drink it with black coffee.”—Mel Costa, Mel’s Steak-Out, Detroit restaurant owner, white, male about 45. Of Greek origin, and quite proud of it.
57. “My dad used to have a hangover at least twice a week, usually on the weekend. When he woke up that way, he’d take a dozen or so soda crackers and crush them in a cereal bowl and pour about a half a cup of brandy, I believe it was blackberry or cherry, over the cracker and eat them. Me, I just take the brandy.”—Anonymous, Eckner’s Restaurant, Detroit. Stenographer; white, female, around 30.
58. Three aspirins taken with Coke, followed by buttermilk soup
59. “Take cold, jellied consommé and mix in some Worcestershire, celery salt, garlic powder, and about four ounces of vodka. Your secretary will hate you, but you’ll be able to get through till lunch.”—Anonymous, Club 58, Detroit. General Motors executive; white, male, about 45.
60. “I used to wait on this millionaire who owned the Lincoln Motor Company. I always knew when he had a hangover. He’d order a ‘Monster.’ I guess it worked for him. You take a teaspoon of vinegar, a teaspoon of Worcestershire, a dash of pepper and beat that together with the white of an egg. Put it in a bowl and float the egg yolk on top. He’d sprinkle that with nutmeg and eat it.”—Russell Rhue, Club 58, Detroit. Waiter; Negro, male, about 30; born and reared in Cleveland, Ohio; has been a waiter all his adult life; an extremely self-assured and independent individual whose tenure as a waiter at Club 58 was limited to one week. (Rhue also recommended: hot corned beef sandwiches with plenty of pepper and ice cream “by the pint till you feel good again.”)
61. Baking soda mixed with warm water
62. “There’s a pill of some kind that will cure a hangover in a minute. Doctors won’t tell you what it is because they want you to get hung over—that way you don’t drink so much. If you could find out what that pill is and patent it, you’d make a million.”—Philomena Van Allen (Paulsen’s note: “The curious belief that there somewhere exists an exact element or formula which in some magical fashion will cure the hangover instantaneously is an underlying motif in many of the items in this collection.”)
64. Steam baths
65. “Relax; think of nothing.”—Jean Theoret, Neptune Lounge, Montreal, Canada. Bartender; white, male, about 35; born and reared in Montreal; of French extraction.
66. “Avoid cold water.”—Anonymous, Collingwood Inn, Detroit. Occupation unknown; Negro male about 50.
67. A glass of cold milk before bed
68. A B12 injection
69. Don’t smoke while you drink
70. “If you have a wine hangover, stay away from all kinds of liquids. Don’t take a drink of water, not even a bowl of soup. Don’t even brush your teeth. If you do, you’ll get drunk all over again—especially if you drank champagne the night before.”—Lou Falk, Mel’s Steak-Out, Detroit. Bartender; white, male, about 40; born and reared in Detroit; has been a bartender for 15 years.
71. An ounce of vinegar in ice water
72. A teaspoon of spirits of ammonia in a glass of water
73. Stick your head under the faucet
74. A cold shower
75. An icebag on the head
76. “Take the day off and go up to a brook and fish. Let the breeze blow on your head and forget your troubles.”—Al Mahony, The Pines Tavern, Montpelier, Vermont. Painter; white, male, about 60; native Vermonter; claims to have drunk a fifth of whiskey a day for the past 40 years.
77. “100% oxygen will cure you in ten minutes. As anyone who flew planes during the war.”—Anonymous, Momo’s Bar, Detroit. Occupation unkown; white, male, about 40; served in United States Air Force as pilot during World War II.
78. “Drink milk all day long because it’s loaded with oxygen.”—Dean Paulsen, Detroit, Michigan. Teacher; white, female, 34; born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska; has been teaching for 5 years; previously working as a secretary; has lived in Detroit for 3 years. Not too bad looking. Wife of the compiler.
79. Take a walk
80. Go back to bed
81. “I’ve known people who said the smell of gasoline will cure you. Just breathe the fumes—as much as you can take.”—John Goodgame, Club 58, Detroit. Waiter; Negro, male,a bout 45; works part time at the Wayne Club in Detroit as a waiter; worked for 20 years as a dining car waiter on a Pullman for the Union Pacific Railroad; born and reared in the South; has lived in Detroit for 5 years.
82. “This is nasty and brutal, but it’s a sure cure. When you get up thinking you’ll never lie till noon, first drink coffee with lots of sugar and heavy cream in it. It’ll make you vomit. Then drink a glass of warm water for a second flush. After vomiting the second time, you can hold down a drink.”—Anonymous, Bouche Bar, Detroit. Champagne salesman; white, male, about 45; very talkative and willing informant who was modishly dressed and apparently college trained.
83. Chewing tobacco
84. Work a sweat up, then drink buttermilk straight from the bottle, take a hot shower, and go to bed.
85. “If you’ve been drinking rum the night before, the only thing that’ll help is a piece of tail.”—Anonymous, Bouche Bar, Detroit. Jockey; white, male, about 35; no biographical information.
86. “A good jump is the fastest cure.”—Max N—, Bouche Bar, Detroit. Bartender; white, male, about 40; has an unsavory background as a bookie and confidence man of which he seems quite proud.
87. “A man—that’s the best cure—a man.”—Anonymous, Bouche Bar, Detroit. Milliner; white, female, about 40.
88. “Get yourself a young virgin not over eighteen and … [perform cunnilingus—vividly described]” (Paulsen’s elision)—Anonymous, Detroit. Dentist; Negro, male, about 40; born and reared in the South; had been practicing dentistry quite successfully in Detroit for the past five years.
89. “There’s a certain kind of hangover that can’t be cured in any way but one. When you’ve got that kind of hangover, you’ll make your wife stay home from work. Have a couple of beers later, and you’re all set.”—Anonymous, Fisher’s Bar, Detroit. Bartender; white, male, about 40; of Syrian ancestry; born and reared in Detroit; boasts of being married five times; seems to enjoy talking of his sexual prowess.
90. “The mental hangover is the worst kind. If you just feel sick, you can take aspirin and another drink, but that won’t help your mental condition. You’ve got to get your mind on something else. A party [evidently fellatio] is the best thing to set you up. I knew a fellow who had to masturbate every time he had a hangover when he wasn’t living with someone. I could never do that, but sometimes you do feel that way.”—Anonymous, Diplomat Bar, Detroit. Performer; white, male, about 25; a professional female impersonator, admittedly homosexual, quite aggressively so.
91. “You’ve asked the right man. I sell the cause; I got the cure. When you wake up that way, first go to the store. I mean go to the store, Dad. You open that icebox door, get talking to the lettuce, and you could get mixed up with the milk bottles. That’s not good. Buy an avocado, not a hard one, not a soft one. It’s got to be just right—tender to the touch, but not too easy. When you get it home, peel it, but peel it gently, so there’s plenty of green left. Cut it in slivers, if your hand’s steady enough. Salt it light, ever so light. It’s better to use your right hand if you’re right-handed and you haven’t cut yourself yet. Eat that, like it is. Never chill it. It’s hard enough to taste it as it is. No, I’m not kidding, eat the avocado. Then you have sex—you know, nothing in bad taste, not fast, not vulgar. Take your time. Lie there a little while; catch a little shut-eye if you can. By no means go again. After you’re back down on the ground, I mean really down and relaxed, get up and step into the shower. The water’s got to be just right—not too hot, not too cold, just right. Spend a half hour there if you got to. When you step out, walk up to the mirror. Shave. Then use that sexy lotion. You walk out feeling new. You’re ready for your first drink of the day.”—John Leon, St. Paul Hotel, Los Angeles, California (by correspondence). Bar manager; white, male, about 35; born and reared in Los Angeles; of Mexican extraction; has been tending bar for 13 years.
We’ve got another of our infamous Click parties coming up soon…Hurray! Check out the details here and book those tickets!